Der Rattenfänger von Hameln

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Der Rattenfänger von Hameln (The Rat-Catcher of Hamelin or The Piper of Hamelin) is a grand opera (Grosse Oper) in five acts by Viktor Nessler. The German libretto was by Friedrich Hofmann based on a romantic poem by Julius Wolff.

Performance history[edit]

The opera was first performed at the Neues Stadttheater in Leipzig, on 19 March 1879. The first performance in America was at the Thalia Theatre, New York City on 28 April 1886 under John Lund.[1]

The premiere in Vienna was given in 1897, which the critic Eduard Hanslick attended. He regarded the opera as over long and old fashioned.

Roles[edit]

Role Voice type Premiere Cast, March 19, 1879
(Conductor: Arthur Nikisch )
Hunold Singuf, the rat-catcher baritone
Bertholdus de Sunneborne, the bailiff bass
Heribert de Sunneborne, son of Bertholdus, in love with Regina tenor
Ethelerus, a clerk, also in love with Regina tenor
Gertrud, a fisher-girl soprano
Wulf, a smith, in love with Gertrude baritone
Isfried Rhynperg, canon bass
Wichard Gruwelhot, the mayor bass
Regina, the mayor's daughter soprano
Dorothea, Regina's cousin contralto

Synopsis[edit]

This is the 13th century tale of Hunold Singuf, the "pied piper" who rids the town of Hamelin of its rats. Hunold is not suitably rewarded by the townspeople, and they pay a terrible price when he lures all the children away and they disappear.

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