“Luisa Miller” by Giuseppe Verdi is a romantic tragedy in three acts based on the play “Kabale und Liebe” (“Intrigue and Love”) by the German dramatist Friedrich von Schiller. In this work Verdi returns to his favourite topic – conflict among fathers, children and their lovers.
The world premiere of the opera “Luisa Miller” was in Naples in December 8, 1849. Opera will be performed in Latvia for the first time. The music director and conductor of the concert performance will be the outstanding Italian opera interpreter Pier Giorgio Morandi.
Act I | Love
Luisa is greeted by the villagers on her birthday. Among them is Count Walter’s son Rodolfo, who pretends to be a simple peasant boy named Carlo. Luisa's father, however, does not trust the effeminate young man. His suspicions are reinforced by Wurm, who is himself in love with Luisa. Wurm convinces the young girl’s father of Rodolfo's nefarious intentions by revealing the secret of his rival’s aristocratic origins. The old Count Walter, who lives in the castle, learns from Wurm that his son is in love with a peasant. This, of course, is an obstacle to the Count’s plans to marry Rodolfo off to his cousin, Federica, Duchess of Ostheim, who has become a wealthy widow. The Duchess has loved her cousin since childhood. Causing jealousy on the part of Federica, Rodolfo reveals to her that he is in love with someone else. Confusion reigns in the Miller household: her father tells Luisa everything he has learned about her lover. Rodolfo confesses his lies and swears his loyalty to Luisa. When Rodolfo's enraged father comes to the Millers to have them arrested, the Count’s son threatens to reveal the most shameful secret of his father’s life to everyone if Luisa has to go to prison.
Act II | Intrigue
Luisa is prepared to do anything to save her father from a long imprisonment. The young woman accepts Wurm’s offer to write a false letter saying that Rodolfo was only interested in Luisa because of her origin and money, but that her heart really belongs to Wurm. The old Count is horrified by the possibility that those around him might find out about his wicked actions in the distant past: to gain a title and a position in society, he once murdered a childless relative on the advice of Wurm. The Duchess of Ostheim is convinced by Federica Luisa’s lies. A letter from his beloved makes Rodolfo desperate: first he tries to attack Wurm, then, seemingly resigned to Luisa’s unfaithfulness, he rashly agrees to marry the Duchess.
Act III | Venom
Released from prison, Miller reads Luisa’s farewell letter to Rodolfo, in which she confesses to having written untruths in the past. Luisa wishes to die. Her unhappy father manages to persuade the young girl to go abroad to start a new life. Rodolfo arrives, determined to end his life in Luisa’s presence. He poisons the water, which both he and his beloved drink. Realising that the end of his life is fast approaching, Rodolfo demands that Luisa reveal to him everything that has happened. Before her death, Luisa tells the shocked Rodolfo the truth – and thus absolves herself of her oath to Wurm, who arrives with the old Count Walter. In the arms of Luisa’s father, they see Luisa dying and Rodolfo, who, gathering the last of his strength, kills Wurm.