Sunday, 29 January 2012

Operatic characters we should meet

In an idle moment, I set to thinking about a few 'characters' we hear mentioned but whom it would be interesting to encounter properly, perhaps in 'spin-off' prequels or sequels. Here are ten priorities, though others will doubtless soon spring to mind:

Herzeleide (though I suppose we did see her in Stefan Herheim's production...)
The parents of Fiordiligi and Dorabella (negligent or unavoidably detained?)
The Queen of the Night's deceased husband (King of the Night?)
The Feldmarschall
Berenice (La clemenza di Tito)
Grimhilde (she must have quite a story to tell)
Agamemnon (Elektra)
Parsifal (Lohengrin, to ascertain once and for all whether he is the Parsifal)
Pelléas's father


Dan Johnson said...

Parsifal is indeed the Parsifal! And I'm certain there are a few operatic Agamemnons (Agamemna?). But I think somebody'll have to set the Racine play, Berenice—to which Metastasio's opera is apparently a sort of sequel—if we want to meet Tito's ex-gf.

Mark Berry said...

Re Parsifal, up to a point, though I think we might possibly be dealing what science fiction enthusiasts term a parallel universe. After all, as Nietzsche remarked, in 'The Case of Wagner': 'Parsifal is the father of Lohengrin! How did he manage that?'

The LondonJazz site said...

The Primadonna in Ariadne has four goes at tracking down the man she calls the Graf, also known as the richest man in Vienna. In which role most opera company development departments would presumably like an introduction to him.

Zwölftöner said...

There’s clearly more to Miles and Flora’s uncle than meets the (governess’s) eye. I often wonder about his real motives and what he knows about Bly...

leonora said...

Grimhild has some claim to be the villain of the piece...prominent in the Norse literature, where she is very much alive. If you get a chance to read William Morris's SIGURD THE VOLSUNG you will learn a lot about Grimhild - she is the one who brews the potion that makes Sigurd forget Brynhild.

welker said...

Though Magnard wrote his own libretto for *Bérénice* (premiere 1911), he based it on Racine's play, so your wishes have already come true. This elusive work has actually been performed lately - though not staged - by Leon Botstein and the ASO at the Carnegie Hall. Unfortunately I have not been able to hear it all (I admire Magnard's 4th symphony) - the excerpts on YouTube sound impressive but also rather long-winded.
My suggestion:
Morold - who could tell us whether he really was Isolde's fiancée (Wagner) or her uncle (earlier sources; note the parallel with Mark/Tristan).