Puck (opera)

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Puck is an opéra-féerique in three acts with music by Marcel Delannoy, premiered in 1949. The French libretto was adapted by André Boll from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream.[1]

Background[edit]

It was first performed at the Opéra Municipal in Strasbourg on 29 January 1949 directed by Roger Lalande with scenery and costumes designed by Boll.[2] The Strasbourg production was seen at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on 17 November 1949 and at the Theater des Westens in Berlin on 22 September 1951.[3] The Paris Conservatoire Orchestra conducted by André Cluytens played a suite from Puck at their concert on 21 May 1956.[4]

There was much media coverage of the premiere and a generally positive welcome for the work.[2] The story is loosely based on the play by Shakespeare and mixes traditional opéra comique elements with dance (the title role) and actors.[3] Grove talks of the opera’s "mobile declamation oscillating between speech and song".[1]

Roles and role creators[edit]

Role Voice type Cast of premiere,[2] 29 January 1949.
Conductor: Ernest Bour
Puck dancer Roland April
Titania soprano Mona Million
Obéron bass Georges Jongejeans
A fairy soprano Nany Arnaud
Thésée tenor Roger Barnier
Démétrius tenor Paul Derenne
Hélène mezzo-soprano Marika Stephanidès
Lysandre bariton-martin Georges Verguet
Hermia soprano Jacqueline Drozin
Quince tenor Kedroff
Bottom tenor René Hérent
Snug baritone Akiaroff
Flute bass Borissoff
Égée spoken Paul Parmentier
Hippolyte silent Eveline Mischke

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hoérée, Arthur. Marcel Delannoy. In: The New Grove Dictionary of Opera. Macmillan, London and New York, 1997.
  2. ^ a b c Feschotte J. Création à Strasbourg: Puck. In: Almanach de la Musique 1950. Éditions de Flore, Paris, 128-129.
  3. ^ a b Le personnage de Puck du modèle shakespearien à l’opéra contemporain (Britten, Vreuls, Delannoy, Gerber). Lehn M. Thesis, Université de Paris – Sorbonne, 2008. Accessed 13 February 2011.
  4. ^ Baeck E. André Cluytens: Itinéraire d’un chef d’orchestre. Editions Mardaga, Wavre, 2009.