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Senza sangue

Opera in one act
based on the same-named novella by Alessandro Baricco
Edition: Performance material

Product Details


Peter Eötvös's one act opera Senza sangue, with a libretto by Mari Mezei after the short story by Alessandro Baricco, sets the concluding portion of Baricco's story centering on a single dramatic encounter.

During a bloody civil war, a Man, along with several accomplices, murders the entire family of a young girl, the Woman. The opera begins with the Man and the Woman encountering each other in old age and recaps the murders in flashback. Spanning several decades, the plot of the opera takes us from this new encounter in old age to the moment, several decades earlier, when the young girl looks into the eyes of the twenty-year-old boy who has murdered her father but spared her own life.

The Man and Woman had long sensed this inevitable meeting, but what will this encounter bring after so many years? Will the Woman enact revenge? Was she behind the deaths of the Man's accomplices?

In the course of their encounter, the story takes a surprising turn. The woman has not come to avenge herself but to be saved by the man once again. She longs to relive that glance from long ago: "he who has saved us once, can do so again and again." Likewise, the Man longs to re-examine and give meaning to the trauma he has inflicted. Questions, singularly timely today, remain unanswered. Can murder be excused by faith in a better world? Can revenge save a broken life? Was the fight for a better world in vain if it did not succeed?

There are no answers, but both the Man and Woman know that their lives became inextricably intertwined on that fateful day; only through each other can they hope to find truth and meaning. The Woman, intent on revisiting past traumas no matter the consequences, is a curious reflection of Bluebeard's young wife Judith, persistent in her quest to reveal her husband's darkest secrets.

In the closing moments of the opera, the Man, in a final attempt at redemption, reveals his name to the Woman who repeats hers to him as they walk off together into an unknown future.

Orchestral Cast

2 (2. auch Altfl., beide auch Picc.) · 2 (2. auch Engl. Hr.) · 3 (3. auch Bassklar.) · 2 (2. auch Kfg.) - 2 · 2 (2. auch Flhr.) · 2 · 1 - P. S. (I: 2 Crot. · Xyl. · Röhrengl. · Trgl. · 2 hg. Beck. · chin. Beck. · gr. Tr. · Guiro · Cabasa [Metall]; II: Glsp. · 8 Crot. · Trgl. · hg. Beck. [Tenor] · 3 Burma Gongs [Fis, Gis, cis] · Tamt. · Tamb. [Alt, mit Schellen] · Mar.) (2 Spieler) - Hfe. · Cel. - Str. (8 · 6 · 5 · 4 · 3 [2 fünfsaitig])


La Donna · Mezzosopran - L'Uomo · lyrischer Bariton

More Information

Senza sangue
Opera in one act
based on the same-named novella by Alessandro Baricco
Libretto by Mari Mezei
Reduced Version by Gregory Vajda (2019)
Performance material
Schott Music
Year of composition:
2014 - 2015 (2016)
50 ′
World Premiere:
April 29, 2021 · München (D)
Viktoria Vizin, Mezzosopran (La Donna & Judith); Russell Braun, Bariton (Uomo) · Conductor: Peter Eötvös · Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks

(concert) (live stream only)
Commissioned work :
Kompositionsauftrag der Originalfassung von KölnMusik und New York Philharmonic

Technical Details

Product number:
LS 5376-02
Delivery rights:

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  • Senza sangue
    Conductor: Peter Eötvös
    Orchestra: Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
    April 29, 2021 | München (Germany) , Herkulessaal — World Premiere (nur Livestream)
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