Title: Toldi szerelme
Composer: Ödön Mihalovich
Librettist: Gergely Csiky and Emil Ábrányi Sr. based on the epic by János Arany
Language and translations: Hungarian
Premier: March 18, 1893
Performance Notes/History: It had 20 performances at the Royal Hungarian Opera House
Length: 3 Acts
Cast (with debut or notable):
Lajos, Hungarian king (bass) Dávid Ney
Miklós Toldi (tenor) Gyula Perotti
Pál Rozgonyi (baritone) Lajos Szendrői
Piroska, his daughter (soprano) Arabella Szillágyi
Lőrincz Tar (baritone) Mihály Takáts
Lórántfi (tenor) Béla Kiss
Bence, Toldi’s squire (bass) János Tallián
Knight Marshal (bass)
The opera takes place in Buda and Margit Island during the rule of King Lajos.
Act I: In the jousting arena of Sík Square there are tents, one on the right belongs to Toldi and the other to Lőrincz Tar. The Knight Marshal calls the jousters to mount their horses.
Toldi calls Lőrincz Tar to the match. Lőrincz Tar, who is hunchbacked and lame, does not trust his own strength, and instead asks Toldi to compete in his place for Piroska’s hand. Toldi wins for Lőrincz, but Piroska, who is in love with Toldi, knows the truth about what happened.
Act II: Piroska was forced to marry Lőrincz Tar, but is still in love with Toldi. King Lajos and Toldi go hunting near the lands of Tar. Toldi goes on ahead and meets Piroska and the two embrace. Lőrincz discovers them and says he will tell the King, but Toldi does not flinch. Lőrincz sends a henchman to overcome Toldi, who is easily defeated, but in the meantime, Lőrincz goes to stab Toldi. Piroska cries out to Toldi, who then kills Lőrincz. King Lajos sentences Toldi to death and sends Piroska to a monastary. Piroska pleads with the king, who decides to exile the knight instead.
Act III: Piroska is being led to the monostary on Margit island. Toldi emerges and tries to rescue Piroska, but is unsuccessful. Piroska dies of her sorrow in the monostary. Toldi demands Piroska’s body from the monks. King Lajos sees that his best knight has become suicidal in his grief. The other knights prevent Toldi from taking his life, he finds his purpose again and he leads them into battle against the Italians.
Notes/Reminders to Self:
In Amadé’s book he quotes a critique from an apparently unknown author who said that the work should make the Germans more proud than the Hungarians. Ostensibly this is due to the fact that Mihalovich’s musical language is rooted in a Wagnerian/German tradition.