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Work data
Title: Euryanthe
Euryanthe and Adolar in the third act

Euryanthe and Adolar in the third act

Shape: Great romantic opera in three acts
Original language: German
Music: Carl Maria von Weber
Libretto : Helmina von Chézy
Premiere: October 25, 1823
Place of premiere: Vienna, Theater am Kärntnertor
Playing time: about 3 hours
Place and time of the action: France, the castle of Préméry, as well as the castle of Nevers, after the peace with England in 1110
  • King Ludwig VI. ( Bass )
  • Adolar, Count of Nevers ( tenor )
  • Lysiart, Count of Forest and Beaujolois ( baritone )
  • Euryanthe of Savoy, Bride Adolars ( soprano )
  • Eglantine von Puiset, captive daughter of a rebel (soprano)
  • Berta, country girl, bride of Rudolf (soprano)
  • Rudolf, knight, bridegroom Berta (tenor)
  • Princes, princesses, knights, squires, hunters, vassals, country people, castle dwellers, minstrels, heralds, satellites, brushwoods ( choir , extras)
  • Peasant women, farmers (ballet)

Euryanthe ( Jähn's catalog raisonné J. 291, op. 81) is a great romantic opera in three acts by Carl Maria von Weber . The text is from Helmina von Chézy , b. Freiin von Klencke. It was composed between 1822 and 1823. The world premiere took place on October 25, 1823 with the only 17-year-old Henriette Sontag in the title role under the direction of the composer in the Theater am Kärntnertor in Vienna.


First elevator

First picture

Hypostyle hall of the royal castle in Gothic style with a view of the Loire landscape.

At a festival that the king gives in his castle in honor of his victorious warriors, Adolar sings a song in honor of his bride Euryanthe. When Lysiart doubts this loyalty, Adolar initially refuses to duel with him. Lysiart, however, proposes a wager: if he can convict Euryanthe of infidelity, Adolar must transfer all of his property to him. Adolar accepts this bet.

Second picture

Castle garden at Nevers. In the garden a vaulted vault planted with flowers, from whose windows the Eternal Lamp dawns.

Euryanthe reveals to Eglantine, who feigns concerned friendship, the secret of Adolars, which she has promised to keep: Emma, ​​Adolar's sister, has killed herself with a poisoned ring out of lovesickness and is now a ghost. She can only find rest as soon as the poison ring “wets innocence tears in the highest suffering”. With the help of this knowledge, Eglantine wants to take revenge on Adolar for having spurned her.

second elevator

First picture

Columned hall of the royal castle with a view of the Loire landscape. Stormy sky. Night.

Lysiart, who has failed to seduce Euryanthe, joins Eglantine in common revenge. Eglantine stole Emma's ring from the grave and is now offering it to Lysiart as evidence of Euryanthe's 'infidelity'. In return, Lysiart promises her marriage.

Second picture

Festively illuminated pillared hall of the royal castle.

Adolar receives his bride Euryanthe at the king's court. Lysiart explains to him that he has won the bet and tells the story of the poisoned ring with which Adolar's sister killed herself. As evidence, he shows everyone the stolen ring. Euryanthe falls silent in shock and appears so guilty. Adolar curses them, and Lysiart receives Adolar's lands as the prize of the winning bet.

third elevator

First picture

Barren rocky gorge surrounded by thick bushes. A steep path leads over a hill on the right, in the foreground on the left a spring surrounded by weeping willows. Full moon night.

Adolar wants to kill Euryanthe in a deserted forest. But then a snake falls on him and attacks him. Euryanthe throws herself between them protectively. Adolar is saved by Euryanthe. He no longer wants to kill her because of her alleged infidelity, but leaves her alone in the wilderness. Euryanthe is accidentally saved by the king and his hunting party. She tells the king of Eglantine's intrigue. The king promises to clear the matter up and has Euryanthe escorted back to the castle.

Second picture

Free space in front of Nevers Castle. From the entrance gate at the top left, a path leads down over a drawbridge. In the foreground right and left the huts of the country folk.

Adolar learns of Eglantine's intrigue from the country folk of his previous property. When Lysiart approaches in the wedding procession with Eglantine, Adolar meets them. A quarrel breaks out, which the king interrupts with the news of Euryanthe's death. Thereupon Eglantine reveals in wild triumph or mental derangement the intrigue whose victim the innocent Euryanthe has become. Lysiart, who sees himself betrayed by her, stabs her and is sentenced to death. Hunters bring the news that Euryanthe is alive. Euryanthe and Adolar can now be happy together. Adolar believes that through Euryanthe's innocent suffering and her willingness to make sacrifices, his deceased sister has finally found her peace.



The orchestral line-up for the opera includes the following instruments:


Weber's score shows harmonic boldness that Richard Wagner took up again. In general, the Euryanthe documents the close relationship between Wagner and Weber most clearly. Wagner particularly takes up the beginning of the second act in Lohengrin : the Ortrud - Telramund couple is musically designed like the Eglantine - Lysiart couple. The thesis that Wagner's ideas of the total work of art could have their origin with Carl Maria von Weber does not seem so absurd , especially with regard to Lohengrin's relationship with Euryanthe .


Title page of the libretto, Vienna 1824

In the late autumn of 1821 Weber was commissioned to compose an opera for the Kärntnertortheater in Vienna. Weber immediately accepted the commission, although he actually wanted to finish composing The Three Pintos for Dresden. Weber had great difficulties with the text book for Euryanthe after the rift with the Freischütz librettist Friedrich Kind could no longer be fixed. An ideal connection for Weber would perhaps have been the partnership with the poet composer Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann ; but in October 1821 Weber applied for the authorship of the libretto of his next opera, Helmina von Chézy, who had been a member of the Dresden “Liederkreis” since 1817. From von Chézy's suggested themes - including the Magelone and Melusine fabrics - Weber chose the medieval epic about the fictional Count Gerard von Nevers and his lover Euryanthe of Savoy, whose classical version was written by the French poet Gerbert de Montreuil as Roman de la Violette (1227 –1229) was written. The main source of the libretto was the prose story based on the epic, L'histoire de tres-noble et chevalereux prince Gerard conte de Nevers et de Rethel et de la vertueuse et tres chaste princesse Euriant de Savoye s'amye (1520).

Helmina von Chézy, who had published a German translation of the story as early as 1804 (as the story of the virtuous Euryanthe of Savoy ), did not, however, know how to concentrate the extensive plot of the epic on a few essential elements, but instead dealt with the literary template apart. The version she developed neither conveys an appropriate atmosphere, nor does it meet the scenic demands of an opera libretto; often it comes across as weird unintentionally. In his desperation over this largely unusable text book, Weber asked the poet Ludwig Tieck , who advised Weber to set something similar to music , such as Shakespeare's Tragedie of Cymbeline , to music. However, the composer could not get used to it either and instead tried to intervene with his own ideas in order to save the textbook for his opera. In doing so, however, he himself contributed to the difficulties of the libretto. A central problem should be the replacement of Euryanthe's physical secret - a mole on her chest - with the gruesomely romantic Emma motif, which, according to more recent research literature, was based on Weber's idea. To this day, the inconsistencies of the libretto are the main reason for the reluctance of the opera houses to perform the opera Euryanthe , although Weber's only thoroughly composed opera deserves a permanent place in the repertoire due to the composition .

The first performance took place on October 25, 1823 in the Theater am Kärntnertor in Vienna under the direction of the composer. Joseph Seipelt (King Ludwig VI.), Anton Haizinger (Adolar), Anton Forti (Lysiart), Henriette Sontag (Euryanthe von Savoyen), Therese Grünbaum (Eglantine von Puiset), Henriette Theimer-Forti (Berta) and Jakob Wilhelm sang " Giacomo “Rauscher (Rudolf). The first performance in Dresden followed on March 31, 1824. The ensemble there campaigned with tremendous zeal for the new opera by the Freischütz composer, above all the excellent singer-actress Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient as Euryanthe. Success finally set in, and Ludwig Tieck confirmed to the composer that there were “things in this opera that Gluck and Mozart should envy”. The Berlin premiere on December 23, 1825 was also a triumph for the composer.

In 1954 Kurt Honolka tried to rework the libretto for the Württemberg State Opera in Stuttgart . Well-attended performances were the result of this new opera text, and Ferdinand Leitner's conducting also contributed significantly to the success.

Recordings / sound carriers


  • Gerbert de Montreuil : History of the virtuous Euryanthe of Savoy . Translated and edited by Wilhelmine von Chézy on behalf of Friedrich Schlegel . Junius, Leipzig 1804.
  • Gerbert de Montreuil: Euryanthe of Savoy . From the manuscript of the Royal Library of Paris: Histoire de Gerard de Nevers et de la belle et vertuese Euryant de Savoye, see Mie. Translated by Helmina von Chézy. Association bookstore, Berlin 1823.


  • Michael C. Tusa: Euryanthe and Carl Maria von Weber's Dramaturgy of German Opera (= Studies in Musical Genesis and Structure ). Clarendon, Oxford 1991.
  • Marita Fullgraf: Attempts to save an opera: The music-dramaturgical arrangements of the Euryanthe by Carl Maria Von Weber . Pfau, Saarbrücken 1997.
  • Till Gerrit Waidelich: Your hands are so tied by Weber's deception”. Helmina von Chézy's struggle for copyrights to her Euryanthe libretto in her correspondence and draft letters. In: Weberiana 18 (2008), pp. 33-68.
  • Oswald Panagl : Little admired and much scolded. Helmina von Chézy as lyricist for Carl Maria von Weber (Euryanthe) and Franz Schubert (Rosamunde) . In: Jürgen Kühnel, Ulrich Müller and Oswald Panagl (eds.): The 'Schaubühne' in the epoch of Freischütz. Romantic theater and musical theater. Lectures at the Salzburg Symposium 2007. Mueller-Speiser, Anif / Salzburg 2009, pp. 423–435.
  • Markus Bandur , Thomas Betzwieser , Frank Ziegler (eds.): Euryanthe interpretations. Studies and documents on the “Great Romantic Opera” by Helmina von Chézy and Carl Maria von Weber (= Weber Studies , Volume 10). Schott Music, Mainz 2018, ISBN 3-7957-0387-5 , ISBN 978-3-7957-0387-5 (with contributions by Sabine Henze-Döhring , F. Ziegler, S. Jahnke, Till Gerrit Waidelich, Jürgen Maehder , Joachim Veit , Hans-Joachim Hinrichsen , Arne Langer and Jürgen Schläder ).

Web links

Commons : Euryanthe  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Carl Dahlhaus / Sieghart Döhring : Euryanthe. In: Piper's Encyclopedia of Musical Theater . Volume 6: Works. Spontini - Zumsteeg. Piper, Munich / Zurich 1997, ISBN 3-492-02421-1 , pp. 668-672.
  2. ^ Michael Charles Tusa: Euryanthe and Carl Maria von Weber's dramaturgy of German opera. Clarendon, Oxford 1991.
  3. October 25, 1823: “Euryanthe”. In: L'Almanacco di Gherardo Casaglia ..