Manfred Gurlitt: Nana

Manfred Gurlitt Nana
Nana

Manfred Gurlitt: Nana

Year of composition:
1933
Composer:
Manfred Gurlitt
Translator:
Michel (Ancey) Astroff
Librettist:
Max Brod
Writer of pre-existing text:
Émile Zola
Choir:
SATB
Instrumentation:
3 2 3 3 - 5 6 4 0 - timp, perc(3), hp, mand, str, incidental music
Instrumentation details:
1st flute
2nd flute (+picc)
1st oboe
2nd oboe (+c.a)
1st clarinet in Bb
2nd clarinet in Bb (+bass cl(Bb)
cl(Eb))
1st bassoon
2nd bassoon (+cbsn)
3rd bassoon
1st horn in F
2nd horn in F
3rd horn in F
4th horn in F
1st trumpet in C
2nd trumpet in C
3rd trumpet in C
1st trombone
2nd trombone
3rd trombone
timpani
percussion (3 players)
harp
mandolin
violin I
violin II
viola
violoncello
contrabass
incidental music: piccolo
clarinet in Eb
horn
1st trumpet
2nd trumpet
3rd trumpet
trombone
percussion (bass drum and snare drum)
1st violin
2nd violin
viola
violoncello
contrabass
piano
Scenery:
7
Duration:
150’
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Audiosamples

Nana
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Work introduction

Nana, a four-act opera based on the novel of the same name by Émile Zola, with a libretto by Max Brod, was first performed in Dortmund in 1958. “In her attempt to escape poverty, Nana enters the varieté theatre with the aim of becoming part of the Parisian upper class. She freely employs her good looks and charms in order to beguile the men around her, but soon discovers the negative side of the luxurious society in which she now finds herself. Torn between her love for Lieutenant Philippe Hugon and the Marquis Muffat, she leaves Paris. When she finally returns, terminally ill, she discovers that Philippe has taken his own life, and finally dies in Muffat’s arms.” (Erfurt Theatre) 

Nana was written in 1932 and was to have been premièred in Mannheim the following year. Gurlitt was at this time at the zenith of his fame as an opera composer and conductor. It was not to be though, and shortly before the première the National Socialist censors banned the work as “culturally destructive” (as they did Gurlitt’s other works). In 1939 he emigrated to Japan. 

World première

Location:
Dortmund
Date:
16.04.1958
Conductor:
Ljubomir Romansky

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