Gwendoline , Full opera by Emmanuel Chabrier R.Plowright, Patrick Raftery, Jerold Norman





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Published on Nov 14, 2012

Rosalind Plowright (Gwendoline), J. Patrick Raftery (Arald), Jerold Norman (Armel), Melvin Lowery (Erik), Steven Savino (Aella), Edward Badrak (Dane); Antonio Tauriello, conductor; Tito Capobianco, 1982. San Diego.
Act 1
Armel's house; a valley near the sea
Saxon villagers prepare for the day's work. Gwendoline warns her father Saxon chief Armel, about the menace of Danish pirates. After the menfolk leave, Gwendoline recounts her vision of being carried off by a Danish raider. Suddenly the Saxon men return, victims of a surprise Danish raid, led by Harald. He orders Armel to reveal the location of his hoard, and when Armel refuses, Harald prepares to execute him. Gwendoline begs him to spare her father; spellbound by her, Harald commands everyone to leave. Gwendoline sings a spinning song and succeeds in getting him to spin. Harald asks Armel to give his daughter in marriage - to which the Saxon elder consents while assuring his compatriots that revenge will come following the wedding feast. The two lovers take up the spinning song again as the act closes.
Act 2
A brightly decorated hall
A choral wedding procession is heard, while Armel plots with Aella and Erick to take the Danes' weapons and burn their ships. Gwendoline and Harald enter and Armel blesses their union. But Armel slips a dagger to Gwendoline for her to kill Harald that evening. Alone with Harald, Gwendoline urges him to flee, without revealing her father's intentions. They sing of their love but are interrupted by shouts of pirates being killed. Harald goes to companions; Gwendoline gives him the dagger, swearing to join him in death.
A rugged site by the sea; Danish vessels in the background
As the Danes are being slaughtered, Harald staggers on and trapped against a tree but laughs defiantly. The old man stabs him. Seeing her beloved dying, Gwendoline seizes the dagger and stabs herself to death. The two lovers stand together embracing as a ray of light illuminates them, with the Danish ships alight in a ball of fire.

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