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Stephen Oliver

Publisher: Novello & Co

The Duchess of Malfi (1971),
Commissioned by The Oxford Opera Club
Work Notes
The Opera was completely rewritten for premiere by the Santa Fe Opera Company in the USA on 5 August 1978
Text Writer
Strephen Oliver based on the play by John Webster
Publisher
Novello & Co Ltd
Category
Opera and Music Theatre
Sub Category
Grand Opera
Year Composed
1971
Duration
2 Hours 15 Minutes
Chorus
SATB
Language
English
Soloist
2 sopranos, countertenor, 4 tenors, 2 baritones, 4 bass baritones
Programme Note
Stephen Oliver The Duchess of Malfi (1971),
BRIEF SYNOPSIS

The young Duchess of Malfi is a widow, forbidden by her brothers to remarry. The two brothers place a spy, one Daniel de Bosola, in their sister’s household, stressing the importance of family honour. Yet Ferdinand, the cardinal, has already reneged on his commitments to Bosola and contemptuously assumes gold alone will buy his honour. Bosola is soon corrupted by his masters. The honour of the Duchess is slighted. She marries, secretly and below her station, taking Antonio Bologna, her major-domo, as her second husband but honorably treating him as an equal. Discovered by her brothers, the Duchess is imprisoned,while Bosola and Ferdinand kill each other in a fight.


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