Carl Maria von Weber
Der Freischütz (The Freeshooter) (Schirmer edition) (1821)
English translations by Natalia MacFarren and Thomas Baker, by George and Phyllis Mead, and Andrew Porter. G. Schirmer controls the rights in the English translations by Natalia MacFarren, Thomas Baker, George and Phyllis Mead, and Andrew Porter for this work but does not supply orchestral materials.
Libretto by Friedrich Kind.
Opera and Music Theatre
KILIAN, a peasant: Baritone
MAX, a ranger: Tenor
CUNO, Master Ranger: Bass
CASPAR, a ranger: Bass
ANNA, cousin to Agatha: Soprano
AGATHA, Cuno's daughter: Soprano
OTTOKAR, ruling Prince: Baritone
THE HERMIT: Bass
ZAMIEL, the Black Hunter
Foresters, Peasants, Attendants on the Prince, Musicians, Invisible Spirits
Der Freischütz was highly influential in the development of German opera. Its Romantic subject matter and use of the reminiscence motif paved the way for Wagner’s operatic revolution later in the century. Cuno, the head ranger, is due to retire and Max hopes to win the shooting competition which will enable him to replace him and marry his daughter Agathe. His rival Kaspar promises to help Max in the contest by forging seven magic bullets which he says will travel in whichever direction the marksman wants. But Kaspar has sold his soul to the devil and his real aim is to trick Max into take over the horrible consequences of his deadly contract.