OP0112. MASKARADE (Nielsen), w. Ulf Schirmer Cond. Danish National Royal Ensemble; Aage Haugland, Susanne Resmark, Gert-Henning Jensen, Bo Skovhus, etc. (Germany) 2-Decca 460 227, w.Libretto-Brochure, Slipcase Edition. Final Sealed Copy! -
“Carl Nielsen's MASKARADE is an opera in three acts by Carl Nielsen to a Danish libretto by Vilhelm Andersen, based on the comedy by Ludvig Holberg. It was first performed on 11 November 1906 at Det Kongelige Teater, Copenhagen. MASKARADE has enjoyed enduring popularity in Denmark where it is considered to be the country's national opera.
Nielsen first considered writing an opera based on Holberg's play MASKARADE around the turn of the 20th century. He contacted Vilhelm Andersen whom he knew from his student days, hoping to persuade him to write a libretto. Andersen initially refused but finally agreed, allowing Nielsen to start composing in May 1904. The Royal Theatre scheduled the opera even before it was finished. In fact, Nielsen only completed the overture on 3 November, a week before the opera's premiere.
The world premiere of MASKARADE took place at Det Kongelige Teater in Copenhagen on 11 November 1906. It was a resounding success from the start with an exceptional run of 25 performances over its first four months. Now considered to be Denmark's national opera, it has enjoyed lasting success in the country, attributable to its many strophic songs, its dances and its underlying ‘old Copenhagen’ atmosphere. In 2006, Denmark's Ministry of Culture named it one of Denmark's twelve greatest musical works.
The opera did not premiere in the United States until 1972 when it was performed by St. Paul Opera in Minnesota, conducted by Igor Buketoff. MASKARADE received a major international revival in 2005 in a new production by David Pountney which was performed at the Bregenz Festival in August of that year and travelled to the Royal Opera House the following month for its first performance by the company. The opera had been previously performed in the UK at London's Morley College in 1983 and in Leeds by Opera North in 1990.”