Lehar dirigiert Lehar: Paganini
Operetta in three acts by Paul Knepler and Bela Jenbach, 2 CDs
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- Order number: 2000324
The plot is set in the Principality of Lucca during th eregency og Napoleon. Paganini is travelling to Lucca, where he has been invited to give a concert. He stops at an inn in a small village. As it happens Princess Anna Elisa, Napoleon's sister is staying at the same inn. Hearing him practising on his violin, she is captivated by his musical virtuosity. When she meets the young musician face to face, she is even more enchanted by his person. They fall in love. Soon word reaches Paganini that he has been slandered and that the Prince (Anna Elisa's husband) has called of the concert. The violinist makes up his mind to leave, but Anna Elisa persuades him to stay, promising to talk her husband into permitting th econcert to take place after all. The Princess' plan succeeds. Paganini gives his concert, and he is even appointed Kapellmeister at the Lucca court. However, his irresponsible and spendthrift way of life soon lose him both his fortune and his benefactors at court.To make matters worse, the violinist embarks upon a romance with the singer Bella, who is the object of two other men's affections: the Prince himself and the Chamberlain Pimpinelli. Paganini is tactless enough to dedicate to Bella a song which he had originally composed for the Princess. The latter is utterly outraged at this act of faithlessness. Rumours of the scandalous goings-on at the Lucca court reach Napoleon's ears, and he gives orders, that Paganini be arrested forth-with. The indignant Princess also demands that he be punished. Paganini manages to extricate himself from the predicament by his bewitching playing and makes his escape from the court. He goes into hiding in a somewhat disreputable tavern, where he makes his preparations for fleeing across th eborder with the help of a band of smugglers. Bella, still hoping that Paganini will agree to a liasion with her, track shim down in the tavern. When he declines her offer of love she accepts Pimpinelli's proposal of marriage. Anna Elisa also appears disguised as a travelling singer. She sings a love song by which Paganini recognises her. The two bid a tearfull farewell. Paganini has resolved henceforth to dedicate his life exclusively to his music.