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Heinrich Heine (1797—1856) German poet

Benjamin Lumley (1812—1875) opera manager and author


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Ballet in five scenes with choreography by Luipart, libretto and music by Werner Egk, and design by Wolfgang Znamenacek. Premiered 6 Jun. 1948 by the Bavarian State Opera, Prinzregenten Theatre, Munich, with Luipart, Irina Kladivova, and Schwarz. The plot is based on Heine's libretto Der Doctor Faust (1847, written for Benjamin Lumley but never staged) in which Faust makes a pact with a female devil, gaining youth and sexual gratification in exchange for his soul. His subsequent discovery of true love (with Marguerite) prompts him to tear up the pact, thereby causing both their deaths. The ballet was banned after five performances due to its ‘satanic’ content, but a second version re-choreographed by Charrat (1949) became one of the most popular ballets in the German repertoire. T. Schilling's staging (Dresden, 1957, revived Komische Oper) enjoyed similar success. (The title, Abraxas, refers to the central mystery of the Gnostics.)

Subjects: Performing artsDance

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