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Music Text

Libretto by Poly Henrion (G)


off-stage: mixed chorus & accordion

Abbreviations (PDF)


Boosey & Hawkes / Bote & Bock

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

World Premiere
Meysels Theater, Berlin
Company: Aurélie, Grobecker, Leisch, Lipsky


GALATEA, a statue Coloratura Soprano
PYGMALION, a your sculptor Tenor
GANYMEDE, his manservant Mezzo-Soprano
MIDAS, an art lover Buffo Tenor
Pilgrims mixed chorus

The sculptor Pygmalion is more than displeased at the social development of women and is particularly disquieted by their emancipatory ambitions. He has created a statue of Galatea, his ideal woman. He jealously conceals his creation from the eyes of the world. Nevertheless, with such an ideal woman it is not very long before the inevitable happens: the sculptor falls head over heels in love with his creation and in desperation asks Venus to awaken her to life. Venus grants his wish. Pygmalion is overjoyed and is eager to experience his dream come true in the flesh: however, he soon finds that this will not be so easy. Far from complying with the wishes of her ›lord and master‹, Galatea does as she pleases with Pygmalion right from the start. All too soon the thwarted lover discovers that the living Galatea no longer conforms with his ideal: she is moody, domineering, fond of fine clothes, vain and unfaithful. His beloved Galatea orders him around, brazenly allows the rich Midas to court her, accepts countless gifts and finally deceives her creator with the latter’s own manservant Ganymede. Deeply disappointed, Pygmalion calls on Venus to turn Galatea back to stone. This she does immediately. The enlightened Pygmalion sells the statue which he once so cherished to Midas.



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