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Composer: Chabrier Emmanuel

Instruments: Voice Mixed chorus Orchestra

Tags: Operas

Download free scores:

Original version (2 acts). Act I. Ouverture PDF 24 MBOriginal version (2 acts). Act I. Sc.1: Introduction PDF 12 MBOriginal version (2 acts). Act I. Sc.2: Choeur et Légende PDF 14 MBOriginal version (2 acts). Act I. Sc.3: Entrée e Danois, Chant des Épées, Scène PDF 12 MBOriginal version (2 acts). Act I. Sc.4: Duo et Scène Finale PDF 27 MB
Original version (2 acts). Act II. Prèlude PDF 6 MBOriginal version (2 acts). Act II. Sc.1: Introduction, Scène, Choeurs, et Èpithalame PDF 18 MBOriginal version (2 acts). Act II. Sc.2: Duo et Choeurs PDF 15 MBOriginal version (2 acts). Act II. Sc.3: Choeurs, Duo et Scène Finale PDF 23 MB
Revised version (3 acts). Complete Score PDF 22 MBRevised version (3 acts). Preliminaries - Libretto - Act I PDF 14 MBRevised version (3 acts). Act II - Act III PDF 10 MB
Original version (2 acts). Complete Score PDF 18 MB
Épithalame (Act II). Complete Score PDF 1 MB
Gwendoline is an opera in two acts and three scenes by the French composer Emmanuel Chabrier, with a libretto by Catulle Mendès. It was first performed at the Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels, Belgium, on 10 April 1886. Further performances followed in Karlsruhe in 1889, Leipzig in 1890 and then in Lyons and Paris in 1893. Gwendoline was Chabrier's attempt to write a serious opera in the style of Richard Wagner.
Saxon villagers prepare for the day's work. Gwendoline warns her father, the Saxon chief Armel, about the menace of Danish pirates. After the menfolk leave, Gwendoline recounts her vision of being carried off by a Danish raider. Suddenly the Saxon men return, victims of a surprise Danish raid, led by Harald. He orders Armel to reveal the location of his hoard, and when Armel refuses, Harald prepares to execute him. Gwendoline begs him to spare her father; spellbound by her, Harald commands everyone to leave. Gwendoline sings a spinning song and succeeds in getting him to spin. Harald asks Armel to give his daughter in marriage – to which the Saxon elder consents while assuring his compatriots that revenge will come following the wedding feast. The two lovers take up the spinning song again as the act closes.
A choral wedding procession is heard, while Armel plots with Aella and Erick to take the Danes' weapons and burn their ships. Gwendoline and Harald enter and Armel blesses their union. But Armel slips a dagger to Gwendoline for her to kill Harald that evening. Alone with Harald, Gwendoline urges him to flee, without revealing her father's intentions. They sing of their love but are interrupted by shouts of pirates being killed. Harald leaves to join his companions; Gwendoline gives him the dagger, swearing to join him in death.
As the Danes are being slaughtered, Harald staggers on and is trapped against a tree but laughs defiantly. The old man stabs him. Seeing her beloved dying, Gwendoline seizes the dagger and stabs herself to death. The two lovers stand together embracing as a ray of light illuminates them, with the Danish ships alight in a ball of fire.