Henze: Elegy for Young Lovers

Opera 100

Here we write a 100-word précis of numerous opera plots. This is an ongoing and serendipitous series, the idea being to present the storyline in an instant.

Henze: Elegy for Young Lovers

by: Alexander Campbell

Egotistical poet Gregor Mittenhofer retreats to the Alps to seek creative inspiration from the visions of Hilde Mack whose husband disappeared on the mountains forty years earlier. His various admirers pander obsessively to his self-indulgent whims. Hilde’s husband’s body is found. Mittenhofer’s mistress, Elisabeth, tenderly tells Hilde the news thereby attracting Toni. They declare their love. Jealous Mittenhofer notices, ostentatiously blesses the couple and persuades them climb the Hammerhorn to collect him flowers. As a storm breaks out he deliberately fails to send help. Toni and Elisabeth freeze to death. Finally inspired, Mittenhofer cynically dedicates his poetical elegy to them.

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