Troilus and Cressida (opera)

Troilus And Cressida (Opera)

Troilus and Cressida (opera)

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Troilus and Cressida is the first of the two operas by William Walton. The libretto was by Christopher Hassall, his own first opera libretto, based on Chaucer's poem Troilus and Criseyde. Walton dedicated the score to his wife, Susana.

Composition history

The genesis of the opera dated back to the mid-1940s, after the success of Benjamin Britten's first great operatic success, Peter Grimes. Walton intended to counter this work with an opera of his own, and Alice Wimbourne, Walton's companion at the time, suggested the story of Troilus and Cressida as a subject. Wimbourne had suggested Hassell as librettist, in spite of the fact that he had never written an opera libretto. During the course of composition, Walton and Hassell carried out an extensive correspondence.Stephen Banfield, "Weighing Walton". The Musical Times, 144(1883), pp. 60-63 (Summer 2003). The opera took seven years to complete.

Performance history

The opera debuted at Covent Garden, London on 3 December 1954Franz Reizenstein, "Walton's Troilus and Cressida. Tempo (New Ser.), 34, pp. 16-20, 22-27 (Winter, 1954-1955). conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent. It was only a moderate success, and various factors were proposed to assess blame for the...
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