Promethëische Fantasie(Promethean Fantasy) (1960)
Libretto by the composer (G)
dramS,2lyrS,M,heldT,buffoT,charBar,2B; mixed chorus; ballet;
On-stage:2cl(or sax)-solo vln-obl.vln(1-2).db-pft-perc
Boosey & Hawkes / Bote & Bock
|A GIRL||Lyric Soprano|
|A YOUTH||Lyric Tenor|
|PHILANDER, an artist (Prometheus)||Character Baritone|
|CORINNA, his wife (Aphrodite)||Dramatic Soprano|
|AMONE, engaged to Marian (A girl)||Lyric Soprano|
|GURELE, Habakuk's lover||Mezzo Soprano|
|HEGEA, her friend||Lyric Soprano|
|Philander's friends: MARIAN (A youth)||Lyric Tenor|
|Characters of the pantomime: Hephaestus, Prometheus, Soul of the fire, Female servants, Cyclopes|
The ancient world; the present, early in the 20th century
Ancient times: Prometheus steals a spark from the fire of the smith Hephaestus with Aphrodite's help and gives it to mankind. Zeus orders him to be forged to a rock for the offence, from which Prometheus has to look down on the mischief his act has brought to mankind.
The present: Philander is admired and respected everywhere as an artist and as a person. But the success goes to his head, changing his character. To follow his instincts in freedom, he separates from his wife Corinna and starts an affair with Amone, the fiancée of his friend Marian, who he has had enough of a few months later, however. Amone takes her own life in desperation. Marian challenges Philander to a duel to avenge Amone's death. Philander receives a fatal wound. Dying, he repents of his deed.
Ancient times: In vain Hermes tries to move Prometheus to a confession of his guilt which would deliver him of his pains. Prometheus stands by his deed which indeed brought pain to mankind, but with pain came love and true life.