Schott Music

Skip to Main Content »

Language
 
Shopping Cart (0 item)
My Cart

You have no items in your shopping cart.

Behold the Sun – Die Wiedertäufer (Sehet die Sonne)

Behold the Sun – Die Wiedertäufer (Sehet die Sonne)

opera in three acts

libretto by John McGrath and the composer

German translation by Bernhard Laux


  • Edition: performance material
  • Language: English - German

 
Description
In Behold the Sun, Goehr takes the Anabaptist uprising in Münster in the 1530’s and presents it as a parable for our times. The Anabaptist leaders, inspired by a worthy ideal, are corrupted by power, overbalance into fanaticism and end by wreaking havoc not only on themselves but on countless innocent people. The propelling force is a type of religious communism, founded on their interpretation of the Bible without its moral discipline. Goehr and his co-librettist John McGrath, while keeping fairly close to the historical record, present the struggle on several levels: the rantings of the Anabaptists, the conflict between their two leaders, the divisive effects of the crisis on the city merchants and in particular on the domestic circle of a single family and its catastrophic outcome for the people as a whole. The authors do not attempt to preach; they allow the moral to emerge from the conflict. Only at the very end does Divara, successive wife of the two leaders, offer the audience a message of hope. The ideals remain valid, but human folly and intemperance too often muddy their execution. It is up to us to heed the warming and do better.
This is Goehr’s second full scale opera (after Arden Must Die for Hamburg in 1966) and he makes the chorus its central protagonists. There are four great choral moments, later collected together as a separate work, Babylon the Great is Fallen, but also scenes, like the opening one, of domestic simplicity. The original production was marred by tensions between the director and the composer and, apart from a fine radio production by the BBC in 1987, the work has yet to find a production that measures up to Goehr’s vision.
Details
Auftragswerk : commissioned by the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf-Duisburg to commemorate their 25th anniversary
Opus: op. 44
Performance duration: 160'0"
Publisher: Schott Music Ltd., London
Uraufführung : 19. April 1985 Duisburg, Deutsche Oper am Rhein (D) · Dirigent: Hiroshi Wakasugi · Inszenierung: Bohumil Herlischka · Bühnenbild: Ruodi Barth
Year of composition: 1981-1984
instrumentation: 3(2.,3.pic).2.ca.3(2.Ebcl,3.bcl).asax.2.cbsn-4.4(3.Bbtpt in Es,4.stage cornet in Bb).3.0-timp.4perc(crots, xyl, vib, tub bells, tri, cym (pair), sus cym (small and large), small Chinese gong, tam-t, tamb, s.d, 3tom-t, 2cong, b.d, marac, wdbl, 3tempbl, whip, sirene)-pno-str - Offstage band in Act I, Scene 2: 2pic-cornet.small tba-perc(cym, drum) Stage band in Act III, Scene 3: 2pic.Ebcl-cornet.small tba-perc(cym, drum)-vn.db
occupation: Mrs Berninck · mezzo-soprano - Christian · coloratura soprano - Berninck · baritone - Johann Matthys · baritone - Divara · soprano - Jan Bokelson · tenor - A blacksmith · bass - Knipperdollinck · baritone - The Prince-Bishop · baritone - A servant · tenor - A fishwife · soprano - A limping prophet · tenor - A captain · baritone - Dives · tenor - His wife and guests · silent parts - The people of Münster · SATB chorus - Anabaptists · small chorus - A dancer
Performances
Conductor: Hiroshi Wakasugi
1985-04-19 | Duisburg (Germany), Deutsche Oper am Rhein | World Premiere
In Behold the Sun, Goehr takes the Anabaptist uprising in Münster in the 1530’s and presents it as a parable for our times. The Anabaptist leaders, inspired by a worthy ideal, are corrupted by power, overbalance into fanaticism and end by wreaking havoc not only on themselves but on countless innocent people. The propelling force is a type of religious communism, founded on their interpretation of the Bible without its moral discipline. Goehr and his co-librettist John McGrath, while keeping fairly close to the historical record, present the struggle on several levels: the rantings of the Anabaptists, the conflict between their two leaders, the divisive effects of the crisis on the city merchants and in particular on the domestic circle of a single family and its catastrophic outcome for the people as a whole. The authors do not attempt to preach; they allow the moral to emerge from the conflict. Only at the very end does Divara, successive wife of the two leaders, offer the audience a message of hope. The ideals remain valid, but human folly and intemperance too often muddy their execution. It is up to us to heed the warming and do better.
This is Goehr’s second full scale opera (after Arden Must Die for Hamburg in 1966) and he makes the chorus its central protagonists. There are four great choral moments, later collected together as a separate work, Babylon the Great is Fallen, but also scenes, like the opening one, of domestic simplicity. The original production was marred by tensions between the director and the composer and, apart from a fine radio production by the BBC in 1987, the work has yet to find a production that measures up to Goehr’s vision.
Auftragswerk : commissioned by the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf-Duisburg to commemorate their 25th anniversary
Opus: op. 44
Performance duration: 160'0"
Publisher: Schott Music Ltd., London
Uraufführung : 19. April 1985 Duisburg, Deutsche Oper am Rhein (D) · Dirigent: Hiroshi Wakasugi · Inszenierung: Bohumil Herlischka · Bühnenbild: Ruodi Barth
Year of composition: 1981-1984
instrumentation: 3(2.,3.pic).2.ca.3(2.Ebcl,3.bcl).asax.2.cbsn-4.4(3.Bbtpt in Es,4.stage cornet in Bb).3.0-timp.4perc(crots, xyl, vib, tub bells, tri, cym (pair), sus cym (small and large), small Chinese gong, tam-t, tamb, s.d, 3tom-t, 2cong, b.d, marac, wdbl, 3tempbl, whip, sirene)-pno-str - Offstage band in Act I, Scene 2: 2pic-cornet.small tba-perc(cym, drum) Stage band in Act III, Scene 3: 2pic.Ebcl-cornet.small tba-perc(cym, drum)-vn.db
occupation: Mrs Berninck · mezzo-soprano - Christian · coloratura soprano - Berninck · baritone - Johann Matthys · baritone - Divara · soprano - Jan Bokelson · tenor - A blacksmith · bass - Knipperdollinck · baritone - The Prince-Bishop · baritone - A servant · tenor - A fishwife · soprano - A limping prophet · tenor - A captain · baritone - Dives · tenor - His wife and guests · silent parts - The people of Münster · SATB chorus - Anabaptists · small chorus - A dancer
Conductor: Hiroshi Wakasugi
1985-04-19 | Duisburg (Germany), Deutsche Oper am Rhein | World Premiere
Other Editions