THE ROBBERS, Volksoper Vienna , 10 November 2018 - 19:00

Event Details
Category: Operas Event: THE ROBBERS Date/Time: 10 November 2018 - 19:00 Venue: Volksoper Vienna Address: Währingerstrasse 78, A-1090 Wien / Vienna (Map)

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Guiseppe Verdi’s opera „The Robbers“, based on the work by Friedrich Schiller, is a family tragedy: an overpowering father has given all his love and attention to his son Karl and has neglected his other son, Franz. When Franz makes his cosseted brother believe that he has fallen out of favour with their father, Karl becomes a chief robber. Karl’s fiancée, Amalia, falls victim to the men’s conflicts. The catastrophe is inevitable.

Act OneScene 1The young Karl von Moor, son of Count Maximilian, has written his father a letter asking forgiveness for the dissolute life he has been leading. He now confidently awaits the answer. Instead, however, he receives a letter from his brother Franz, containing the news that old Moor has repudiated his son. Bitterly disappointed, Karl allows himself to be persuaded by his companions to form a band of robbers, with himself as their leader.
Scene 2In their father’s castle, Karl’s younger brother Franz is devising a plan to bring about the death of his father. Franz himself has deprived Karl of his father’s favour by intercepting the letter begging forgiveness. Now Franz is taking the intrigue a step further: his servant Hermann is to disguise himself and bring Maximilian a message to say that Karl has died. Franz believes that his father would not survive such news and that he himself would then become the ruling Count Moor. He envisages the reign of terror that will then arise.Scene 3In another room in the castle, Amalia watches over her uncle Maximilian as he sleeps. She mourns the loss of Karl, to whom she was betrothed. Maximilian is woken by tormenting thoughts of Franz and Karl and weeps over the breach with his favourite son.

Hermann, disguised as a messenger, brings the false news that Karl has died as a soldier in the Spanish army. Maximilian collapses in a faint and is believed to be dead by the others.Act TwoScene 4Franz is celebrating with a raucous feast; Amalia has retired. Her unfulfillable love for Karl is turning into a longing for death. Hermann appears before her and relieves his guilty conscience by telling her that both Karl and Maximilian are still alive.

Franz urges Amalia to become his wife. When she refuses, he threatens her with punishment and rape. But Amalia knows how to defend herself.Scene 5A rumour is going around among the robbers that one of them, Roller, has been captured. In the distance, they see fire and a group of women in flight. At that point, Roller appears. In a bold action, the leader of the robbers has saved Roller from the gallows and at the same time has razed the city.

The robbers are jubilant. But Karl cannot share their enthusiasm. He is disgusted by man’s debauchery and by his own crimes. Thoughts of Amalia increase his torment. Suddenly the call goes up that the robber band has been surrounded. The robbers prepare to fight.Act ThreeScene 6Amalia has escaped from the castle and from Franz. In the forest, she chances upon Karl. Their joy at seeing each other again is mixed with the bitter realisation that they can never be happy together in this life. The robbers meanwhile praise their life full of robbery, murder and torture.

By chance, Karl discovers the dungeon in which his father has been locked. Maximilian does not recognise his favourite son. He tells him of his collapse upon hearing the news of Karl’s death. The old man was thought to be dead; only Franz discovered that he was still alive and locked him in the tower. Together with the robbers, Karl swears revenge.Act FourScene 7Franz is tormented by visions of the Last Judgement. He asks Hermann to fetch a priest, who appears before him in the figure of his father Maximilian. The exchange between them drives Franz to utter despair: he believes his sins are so great that they cannot be forgiven by God. The final way out for Franz is death.Scene 8Karl asks Maximilian for his blessing, without letting him know who he is. The robbers return; they have Amalia in their power. Only now does Karl confess that he is the leader of a robber band. The other robbers remind him of the oath that binds him to them. Amalia commands Karl to kill her. He stabs her and rushes away, crying “And now to the scaffold!”

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