Mosè in Egitto synopsis 1827

Otello - ossia Il moro di Venezia 1816 synopsis

Mosè in Egitto. In 1827 Rossini revised the work with a new title: Moïse et Pharaon, ou Le passage de la Mer Rouge (Moses and Pharaoh, or The Crossing of the Red Sea)   It was set to a four-act libretto written in French by Luigi Balocchi and Victor-Joseph Étienne de Jouy and the première was given by the Paris Opera at the Salle Le Peletier on 26 March the same year, Riccardo Muti and many scholars consider Moïse et Pharaon, along with Guillaume Tell, to be among Rossini’s greatest achievements:

I prefer it because Rossini himself preferred it. Don’t get me wrong. Mosè in Egitto is a wonderful opera, but it remains very much a mere sketch for Moïse et Pharaon. And it’s not just me who says that, but the great Rossini himself.

Mosè in Egitto synopsis 1827

Akt I

Israeliterna befinner sig i fångenskap i Egypten, men Moses litar på att Gud skall befria sitt folk. Då anländer hans bror Aron med deras syster Mirjam och dennas dotter Anais och berättar att Farao har gett dem lov att återvända hem. Faraos son Amenofis har förälskat sig i Anais och försöker övertala henne att lämna sitt folk. Hon slits mellan lojalitet och kärlek, men då hon väljer sitt folk förmår Amenofis sin far att dra tillbaka tillståndet. Moses hotar med Guds vrede och Amenofis vill låta döda honom, men han räddas av Farao och hans drottning Sinais. Som dock bekräftar att israeliterna skall tillbaka i fångenskap. Moses lyfter sin stav, och mörkret sänker sig över Egypten.

Akt II

Farao sänder bud efter Moses och Aron och befaller dem att skaffa ljuset tillbaka mot att de får föra ur sitt folk ur Egypten, men Amenofis är alltjämt så desperat vid tanken på att mista Anais att han beslutar döda Moses.

Moses kommer till Isistemplet för att få den slutgiltiga tillåtelsen för israeliterna att lämna Egypten, men översteprästen Osiris fordrar att de först skall tillbedja Isis. Då kommer bud om nya plågor som har drabbat Egypten: Nilens vatten har förvandlats till blod och luften är fylld av gräshoppor. Översteprästen vill straffa Moses för de nya plågorna, men Sinais uppmanar sin gemål att hålla sitt löfte till israeliterna. Åter lyfter Moses sin stav, och altarelden slocknar. Farao befaller att israeliterna skall föras ut ur Memfis i bojor.

Amenofis pressar alltjämt Anais att välja mellan honom och sitt folk, men de måste gömma sig för israeliterna som är på väg genom öknen mot det förlovade landet.

Mirjam sörjer över att hennes dotter har blivit kvar i Egypten, men då stiger Anais fram inför henne tillsammans med Amenofis, som avslöjar att Farao förbereder ett anfall och att han själv måste förena sig med den egyptiska hären.

Akt III

Vid Röda havet ber Moses till Gud att han skall rädda sitt folk, och som genom ett under skiljs vatten så att israeliterna kan gå torrskodda medan egypterna drunknar då vattenväggarna åter slår ihop.

IN ENGLISH

Place: Egypt
Time: Around 1230 B.C.

Act 1 

Act 1 set design of the original 1827 production

Darkness envelopes Egypt. It has been brought about by God in order to punish the Pharaoh and his people because he has failed to allow the Hebrews to leave the country for the Promised Land across the Red Sea. Moses is brought in and the Pharaoh declares that, when the sun shines again, he will release the captives. Cautioned by his brother Aaron not to believe the Egyptian leader, nevertheless Moses pleads to God and light returns.

However, because the Pharaoh’s son Osiride is in love with the Hebrew girl Elcia and does not want to see her leave with her people, he persuades the High Priest, Mambre, to help him. The Priest does not believe in Moses’ powers and he agrees to find a way to prevent the exodus by encouraging the Egyptians to revolt against allowing the Hebrews to depart. The Pharaoh then withdraws his promise and warns Moses that any Hebrew who tries to escape will be killed.

Amaltea, Pharaoh’s wife, has secretly converted and she tries to intervene, but to no avail. Moses then threatens further punishment and is set upon by Osiride’s soldiers, intent upon killing him, but Pharaoh arrives in time to prevent it. Moses then prays for fire to rain down upon the country.

Act 2 

Pharaoh orders the Hebrews to leave at once, so as to avoid the curse placed on his people. Then, telling his son that he has negotiated a treaty whereby Osiride will be married to the Princess of Armenia, he does not understand why his son hears his announcement with little enthusiasm.

Shortly afterwards, Moses learns that Osiride has kidnapped Elcia, but Aaron knows where they are hiding. Amaltea is warned and accompanies him to find the lovers.

Together in the cave, Osiride tells Elcia of his father’s plans for him and he suggests that they can live together in hiding in the countryside. The Queen with her guards and Aaron interrupt the two lovers, but they refuse to separate and Osiris declares that he intends to give up the throne.

Meanwhile, the Pharaoh once again reverses himself and states that he will not allow the captives to leave, fearing that the Hebrews will support Egypt’s enemies. Outraged, Moses declares that the Crown Prince and all the firstborn males of the country will be hit by a divine lightning strike. Pharaoh orders Moses to be put in chains, and, to protect his son from the prophecy, declares Osiride to be his co-ruler and that he will be the one to proclaim the death sentence on Moses.

Elcia then comes forward revealing her relationship with Osiride and begging him to free Moses and his people. She tries to persuade him to accept his destiny and marry the royal princess of Armenia. But Osiride remains adamant and immediately orders that Moses be killed. As he does so, he falls dead from being struck by a bolt of lightning.

Act 3 

On the shores of the Red Sea

Having crossed the desert, the Hebrews arrive on the shores of the Red Sea, but find themselves unable to continue their journey to the Promised Land. Leading his people and telling them to wait for God’s action, Moses prays. As the advancing Egyptians appear, the Hebrews are panicking, but Moses touches the waters with his staff and the Red Sea opens to provide a pathway to the opposite shore. Following closely behind, the Egyptians, led by Mambre and Pharaoh, enter the gap in the waters but they are swamped by the waves which close over them.

UPPHOVSPERSONER

Musik: Gioacchino Rossini Text: Andrea Leone Tottola

Premiär

Uruppförande: Neapel, Teatro San Carlo 5 mars 1818. fransk version (Moise et Pharaon, ou Le passagé de la Mer Rouge med text av Giuseppe Luigi Balocchi och Victor-Joseph-Etienne de Jpuy: Paris: Grand Opéra 26 mars 1827. Svensk premiär: Stockholm, Operan (konsertant i Konserthuset) 14 februari 1973.

Roller och rösttyper

RollRösttyp
Amalteasopran
Amenofisopran
Anaidesopran
Aronnetenor
Elciasopran
Eliserotenor
Faraonebas
Mambretenor
Mariamezzosopran
Mosèbas
Osiriditenor
Sanaidesopran

Libretto

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