Reigen - ( 2018 )
Libretto and lyrics by Susanne Paasch after Arthur Schnitzler
opera for ten singers and chamber ensemble
Collaborating with Susanne Paasch on several works as suggested by me, this time I asked Susanne to suggest her choice. Arthur Schnitzler's play -- Reigen -- was that choice. Already set as an opera with a large orchestra, we discussed a smaller work with original songs for a character in each scene to conclude the ten scenes, as well as a different approach, combining opera with "musical entertainment" of a more popular sort and style. This work of ten scenes with nine short instrumental interludes will be the result.
From this, in addition to the 'light' opera, a songbook of ten songs and an instrumental suite is available, entitled Reigen Liederbuch .
The cast members are: die Dirne (soprano), der Soldat (tenor), Stubenmädchen (mezzo soprano), der Junge Herr (baritone), die junge Frau (soprano), der Ehegatte (tenor), das süße Mädel (mezzo soprano), Der Dichter (baritone), Die Schauspielerin (soprano), der Graf (tenor), with a thought that alternating the voices could allow a smaller number of singers to play the required roles. The German texts have the dialect as captured by Schnitzler re-made into a more standard, modern German. No English translation is planned for this work, nor of the original rhymed song lyrics with their intended echoes of earlier popular German songs and song styles.
The chamber ensemble is: Clarinet in B flat, Bass Clarinet, Trumpet in B flat, Percussion (1 player), Keyboards (celesta and piano, 1 player), four solo Violins, Viola, Violoncello and Contrabass..
It was planned that four singers could alternate in the various roles if desired by a production. When a complete cast of ten singers is wished for, the ranges and noted tessitura are as follows:
die Dirne (Sopran)
der Soldat (Tenor)
das Stubenmädchen (Mezzosopran)
der junge Herr (Bariton)
die junge Frau (Sopran)
der Ehegatte (Tenor)
das süße Mädel (Mezzosopran)
der Dichter (Bariton)
die Schauspielerin (Sopran)
der Graf (Tenor)
Between the ten scenes are nine episodes -- Zwischenspielen -- of about one minute duration, for the purposes of quick scene changes.
The individual songs with texts by Susanne Paasch are available as our songbook -- Reigen Liederbuch