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Masquerade

Carl Nielsen 1865–1931

Comic Opera in 3 acts
Libretto by Vilhelm Andersen based on a comedy (1724) by Ludvig Holberg.
New German version by Martin G. Berger based on Hans-Erich Heller's line by line translation.
First performed November 11 1906, Royal Danish Theatre, Copenhagen
Never performed in Frankfurt before

Sung in German with German & English surtitles

Introduction (on video, in German) will appear here and on YouTube shortly before opening night

The wealthy patrician Jeronimus is very dubious about the new craze for masked balls: identities get blurred and the old order is threatened with collapse. But his son Leander has just fallen in love with an unknown beauty at just such a masquerade, and she with him, so refuses to go along with his father's plans and marry Jeronimus’ business friend Leonard's daughter Leonora. Leonard secretly succumbs to the seductive lure of the masquerade, as does Jeronimus' wife Magdelone, whom he sidles up to at the ball, incognito. Leander's wily servant Henrik can deal with every situation and skillfully intervenes on his master's behalf. In the end, after all sorts of complications, it turns out that the Leonora Leander's father wanted him to marry is the unknown beauty at the masked ball, to whom he has sworn eternal love.

Carl Nielsen's amusing opera was inspired by a 1724 comedy by Ludvig Holberg, the »Danish Molière«. Maskerade, Denmark's national opera, is not often performed in other countries. The score combines folk songs with Mozartian lightness, sultry romantic cantilenas and energetic dances. The orchestration is ingenious and full of harmonic and contrapuntal surprises. A new German verse edition has been commissioned for Frankfurt from the translator and director Martin G. Berger, based on a linear translation by Hans-Erich Heller. It communicates the 1906 Danish libretto's exuberance in a present day language, with linguistic wit, which allows the comedy to blossom.

With generous support from the