La Wally

Alfredo Catalani

Performances on July 29, August 3, 5, 10, 12

La WallyNew production, first ever by Opera Holland Park
Opera in four acts
Sung in Italian with English surtitles
Libretto by Luigi Illica after Wilhelmine von Hillern's story Die Geyer-Wally

Opera Holland Park closes the season with a distinguished piece form the repertoire that has made the company so famous. Catalani’s late nineteenth century gem of an opera that features one of the great soprano platform arias (‘Ebben? Ne andró lontana’) is another landmark production and a continuation of the voyage of discovery on which we have taken our patrons in recent years. It is a gorgeous piece, emotional, moving and tragic and offers some of the most richly romantic music of the period.

Read the synopsis....

Act One
A shooting contest is being held to celebrate the 70th birthday of Wally’s father, Stromminger. A hunting party arrives led by Hagenbach and an argument develops between him and Stromminger until he is led away. Gellner is in love with Wally and notices during the argument that she is infatuated by Hagenbach, her father’s enemy. He tells Stromminger and he insists Wally must agree to marry Gellner within a month or leave his house. She retorts she would rather be out in the cold that marry him.

Act Two
Time has passed, Stromminger has died and Wally has inherited his fortune. Hagenbach has become engaged to Afra, a landlady. There is a festival taking place and Wally makes her way to a tavern, knowing that Hagenbach will be there. Hagenbach is persuaded to accept a challenge to win a kiss from Wally. Hagenbach wins and when Wally realises she has been the victim of a cruel bet she becomes furious and insists to Gellner that if he truly loves her he must kill Hagenbach.

Act Three
Wally has returned home and with her anger subsiding wishes she could take back what she asked of Gellner. Gellner enters and tells her how he set upon Hagenbach and hurled him into a ravine. Wally rushes to the ravine in the hope of saving Hagenbach and successfully captures his unconscious body.

Act Four
Wally, very lonely, is in the mountains above the village. Her friend Walter follows her and pleads with her to come down for festivities in the village. She sends her away and contemplates her own death. She then hears another voice, this time Hagenbachs, who has recovered and has come to declare his love for her. Hagenbach goes to look for a safe path to take them both back, but when he shouts to Wally his voice causes an avalanche which carries him away. Wally then throws herself to her death.

> Read about the other operas this season

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