1 (Schoenberg: Moses und Aron). Spoken. He hears God telling him to lead the Israelites from bondage, but he feels unable to convince them to follow him—he is no orator. God tells him to speak to the people through his brother Aaron. Moses explains what he wants to say, but Aaron cannot inspire the Israelites. Moses goes up Mount Sinai to receive the tablets of the law from the Lord. He returns to find that Aaron has built a golden calf for them all to worship. He criticizes Aaron for not being able to accept the idea of God even though he cannot see him in person. Created (1954, radio/1957, stage) by Hans Herbert Fiedler.
2 (Mosè) (Rossini: Mosè in Egitto). Bass. Leader of the Israelites. Brother of Miriam and uncle of Anaïs (who, while in captivity in Egypt, has fallen in love with Amenophis, Pharaoh's son). Each time Pharaoh changes his mind about allowing the Israelites to leave their bondage in Egypt, Moses brings down a plague, threatening death to all first-born sons of Egypt, including Pharaoh's son. Amenophis lifts his sword to strike Moses but is killed by a bolt of lightning. Moses urges his tribe to have faith. They pray to God and the Red Sea parts to allow them to walk across, closing again and drowning the Egyptians who try to capture them. Aria and ens.: Des cieux où tu résides, grand Dieu (Dal tuo stellato soglio) (‘From Thy starry throne, turn to us O Lord’). This, the most famous passage in the opera, was added at its first revival the season after the première. Created (1818) by Michele Benedetti.
3 (Weill: Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny). Bar. Trinity Moses. One of three fugitives who found the city of Mahagonny. It is to be their ideal town, where nobody works and pleasure is the main pursuit. In a boxing match he kills one of the inhabitants. Created (1930) by Walther Zimmer.