Die Brautwahl

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Die Brautwahl (The Bridal Choice) is a "comic-fantastic" opera in three acts and an epilogue by Ferruccio Busoni. The German libretto, by Busoni himself, is based on a short story by E.T.A. Hoffmann. Busoni began work on this, his first completed opera, in 1905.

Die Brautwahl was first performed at the Stadttheater, Hamburg on April 12, 1912. It was not a success with audiences but its failure did not discourage the composer's ambition to write for the operatic stage.


Role Voice type Premiere Cast, 12 April 1912
Conductor: Gustav Brecher
Albertine soprano Elisabeth Schumann
Edmund Lehsen tenor Otto Marak
Dionysius Thusman tenor Willi Birrenkoven
Bensch tenor Eduard Lichtenstein
Voswindel baritone Hermann Wiedemann
Leonhard baritone Robert von Scheldt
Manasse bass Max Lohfing
Servant tenor Fritz Windgassen


The artist Edmund is in love with Albertine but he has many rivals for her hand. These include the "revenant" Manasse, his son Baron Bensch and the bureaucrat Thusman. The "bridal choice" of the title is finally decided by a trial involving three caskets which Edmund wins.