The Lyric Stage: Oct. 29 - Two One Act Operas by Debussy
This week on the Lyric Stage two early works by Debussy, L'Enfant Prodigue, The Prodigal Son, which is a re-telling of the biblical story, and La Damoiselle Elue, The Blessed Damoiselle, based on a poem by Dante Gabriel Rosetti. Jessye Norman, Jose Carreras, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau are featured in the first, and Ileana Cotrubas in the second. Gary Bertini conducts the Stuttgart Radios Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in both one acts.
The libretto by Gabriel Sarrazin for La Damoiselle Elue is based on Rossetti's 1847 poem "The Blessed Damozel", about a young woman who cannot enjoy heaven while her lover is still on earth. The poem was partially inspired by Poe's "The Raven" with its depiction of a lover grieving on Earth over the death of his loved one. But Rossetti represents the situation in reverse, describing the damoiselle observing her lover from heaven, and her unfulfilled yearning for their reunion in heaven.