Lord Byron. English and German texts [Opera in Three Acts... Libretto by Jack Larson... German text by John Gutman]. [Piano-vocal score]. Virgil THOMSON.
Lord Byron. English and German texts [Opera in Three Acts... Libretto by Jack Larson... German text by John Gutman]. [Piano-vocal score]

Lord Byron. English and German texts [Opera in Three Acts... Libretto by Jack Larson... German text by John Gutman]. [Piano-vocal score]

New York, Hamburg: Southern Music Publishing Co. Inc., Peer Musikverlag G.M.B.H. [PN SMP 2285-291], [1975]. Folio. Original publisher's olive green pictorial wrappers designed by noted American Pop artist Robert Indiana. [i] (title), [ii] (note about cover design), iii-vi (synopses in German and English), vii (named cast list), viii (instrumentation), [1-2] (blank), 3-293, [i] (photographic portrait of the composer), 1f. (limitation statement) pp. Text in English and German. In original brown slipcase.

Includes the names of cast and crew members for the world premiere presented by the Juilliard American Opera Center at the Juilliard Theater, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York, on April 20, 1972. Commissioned by the Ford Foundation and Koussevitzsky Foundation.

Binding and slipcase very slightly rubbed and bumped. Very small light stains to several pages.

An attractive copy.

First Edition, limited, this number 20 of 100 special copies signed by the composer, the librettist Jack Larson, the translator John Gutman, and the designer Robert Indiana.

Thomson's third and final opera was Lord Byron, with a libretto by the American poet, playwright, and actor Jack Larson, who will always be known best for his first career: during the 1950s he played Jimmy Olsen on the television series “The Adventures of Superman.” Thomson and Larson worked on the project for seven years. The Metropolitan Opera commissioned it and tried out scenes in a 1969 private performance for invited guests in a studio at the Met with just piano accompaniment. Rudolf Bing, the general manager at the time, was not enthusiastic. Thomson accepted an offer from the Juilliard School to present the première, which took place there in 1972, and met with a mixed reception. That Lord Byron, his most ambitious work, was not a success was the greatest disappointment of Thomson’s career.

Lord Byron has strong champions, including the scholar Richard Jackson, who wrote in an entry for the New Grove Dictionary of American Music (1986) that the opera has “a seriousness of tone, a comparative richness of texture, and a lyrical expansiveness seldom encountered” in Thomson’s earlier works. With its emotional content, he added, the opera “rises to moments of real passion.” Anthony Tommasini and Richard Jackson in Grove Music Online. Item #24892

Price: $300.00  other currencies

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