Henry Morosus

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(Strauss: Die schweigsame Frau). Ten. Husband of Aminta and nephew and heir of Sir John Morosus. Together with his wife, an opera singer, Henry runs a troupe of travelling theatricals, putting on operas, and known as the Vanuzzi Opera Company. His uncle considers this a disgraceful way to earn a living, making an exhibition of oneself in public, and disowns Henry. Worried that Morosus will take a wife who will then become his heir, Henry sets about deceiving his uncle. Three ladies in Henry's company disguise themselves as prospective brides, and Morosus, totally taken in by this ruse, chooses the most demure and quiet one, called ‘Timida’ (who is Aminta in disguise). Henry arranges a mock wedding—the lawyer and priest are again disguised members of his troupe. Once married, ‘Timida’ turns out to be noisy and aggressive, and Morosus cannot wait to be rid of her. Henry offers to find him reason to divorce her, and even poses as her past lover. But eventually he relents and admits to his uncle that it has all been a hoax. Fortunately for him, Morosus can see the joke, admires their acting ability, and reinstates Henry as his heir. Duet (with Aminta): Dich verlassen? Dich entbehren? (‘Forsake you? Renounce you?’) This was the role in which Fritz Wunderlich first came on to the international scene, when he sang it at the Salzburg Festival in 1959. Created (1935) by Martin Kremer.

Subjects: Opera.

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