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Music Text

Libretto by Martin Esslin after Shelley's verse drama 'The Cenci' (E)


S,M,A,3T,2Bar,2B; small roles; chorus;
susp.cym/BD/tgl/xyl/glsp/vib/cyms/tam-t/lg tam-t/t.bells/TD/SD-harp-

Abbreviations (PDF)

For full details on this stagework, including synopsis and roles, please visit our Opera section.

Boosey & Hawkes

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.


World Premiere
Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
Pro Musica Chorus of London / London Chamber Symphony / Odaline de la Martinez
World stage premiere
Max K. Hoffmann, director / Theater Magdeburg / Mathias Husmann
Repertoire Note

Goldschmidt’s second opera was one of four prize-winning works in the British Arts Council’s ‘Festival of Britain’ competition in 1949, but it never received the promised performance and had to wait forty years for its concert premiere in London in 1988 and its staged premiere in Magdeburg in 1994. Consciously written in a modern ‘bel canto’ idiom, Beatrice Cenci is a more opulent and romantic opera than its predecessor and contains some of Goldschmidt’s most passionate and eloquent music.

Press Quotes

"Its story is moving, its framework taut and its web of themes individually memorable."
Daily Telegraph

"...disturbing, allusive and pungently beautiful."
Boston Globe

"Goldschmidt's opera music deserves a firm place in the repertoire: written so that the text is truly sung, the music is rich and colourful, stimulating and touching; the singers are helped by its easy vocal lines, and the listener held spellbound by its graphic, illustrative power..."
Westdeutscher Zeitung

Recommended Recording

Gal James, Christoph Pohl, Dshamilja Kaiser, Christina Bock / Prager Philharmonischer Chor / Wiener Symphoniker / Johannes Debus, cond. / Johannes Erath, dir. (Bregenzer Festspiele 2018)
C Major / Unitel DVD 751408 / Bluray 751504


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