Tag Archives: Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch

VENUS IN FURS: OPERA VERSION OF THE 1870 NOVEL

VENUS IN FURS: AN OPERA – Here at Balladeer’s Blog I love sharing my enthusiasms. My blog posts where I provide contemporary slants to Ancient Greek Comedies to make them more accessible have been big hits over the years, so I’ve begun trying that approach with operas, too.

Previously I presented how I would handle opera versions of the 1930 science fiction novel Gladiator and of the original 1966 Spaghetti Western Django. This time I’ll deal with Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch’s erotic 1870 novel Venus In Furs in opera format.

VENUS IN FURS

LANGUAGE: French.

SINGERS: A Tenor, a Baritone, a Soprano, 3 Mezzo-Sopranos and 2 Basses

I would present Venus In Furs as a two-act opera. I originally pondered a one-act format but that would have run into the same problem as the Richard Strauss opera Capriccio with the length pretty much dictating an intermission at some point.

Obviously what was daringly explicit in 1870 is just a bit titillating – even silly – here in 2020. I would not treat the story as outright comedy but like a more serious version of battle-of-the-sexes tales like The Taming of the Shrew with elements of Gothic Horror and dark comedy thrown in.

That fluctuation between opera seria and opera buffa would reflect a bit of the approach used in the 1786 opera Prima La Musica E Poi Le Parole. Act One would be a bit light in tone with the real darkness coming in Act Two. 

ACT ONE: A POSH HEALTH RESORT IN THE CARPATHIANS, 1870. Continue reading

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