Albert Lortzing: Regina

Lortzing, Albert

Edited by Irmlind Capelle

Oper in drei Akten
Libretto: Albert Lortzing (in German)
World premiere: 21.03.1899, Berlin

Regina is a work in the spirit of St. Paul’s Church, and above all of Robert Blum, one of the forefathers of the German left.”
—Jürgen Lodemann


In a factory, the workers are on strike, demanding higher wages and basic improvements. The foreman Richard, who is secretly involved with Regina, daughter of factory owner Simon, manages to appease the workers. Contrary to expectation, Simon agrees to the marriage of his daughter to Richard. Another foreman, Stephan, is also in love with Regina. Together with other political initiators he occupies the factory where the couple’s engagement is being celebrated – a fight breaks out and the factory is set on fire. Stephan abducts Regina, who unavailingly tries to persuade him to turn back. She finally manages to escape. While the rural population celebrates the revolutionary troops’ victory and having won their freedom, Simon bemoans his daughter’s kidnap: Stephan has taken Regina once again and has barricaded himself with her. Richard and the workers succeed in overcoming some of the rebels, but Stephan would rather blow up the ammunitions dump than give himself up or free Regina. When the liberators look likely to succeed and he decides to carry out his plan, Regina shoots him.


Lortzing had to write a new opera every year in order to cover the costs of his large family and bourgeois lifestyle. At the beginning of 1848, regular work was out of the question in Vienna as the events of the March Revolution spilled over. In May however, Lortzing again found peace to work. For the first time in his life he could write without regard for censors and could directly – rather than covertly as in his previous operas – address the circumstances of the time. He turned to texts written by others or previously by himself for some of the more lyrical parts, and for the final chorus chose Friedrich Stolze’s Deutsche Hymne, which he dexterously turned into a “Freedom Hymn” with only a few alterations. Musically, he planned for a large choir and an orchestra including a harp for the first time.

Critical Edition

  • The present edition is a historical-critical edition based on the autograph (score and libretto). 
  • This is a large, serious opera from a musician who is known almost exclusively as a composer of comic operas.
  • Especially worthy of note are the extended, impressive choir and ensemble scenes.
  • The solo parts – Regina (Soprano), Richard (Tenor), and Stephan (Baritone) are especially demanding.

Recommendations for concert

Overture - - timp.perc - str 

1. Act No. 2 Recitative and Duet Regina, Richard O teurer Freund, ich hörte alles.
S.T - - - timp.perc - str 

1. Act No. 4 Recitative and Aria, Stephan Was sprach der alte Tor?
Bar - - - timp - str 

2. Act No. 6 Prelude and Lied, Barbara Nicht so bleiben kann dies Treiben
A - - - timp - str