Vincenzo Bellini’s “La Straniera” in Vienna


Straniera_244x599La straniera

Melodramma in two acts (1829)

Music by Vincenzo Bellini
Libretto by Felice Romani based on the novel
“L´étrangère” by Charles-Victor Prévost Vicomte D´Arlincourt

In Italian with German surtitles

An enthusiastic Vincenzo Bellini wrote of Victor d’Arlincourt’s successful novel L’etrangère: “It is a book full of exciting moments, and all are new and marvellous.” In the book he found material replete with extreme characters in situations of exceptional emotion which he could use to develop his ideas of the romantic opera. In La straniera he produced his most radical score. Hector Berlioz, not one who found much to admire in Italian opera, was impressed by this music, feeling that “deep passions, painful emotion” and a “fearful cry of insane love” had been incorporated in the composition.


actor role
Conductor Paolo Arrivabeni
Director Christof Loy
Set design Annette Kurz
Costume design Ursula Renzenbrink
Light design Franck Evin
Dramaturgy Thomas Jonigk
Alaide Edita Gruberova (14., 18., 22. & 26. January)
Alaide Marlis Petersen (16. 24. & 28. January)
Arturo, Conte di Ravenstel Dario Schmunck (14., 18., 22. & 26. January)
Arturo, Conte di Ravenstel Norman Reinhardt (16., 24. & 28. January)
Isoletta Theresa Kronthaler
Barone Valdeburgo Franco Vassallo
Osburgo Vladimir Dmitruk (JET)
Il Signore di Montolino Martin Snell
Il priore degli Spedalieri Stefan Cerny
Orchestra ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien
Chorus Arnold Schoenberg Choir

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
January 2015
14 16 18
22 24
26 28


Count Arturo is engaged to Isoletta, but has fallen in love with a mysterious stranger who lives alone in the woods. The villagers think she is a witch. Arturo wants to run away with her, but the stranger refuses. Arturo’s friend Baron Valdeburgo tries to persuade him to go back to Isoletta. To elicit Valdeburgo’s sympathy for his plight, Arturo takes him to the stranger. To Arturo’s astonishment, the stranger and Valdeburgo greet one another with a tender embrace. The jealous Arturo immediately fights a duel with his friend, and Valdeburgo falls into the lake. The stranger’s cry of “You have killed my brother!” explains the affectionate greeting. Arturo plunges into the lake, leaving the despairing stranger alone with the bloodstained rapier. This is how the villagers find her, and they accuse her of murdering the two men. At the trial, both men reappear, still alive, thus proving the stranger’s innocence. Arturo still refuses to give up his passion for her. On the day of his wedding to Isoletta he runs away from the altar. When it emerges that the stranger is in fact the wife of the King of France and was forced to live in exile, Arturo stabs himself.

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