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WILLIAM RATCLIFF. Musiktheater in 3 Akten nach
der gleichnamigen Tragödie von Heinrich Heine

Composer: Ostendorf, Jens-Peter
Subtitle: Fassung 1992
Lyricists: Ostendorf, Jens-Peter (Libretto)
Opus/Year: (1992)
Genre: Chamber opera
Instrumentation: 1(Picc,AFl,BFl,RingklappenFl,Sopranino),0,0,0 – 0,0,1,0 – 2 Schl (I: 2 TPk, kl.Tr, gr.Tr, 4 Bk, Gl, Tam-t, Vibr, Marimba – II: 2 TPk, Trgl, Flex, 3 Tomt, Bongos, kl.Tr, gr.Tr, 3 Bk, NietenBk, Gl, gr.Tam-t, Glsp, Vibr, Marimba, Eisenrohr [mit Hammer]), Klav/E-Klav/Synthesizer (Sounds: Drehleier/Streicher/Orgel/Kirchenorgel), Vc – Tonbänder, 3 Filme
Premiere performance: D


William Ratcliff loves Marie, the daughter of the Scottish Laird MacGregor. William’s father, Edward Ratcliff, had already once fallen in love with Marie’s mother, but has been rejected. The love of the son also remains unrequited; he even has to attend the wedding of Marie and Douglas. Past and present are mixed together in his mind. Ratcliff remembers the story of the parents and that of his rejection by Marie. Shadowy figures appear to him; he is on the brink of madness. A confrontation with Marie seems unavoidable. Marie remembers the past and her dreams. When Ratcliff appears in her room, both understand that they cannot live out their love, nor can they avoid the fate handed down to them from their parents. They decide to die. In death Ratcliff and Marie find each other, thus also redeeming their parents.