Hans Werner Henze
Publisher: Chester Music
Gisela! oder: die merk- und denkwürdigen Wege des Glücks (2010)
commissioned by Semperoper Dresden and ruhr 2010
Chester Music Ltd
Opera and Music Theatre
1 Hours 10 Minutes
Soprano, Baritone, Tenor, Bass, Baritone, Mezzo
Gisela, a young student of art history from the city of Oberhausen, visits Naples with her boyfriend Hanspeter and a group of superficial and arrogant students. They attend a commedia dell’arte performance in a folk theatre and Gisela is fascinated by the young actor Gennario who plays the role of Pulcinella. Gisela and Gennario encounter each other the next day and fall in love. They plan to flee from Naples and the group. Hanspeter, who had planned to propose to Gisela at a restaurant, hears that she has fled to Germany with Gennario.
Having arrived at the railway station of Oberhausen, Gisela and Gennario have nowhere to stay. Sitting on a bank, Gisela falls asleep and has a series of nightmare dreams. Suddenly Hanspeter and his friends appear and attack the couple. During the fight we see in the background Mount Vesuvius exploding and pouring its lava on stage.