The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Opera

By John Warrack; Ewan West | Go to book overview

A

Abbado, Claudio (b Milan, 26 June 1933). Italian conductor. Studied Milan, Vienna with Swarowsky. Won Koussevitsky and Mitropoulos competitions ( 1958 and 1963). Milan, S, 1961, music dir. 1971-86; London, CG, 1968; New York, M, 1968. Salzburg since 1965, including first visit by a British symphony orch. (LSO) in 1973. Vienna, S, music dir. 1986-91. Although recognized as an especially fine conductor of Verdi, and Italian opera generally, Abbado's intelligent musicianship encompasses a wide stylistic range. He has conducted much contemporary opera, including works by Nono and Manzoni, with whose Atomtod he made his Salzburg début in 1965, and has conducted distinguished revivals in Vienna, including Khovanshchina (with Stravinsky's ending) and Schubert's Fiertubras. Artistic dir., Salzburg Fest. from 1994 (Boris Godunov there same year). (R)

Abbatini, Antonio Maria (bCittà di Castello, 26 Jan. 1595; dCittà di Castello, ? 1679). Italian composer and scholar. His first stage work, Dal male il bene ( 1654), written in collaboration with Marazzoli, was a seminal work in the history of opera buffa.

Abbott. Emma (b Chicago, 9 Dec. 1850; d Salt Lake City, 5 Jan. 1891). US soprano. Studied New York with Achille Errani and in Europe with Wartel, Sangiovanni, and Delle Sedie. Début London, CG, 1876 ( Marie, Lafille du régiment) and New York 1877 (same role). Married Eugene Wetherell 1875; together promoted Emma Abbott English Grand OC. Introduced 'specialities'. such as popular ballads, into operas in which she appeared.

Abencérages, Les, ou L'étendard de Grenade. Opera in 3 acts by Cherubini; text by V. J. Étienne de Jouy, after J. P. Rorian's novel Gonzalve de Cordove ( 1791). Prem. Paris, O, 6 Apr. 1813, in the presence of Napoleon. The plot tells of the disputed triumphs of Almansor, the last of the Moorish Abenceragi warriors, and his final overthrow at Granada in 1492.

Abigaille. Nabucco's supposed daughter (sop) in Verdi's Nabucco. abonnement (Fr.: 'subscription'). The term used in German and French opera-houses for the various subscription series, the financial mainstay of the season. The subscribers are known in Germany as Abonnenten, in France as abonnées, in Italy as abbonati.

Ábrányi, Emil (b Budapest, 22 Sept. 1882; d Budapest, 11 Feb. 1970). Hungarian composer, son of Emil ( 1851-1920), a poet, librettist, and translator of many librettos into Hungarian, including Tristan and Carmen. Emil jun. composed a number of operas, some to his father's texts. His works include Monna Vanna ( 1907), Paolo és Francesca ( 1912), Don Quijote ( 1917), and an opera on Bach, A Tamás-templom kamagya ( 1947). Music dir. Cologne 1904-6, Hanover 1907-11, Budapest from 1911 in various theatres.

Abrelse, Die (The Departure), Opera in 1 act by D'Albert; text by Ferdinand von Sporck, after August von Steigentesch's drama. Prem. Frankfurt 28 Oct. 1898.

A simple story about the efforts of Trott (ten) to persuade a suspicious Gilfen (bar) to depart on a much-delayed journey, thus leaving Luise (sop), Gilfen's neglected wife, free to receive his advances. Gilfen pretends to leave, but soon returns to discover that his fears were well grounded and that Trott is already wooing his wife. Eventually, it is Trott who is sent off, his attentions having served to renew Gilfen's devotion to Luise.

'Abscheulicher!'. Leonore's (sop) aria in Act I of Beethoven's Fidelio, in which she first rages against her husband Florestan's imprisoner Don Pizarro, and then prays for a rescue.

Abu Hassan. Opera in 1 act by Weber; text by Franz Carl Hiemer, after a tale in the 1,001 Nights (added by Antoine Galland to the original collection; pub. 1712). Prem. Munich 4 June 1811.

Abu Hassan (ten) and his devoted wife Fatime (sop) are being pursued for debt by the money-lender Omar (bs). Their ruse of attempting to obtain funeral money for each other's faked death from the Caliph and his wife Zobaide (both spoken roles) is eventually exposed, but they are forgiven. Omar,

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Opera
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Key to Vocal Compasses x
  • Abbreviations xi
  • A 1
  • B 28
  • C 72
  • D 112
  • E 144
  • F 157
  • G 181
  • H 218
  • I 241
  • J 251
  • K 259
  • L 277
  • M 305
  • N 356
  • O 370
  • P 384
  • Q 419
  • R 421
  • S 449
  • T 505
  • U 525
  • V 529
  • W 545
  • X 563
  • Y 564
  • Z 565
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