Golem (Bretan opera)

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This article is about the opera by Bretan. For the opera by Eugen d'Albert, see Der Golem (opera). For the German silent film, see The Golem: How He Came into the World.

Golem is a one-act opera by Nicolae Bretan to his own libretto, based on the legend of the Golem as expressed in a drama by Illés Kaczér. It was written over a brief period in 1923, and was first performed in Cluj on 23 December 1924. It was not performed in the U.S. until its 1990 premiere at Opera Omaha under the stage direction of Keith Warner, who was then the company's assistant artistic director.

Roles[edit]

Roles Voice type Premiere Cast, 1924
(Conductor: Nicolae Bretan )
Rabbi Lőw tenor Ö. Réthely
Anna, (his granddaughter) soprano E. Bethlen
Golem baritone M. Takács
Baruch, the Rabbi's disciple bass F. Harksay
Chorus of the Autumn Winds

Synopsis[edit]

Prague in the 16th century. Rabbi Lőw (based on the historical figure), has created the Golem, a living creature, from clay. The Golem falls in love with the Rabbi's granddaughter, thereby infecting her with a fatal illness. The Rabbi destroys the Golem to save his granddaughter.

Recording[edit]

  • Moldova Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Cristian Mandeal. Nimbus Records NI5424 (1987).