opera in one act
with music and libretto
Eduardo Alonso-Crespo

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Technical information


Vocal forces:

Death: soprano
Life: soprano
Putzi (young Franz Liszt): tenor
Devil (Niccolò Paganini): baritone


Putzi21.jpg (172735 bytes)


Orchestral forces:

2 flutes (2nd. also piccolo)
2 oboes
2 clarinets
2 bassoons

2 horns
2 trumpets
1 trombone

percussion (1 performer)



Choreographic forces:

Courts of assistants of Life and Death (optional): small corps de ballet (3 or more dancers)

Maria (optional): female dancer

Putzi13.jpg (120783 bytes)

Optional detail:

In the case that production costs allow it, two small “courts” of assistants or buffoons may accompany Life and Death. This allows including choreography for each “court” during the appearances of each singing character. And a female dancer can be used to represent Maria during Scene 2, first lying down on a couch as a sick person and then reviving after the Devil’s spell, ending the scene while dancing the final waltz with Putzi. In the case of the production for the first performance two "cavaliers servants" (male dancers) were included to accompany Death and one "aide de chambre" (female dancer, who also played Maria) was included to accompany Life.


About the staging production

  • The work requires only three scenic settings. The first needs to suggest an ancient rural road with some surreal nuances (Scene 1). The second must recreate Liszt’s Parisian apartment, with more or less realism according to the director’s approach, but always with some phantasmagoric strokes (Scenes 2, 3 and 4). The third is a similar apartment, this time in Rome (Scene 5). In the case of a simpler production the two apartments can be the same. The resources will ultimately dictate the solutions. The ancient rural road, for instance, can be a backdrop hanging in front of the Parisian apartment, lifted to unveil the room at the beginning of Scene 2, and leaving this set up until the end.

  • Scenic and lighting effects may accompany the entrances of Death and Life into the room in order to delimit the real world (Putzi, Paganini) from the fantastic one (Death and Life).

  • As long as possible, Life must be tall and skinny, with an exaggerated naive air close to stupidity. At the same time Death must be short and plump, with a malign attitude close to ridicule.

Putzi18b.jpg (56027 bytes)

Approximate duration: 72 minutes