Auber's La muette de Portici

Auber's La muette de Portici

Premiering on 27 April and running until the end of June 2019, Daniel-François-Esprit Auber’s opera La muette de Portici—or in German, Die Stumme von Portici—has found new life in Kiel. Brought to stage by Valentina Carrasco and under the musical direction of Daniel Carlberg, the production presented the world premiere of Ricordi Berlin’s Critical Edition edited by Peter Kaiser. This edition is based on the final version of Auber’s autographs, aiming both at scientific accuracy and ease of handling. The Critical Edition will also be arriving to the stage of Dortmund Opera in a new production by Peter Konwitschny in March 2020.

Picture of La muette de Portici at Opera Kiel
Premiere of La muette de Portici at Kiel Opera

Daniel Auber – La muette de Portici

Opéra en cinq actes
Libretto by Eugène Scribe and Germain Delavigne
Critical Edition by Peter Kaiser
2S.3T.4B - Chr.Ballet - 2.picc.2.2.4 - - perc - str - 4fl.2cl.2bsn.2hn.(on-stage)
World Premiere of the original version: 29.02.1828, Paris
World Premiere of the Critical Edition: 27.04.2019, Kiel


Kiel Opera, Valentina Carrasco (stage direction), Daniel Carlberg/Stefan Bone (musical direction)

Dortmund OperaPeter Konwitschny (stage direction), Motonori Kobayashi (musical direction)

Picture of La muette de Portici at Opera Kiel
Premiere of La muette de Portici at Kiel Opera

About the work

The opera tells the story of rebellion against foreign domination through music both zealous and triumphant. With a libretto revised by Eugène Scribe and written by Germain Delavigne, the five-act work, also known as Masaniello, first premiered in 1828, marking the beginning of “grand opera” as a genre. Wagner himself acknowledged La muette for its “theatric plastique” and multifaceted “visual music.” Not only did the work exert an important musical impact on contemporary composers, but it also played a political role in catalyzing the Belgian Revolution of 1830 after a performance at the Brussels Opera House. 

Yet unlike the 1830 performance in Brussels, the recent staging at the Theater Kiel did not provoke any rebellion or uprising; it was, on the contrary, well-received by critics. Read some of the reviews here: 

Press quotes

The five-act opera undergoes an exalting resurrection in Kiel – both fiercely political and poignant in the details of the music and staging… Armed with feverishly fluttering strings, ever-changing woodwind tones, and the focused sound of brass period instruments, conductor Daniel Carlberg and his stylistically confident, guns blazing orchestra discover many nuances in the defiantly clattering surges of the score. The soloists were exquisitely cast. Choir director Lam Tran Dinh’s chorus was particularly impressive, offering an enormous breadth of sound ranging from revolutionary uproar to the moving murmurs of prayer.
Kieler Nachrichten, 29.04.2019

Powerful bangs in the first few bars followed by a tender melody of sweetest timber, energetic interpolations, spirited string passages, dancing rhythms, propelling forces and dramatic escalation – no doubt: already the overture reveals that Daniel Carlberg keeps the Philharmonic Orchestra fully engaged and wide awake, steering through all the contrasts, color changes, potential pitfalls and subtleties of the score.
hansen & munk, 29.04.2019

Catalyst for the Belgian Revolution with a mute lead: were there a survey to find the world’s most unusual opera, “The Mute Girl of Portici” would have a good chance of winning the title.  
NDR 1 Welle Nord, 29.04.2019

Anton Rositskij was able to intone Masaniello with the utmost precision, giving an impressive performance even in the pianissimo sections of his lullaby for Fenella. This was one of the big moments of the evening, were the mood not interrupted by an outpouring of roaring bravos from the audience. 
nmz - neue musikzeitung, 02.05.2019

Picture of La muette de Portici at Opera Kiel
Premiere of La muette de Portici at Kiel Opera

Score of La muette de Portici (Critical Edition)


Digital sheet music

Scores and libretto of La muette de Portici are available on nKoda.
View on nkoda

Contact us

Contact us to rent material and for any questions regarding this critical edition.