Music theatre Opera 1964 1991

The Judgement of Calliope

A pastoral by W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman

Year of composition 1964
Revised version 1991
Duration 16 minutes

World premiere

World premiere of the intermezzo 29. October 1997

Gießen · Stadttheater

Production Guy Montavon
Stage and costume design Mark Väisänen
Conductor Michael Hofstetter

Comments

After the first performance of “The Bassa- rids”, Auden and Kallman, the librettists, became unsure about the effect of the long intermezzo, “The Judgement of Calliope”, that was inserted into the third movement of the opera’s symphonic structure. The intermezzo provides an artificial, farce-like representation of the sexual fantasies and hallucinations of the young Pentheus.

In the score of “The Bassarids” (1992), as presented in this catalogue, the intermezzo has been replaced by a short episode lasting only a few seconds, allowing the intermezzo to be considered as a work in its own right. Its new orchestration requires much smaller forces than those used in the original, so that it can be performed in smaller theatres. In addition, there is an arrangement for singers, mandoline and harpsichord made by Henning Brauel in 1974 for studio theatre per- formances.

Hans Werner Henze

Cast

Proserpinasoprano leggero
Venusmezzosoprano
Kalliopetenore
Adonisbaritono
personaggi mutiservants

Instrumentation

2 Flauti1° anche Ottavino
1 Oboeanche Corno inglese
1 Clarinetto
1 Clarinetto basso
1 Sassofono contralto
1 Fagotto
2 Corni
1 Tromba
1 Trombone
Timpani
PercussioneTriangolo
Piatti sospesi
Campane da gregge
Tamtam
Tamburo militare
Grancassa (con e senza il piatto)
Maracas
Raganella
Glockenspiel
Xilofono
Vibrafono
Campane tubolari
[per 2]
Arpa
Pianoforteanche Celesta
2 Mandolini (sul palco ad lib.)
Chitarra(sul palco ad lib.)
3 Violini
2 Viole
2 Violoncelli
1 Contrabbasso