ALCESTE LIBRETTO PDF

A Soprano assures her that he follows Glory and will return. A celebration of the pastoral divinities commences. Act 1[ edit ] The scene shows a port in Thessaly where we see a great ship, decorated and prepared for a festival, at anchor alongside several warships. Alcide, who also loves Alceste, tells his man Lychas that he would prefer not to attend the wedding, so as not to suffer unnecessarily. Lychas persuades him to stay until nightfall, so as not to invite gossip.

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A Soprano assures her that he follows Glory and will return. A celebration of the pastoral divinities commences. Act 1[ edit ] The scene shows a port in Thessaly where we see a great ship, decorated and prepared for a festival, at anchor alongside several warships. Alcide, who also loves Alceste, tells his man Lychas that he would prefer not to attend the wedding, so as not to suffer unnecessarily. Lychas persuades him to stay until nightfall, so as not to invite gossip.

Straton is indignant, having been faithful to her for two years. Act 2[ edit ] On the island of Scyros. The scene shows the main town of the Island.

Skeptical of this promise, Straton agrees to free her on the condition that she marry him first. But the king, refusing to hear her supplications, makes her enter the fortified city and prepares for a siege. He leaves immediately, so as to avoid having to suffer again by seeing the happiness of a young couple. Seeing the tears of his wife, the king, much weakened and aware of his situation, tells Alceste not to cry and assures her that he will have been happy to die for her.

Apollo enters the scene and announces to the king that he has permitted him to escape death, on the condition that someone agree to die in his stead. Alceste withdraws sadly, understanding that she cannot count on anyone else to save her husband. Happy to have survived, and to be soon able to dry the tears of his beloved wife, he asks the gods to reveal to him the image of the person who gave their life for him.

A party of sad men and another of women carrying flowers and all the ornaments which had adorned Alceste, enter and hold a funeral ceremony.

A hysterical pain takes hold of the crowd: Some rend their garments, others tear their hair, and each person breaks, at the foot of the image of Alceste, the ornaments he carries.

At this time, Alcide enters. Intrigued by the wailing and by the funeral ceremony, he has delayed his departure. Without hesitation, the king agrees to renounce his love for her and urges Alcide to snatch Alceste out of the jaws of death. The moon appears. Its face opens up and shows Diana on a shining cloud.

She announces that the gods, moved by such a beautiful idea, have decided to help Alcide by opening for him a new passage into Hades. Mercury flies down to hit the ground with his caduceus. The passage opens and Alcide descends into it. Act 4[ edit ] The scene shows the river Acheron and its gloomy banks. A few ghosts are waiting for Charon. He arrives rowing in his boat. Charon takes into his boat those ghosts who can pay him, ferry them across the Acheron.

Without compunction or pity, he chases away the souls who cannot pay. Alcide enters the scene and jumps into the boat while Charon is chasing away the ghosts there. The scene changes. Pluto is seated on his throne.

Pluto and Proserpina bid welcome to the ghost of Alceste and organized a party in her honor. But Alecton enters in great haste, interrupts the festivities, and informs Pluto that Alcide has come down to attack Hades. Pluto, therefore, admits defeat. Convinced by this, Pluto agrees to let both Alcide and Alceste leave. To help their return, Pluto puts his own chariot and his own escort at their disposal.

Act 5[ edit ] Hercules Fighting Death to Save Alcestis by Frederic Lord Leighton The scene contains a triumphal arch between two ampitheaters, where a multitude of different Grecian peoples can be seen assembled to receive Alcide in his triumph from the Underworld. Yet he remembers his agreement with Alcide. Alceste will regain her life, but her life will no longer be devoted to him. On the occasion of the celebrations, Lychas has decided to free Straton chained up since the end of Act 2 and to make up with him.

But the girl refuses to choose and informs them that she has no intention of getting married. The two suitors seem to accept this and all three participate in the celebration.

Alcide and Alceste enter. But Alcide, moved by the depth of their feelings, stops her and turns down her offer.

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Alceste (French version), opera in 3 acts, Wq. 44

The premiere took place on 23 April in the second Salle du Palais-Royal. Performance history[ edit ] With the presentations in Paris, Alceste became an essentially new work, the translation from Italian to French necessitating several changes in the musical declamation of text, and certain scenes significantly reorganized to new or altered music. The new libretto does, however, introduce several subsidiary characters for dramatic variety, and, following the example of Euripides, on whose work the libretto is loosely based, even calls in Hercules in the final act. This was remounted in Maria Callas starred as Alceste in a production at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan in , which was memorably recorded on April 4 of that year.

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