The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Opera

By John Warrack; Ewan West | Go to book overview


Iago. A Venetian soldier, ensign to Otello, (ten) in Rossini's and (bar) in Verdi Orello.

Ibert, Jacques (b Paris, 15 Aug. 1890; d Paris, 5 Feb. 1962). French composer. Studied Paris with Vidal, Pessard, and Gédalge. His wide cultural interests and his love of drama found expression in seven operas, two of them in collaboration with Honegger. Almost all are in light vein. The witty farce Angélique( 1927), his most popular stage work, successfully re-creates the spirit of 19th-cent. French comic opera; he then turned with almost equal success to opéra-comique with Le roi d'Yvetot ( 1930). The more ambitious L'aiglon ( 1937) won more respect than popularity. Director, Union des Théâtres Lyriques from 1955.

Ice Break, The. Opera in 3 acts by Tippett; text by the composer. Prem. London, CG, 7 July 1977.

N America, present-day. The subject of the opera is stereotypes -- their imprisoning characteristics and the need for rebirth. After 20 years in prison camps, Lev (bs) arrives in a new world to join his wife Nadia (sop), who had emigrated with their baby son Yuri. Also at the airport are Yuri's girlfriend Gayle (sop) and her black friend Hannah (mez), there to meet the black 'champion' Olympion (ten) together with his fan club. Out of a series of violent tensions, individual and collective, there develops a riot in which Olympion and Gayle are killed and Yuri (bar) is near-fatally injured. Nadia dies peacefully. During an interlude in which a group attempts a psychedelic 'trip', the messenger Astron (mez and high ten or counter-ten) is mistaken for God, though he disclaims his divinity. Yuri is operated on by Luke (ten), a young doctor, and, released from the cracking plaster, he finds reconciliation with his father.

'Ich bane ganz auf deine Stärke'. Belmonte's (ten) aria in Act III of Mozart Die Entführung aus dem Serail, which he is instructed by Pedrillo to sing so as to conceal the placing of the escape ladders to the seraglio windows.

'Ich sah das Kind'. Kundry's (sop) narration in Act II of Wagner Parsifal, in which she relates to Parsifal the grief of his mother Herzeleide when he left her never to return.

Idamante. Idomeneo's son (sop cas, or ten), lover of Ilia, in Mozart Idomeneo.

Idomeueo, re di Creta. Opera in 3 acts by Mozart; text by G. B. Varesco, after Danchet's text for Campra Idomenée ( 1712) and the ancient legend. Prem. Munich 29 Jan. 1781. Sidon, in Crete, shortly after the end of the Trojan wars. Idomeneo, King of Crete (ten), has sent home from Troy captives including Ilia (sop), daughter of King Priam. She and Idomeneo's son Idamante (sop cas or ten) are in love, though he has not declared himself: Elettra (sop) also loves him. The impending return of Idomeneo is the sign for an amnesty of prisoners. But a sudden storm causes the King to vow to the sea-god Nettuno (Neptune, bs) a sacrifice of the first living thing he meets on shore. This is his son. Horrified, he hurries away without speaking; a joyful chorus welcomes the warriors.

The King tries to evade his vow by sending Idamante to escort Elettra home to Argos, much to the distress of Ilia. But a storm arises, and there appears a monster who ravages the island. The people hold that some unknown sinner has offended the gods, and Idomeneo admits his guilt and is ready to die.

Idamante and Ilia declare their love before he sets out to attack the monster. Elettra, mad with jealousy, interrupts, followed by the King, who is torn between guilt and anxiety for his son. He is forced, by the people's demand for a victim, to reveal the truth. On hearing that the monster has been killed by Idamante, the High Priest hesitates to make the sacrifice. Idamante nevertheless offers himself as a victim so as not to break his father's vow. But the voice of the god spares him, announcing that Idomeneo must abdicate. Idamante ascends the throne with Ilia at his side.

Mozart revised Idomeneo for what was probably a concert perf. in Vienna in 1786, rewriting the part of Idamante for a tenor (originally for sop cas), and it is in this version that the work is usually performed.


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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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