Giuditta

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Giuditta is an operatic musikalische Komödie (German - musical comedy) in five scenes, with music by Franz Lehár and a German libretto, by Paul Knepler and Fritz Löhner. Scored for a large orchestra, it was Lehár's last and most ambitious work, written on a larger scale than his previous operettas. Of all his works it is the one which most approaches true opera, the resemblances between the story and that of Bizet's Carmen and its unhappy ending heightening the resonances. Perhaps the best known song in the work is the soprano aria "Meine Lippen, sie küssen so heiß", sung by Giuditta in the fourth scene.

The work received its first performance at the Vienna State Opera on 20 January 1934, with Jarmila Novotná and Richard Tauber in the leading roles.

Roles[edit]

Role Voice type Premiere Cast,
January 20, 1934
(Conductor: Clemens Krauss )
Anita, a fishergirl soprano Margit Bokor
Antonio baritone Josef Knapp
Giuditta soprano Jarmila Novotná
Manuele Biffi, Giuditta's husband baritone Hermann Wiedemann
Octavio tenor Richard Tauber
Pierrino, a fruit seller tenor Georg Maikl
Professor Martini bass Viktor Madin
Sebastiano tenor Erich Zimmermann

Synopsis[edit]

The alluring Giuditta abandons her husband Manuele, and runs off with Octavio, an army officer, to North Africa. Military obligations intervene, and Octavio leaves Giuditta behind. She becomes a night club dancer, only to be discovered by Octavio, after he eventually deserts his unit. Giuditta is a success in her new profession, but Octavio's self-esteem is destroyed, and he becomes a club pianist.

Recording[edit]

Original Cast recordings of six numbers were made in Vienna by Odeon on 11 January 1934, with the composer conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. These include four solos by Tauber, one by Novotna, and their duet 'Schön wie die blaue Sommernacht'.

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ Lamb, Andrew, "Record Reviews: Giuditta (July 1970). The Musical Times, 111 (1529): pp. 717-718.

Sources