The Bell Tower

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The Bell Tower
Chamber opera by Ernst Krenek
Librettist Krenek
Language English
Based on novella by Herman Melville
Premiere March 17, 1957 (1957-03-17)
University of Illinois

The Bell Tower is a chamber opera in one act by Ernst Krenek, his Op. 153. The English libretto by the composer was inspired by the novella story by Herman Melville, the events only mysteriously hinted at in the story becoming a point of departure for the explicit dramatic action of Krenek's piece.[1] It was commissioned by the Fromm Foundation and written in 1955–56, receiving its premiere on 17 March 1957 at the University of Illinois (recorded on CRS 5).


Role Voice type Premiere Cast,
(Conductor: )
Bannadonna baritone
Giovanni bass
Una soprano



  1. ^ author's forward in Prosa Dramen Verse (1965)