Opera Scotland

Son and Stranger Die Heimkehr aus der Fremde; The Return from Abroad

Music

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (born Hamburg, 3 February 1809; died Leipzig, 4 November 1847)

Text

Karl Klingemann

Source

Original

 

Premieres

First Performance: Berlin, 26 December 1829 (private).

First Public Performance: Leipzig, 10 April 1851.

First Performance in UK: London (Little Haymarket Theatre), 7 July 1851.

First Performance in Scotlanf: to be confirmed.

Scottish Opera premiere: N/A.

 

Background

Mendelssohn's six operas were all small-scale pieces composed during his childhood, of which Die Heimkehr was the last. After the success of his oratorios he returned to the genre shortly before his death, but Die Loreley was left only in sketch form. Like the earlier works, Die Heimkehr is simple in plot but musically attractive. Mendelssohn composed it for his parents' silver wedding celebrations, and it was performed at home on that occasion, and not revived in his lifetime.

 

Characters

Kanz, a pedlar (baritone)

Martin (bass)

Ursula (mezzo-soprano)

Lisbeth (soprano)

Mayor (bass)

Hermann, his son (tenor)

 

Plot Summary

Hermann, the son of a magistrate, has been away on his travels for six years. An itinerant pedlar called Kanz takes advantage of this to pass himself off as the son and pay court to a village girl. It is his misfortune that Hermann chooses this precise time to return home, resulting in the exposure of the imposture.

The Cast

Hermann
 
Kanz
 a pedlar
Lisbeth
 
Martin
 
Mayor
 
Ursula
 

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