Julius Christian StockhausenVienna, May 4, Emily Ezust, adapted by James Liu.
Overture[ edit ] Act 4, last scene, in the Dresden Opera House The opera opens with a substantial overture which begins with a trumpet call which in act 3 we learn is the war call of the Colonna family and features the melody of Rienzi's prayer at the start of act 5, which became the opera's best-known aria.
The overture ends with a military march. Stefano Colonna, also a patrician but inclined to support Rienzi, prevents them. Raimondo appeals to the parties in the name of the Church to stop their fighting; Rienzi's eventual appearance marked by a dramatic key shift, from D to E flat quells the riot.
The Roman people support Rienzi's condemnation of the nobles. Irene and Adriano realise their mutual attraction duet Ja, eine Welt voll Leiden Yes, a world of sorrows. A gathering crowd of plebeiansinspired by Rienzi's speeches, offers Rienzi the crown; he demurs, insisting that he wishes only to be a Tribune of the Roman people.
Act 2[ edit ] A hall in the Capitol The patricians plot the death of Rienzi; Adriano is horrified when he learns of this. Rienzi greets a group of ambassadors for whom an entertainment is laid on a lengthy ballet.
Orsini attempts to stab Rienzi, who however is protected by a vest of chainmail. Adriano pleads with Rienzi for mercy to the nobles, which Rienzi grants. The act 2 ballet is noteworthy as Wagner made a clear attempt to make it relevant to the action of the opera whereas in most Grand Operas the ballet was simply an entertaining diversion.
The Rienzi ballet was intended to tell the tale of the 'Rape of Lucretia '. This storyline in which Tarquiniusthe last king of Rome, attempts to rape the virtuous Lucretiaparallels both the action of Rienzi Orsini's attempt on Irene and its background patricians versus the people.
The Roman Forum The patricians have recruited an army to march on Rome. The people are alarmed. Rienzi rouses the people and leads them to victory over the nobles, in the course of which Adriano's father Stefano is killed.
Adriano swears revenge, but Rienzi dismisses him. Before the Lateran Church Cecco and other citizens discuss the negotiations of the patricians with the Pope and with the Emperor of Germany. Adriano's intention to kill Rienzi wavers when Rienzi arrives together with Irene.
Raimondo now announces that the Pope has laid a papal ban on Rienzi, and that his associates risk excommunication. Despite Adriano's urgings, Irene resolves to stay with Rienzi. Act 5[ edit ] Scene 1: He suggests to Irene that she seeks safety with Adriano, but she demurs. An apologetic Adriano enters and tells the pair that the Capitol is to be burnt and they are at risk.
The Capitol is ablaze Rienzi's attempts to speak are met with stones and insults from the fickle crowd. Adriano, in trying to rescue Rienzi and Irene, is killed with them as the building collapses.
In the original performances, Rienzi's final words are bitter and pessimistic: Disintegrate and wither, Rome!
Your degenerate people wish it so. Rienzi is very repugnant to me, but they should at least recognize the fire in it; I was a music director and I wrote a grand opera; the fact that it was this same music director who gave them some hard nuts to crack — that's what should astonish them.
The success of Rienzi — his first real success of any kind — was crucial in Wagner's career, launching him as a composer to be reckoned with. It was followed, within months, by his appointment as Kapellmeister at the Dresden Opera Februarywhich also gave him considerable prestige.
The young Eduard Hanslicklater to be one of Wagner's foremost critical adversaries, wrote in in Vienna: In every step of Rienzi's career — from It's not just a musical question.
At the age of twenty-four this man, an innkeeper's son, persuaded the Roman people to drive out the corrupt Senate by reminding them of the magnificent past of the Roman Empire. Listening to this blessed music as a young man in the theater at Linz, I had the vision that I too must someday succeed in uniting the German Empire and making it great once more.
No full copies had been made of either version, as far as is known. However, Rienzi was never established by the composer into a finalized version, so all performances of it since have been reconstructions.
A vocal score of the early s, based on Wagner's draft, remains as the only existing primary source. Two surviving full scores made in Dresden in the early s under Wagner's supervision already reflect the heavy cuts made in performances.
The first printed score that was made under Wagner's supervision in reflects even heavier cuts. This edition was edited by Wagner scholars Reinhard Strohm and Egon Voss; it uses the extant sources but also contains the piano version prepared by Gustav Klink, which includes some of the passages excised from early performances.
It was constantly being altered during the s and, it seems, possibly throughout Wagner's lifetimeso it is not feasible to fully determine Wagner's exact or final intentions based on existing evidence.OMFO Omnipresence.
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