Opera 100: An opera synopsis in just one hundred words!

Composer: Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957)
Librettist: Paul Schott [a pseudonym for Julius Korngold and the composer] after the novel Bruges-la-Morte by Georges Rodenbach
Middle-aged Paul becomes obsessed by Marietta, a young dancer strikingly similar to his dead wife Marie. His friend Frank and servant Brigitta express misgivings. Marietta visits, notes her resemblance to a portrait of Marie, and leaves. Paul sinks into a hallucinatory reverie, his various neuroses mixing dangerously. He seduces Marietta, jealously rejects Frank, and disgusts Brigitta. Imagining that Marietta is determined to eradicate Marie’s memory he strangles her with his dead wife’s hair. The nightmare fades as Marietta returns briefly to collect the parasol and flowers she left there inadvertently. Paul finally finds the courage to leave the past behind.


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