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Pygmalion (Benda)

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Monodrama by Georg Benda
Georg Benda in 1751
LibrettistFriedrich Wilhelm Gotter
Based onRousseau's Pygmalion
20 September 1779 (1779-09-20)

Pygmalion is a monodrama in one act by composer Georg Benda with a German libretto by Friedrich Wilhelm Gotter. The opera's first performance was at the Ekhof Theatre [de], the court theatre in Gotha, on 20 September 1779.[1] Pygmalion was the fourth of the five theatrical collaborations of Benda and Gotter. Gotter based his text on Jean-Jacques Rousseau's 1762 play Pygmalion. Benda's melodrama is unusual as it has no singing roles. Two of the three characters, Pygmalion and Galatea, are spoken roles; the other, Venus, is silently acted on stage.


Pygmalion, having renounced women, is in love with the statue he has made, his Galatea. Venus allows her to come to life, giving him final happiness.



  1. ^ Casaglia, Gherardo (2005). "Pygmalion, 20 September 1779". L'Almanacco di Gherardo Casaglia (in Italian).

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