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Opera in four acts

Music by Walter Damrosch
Libretto by W.J. Henderson
after the play by Edmond Rostand
About Cyrano

Cast of Characters
Cyrano de Bergerac, bar Roxane, s
Baron Christian de Neuvilette, t De Guiche, b
Le Bret, b Ragueneau, t
Duenna, c Montfleury, t
Lise, s A Flower-Girl, s
A Tall Musketeer, b Three Cavaliers
A Cadet, t

The opera follows the general outlines of Rostand's play. Act 1 takes place in the theater; Christian asks Le Bret to identify the woman he is in love with, who turns out to be Roxane. Cyrano interrupts a performance by Montfleury, and as a result fights a duel with De Guiche. Later, De Guiche hires a hundred men to attack Cyrano; Cyrano, who has just recieved an invitation to an interview with Roxane, gladly goes to meet them, with the actors and musicians in tow.

Act II takes place in Ragueneau's pastry shop. Cyrano arrives for what he thinks is an assignation, but when Roxane comes, she tells him she is in love with Christian, one of his cadets. Cyrano's cadets arrive, and Cyrano and Christian agree that Cyrano will help Christian court Roxane; he gives Christian the letter he has already written her.

Act III takes place in the street outside of Roxane's house. Christian tries to talk to Roxane without Cyrano's help, but she rejects him. Cyrano then speaks to her on her balcony, pretending to be Christian. Cyrano delays de Guiche from reaching Roxane until she and Christian are married. In revenge, de Guiche sends Cyrano and Christian off to the siege of Arras.

Act IV contains the action of Rostand's acts IV and V. Roxane arrives at the siege to see Christian killed and Cyrano wounded. In the park of a neighboring convent, Roxane arrives to find Cyrano. She finally realizes that it was he who wrote her letters and spoke to her on the balcony, and Cyrano dies of his wound.

Performance History
World premiere production
Metropolitan Opera, New York, New York
February 27, 1913
(5 performances)
Cyrano: Pasquale Amato
Roxane: Frances Alda
Christian: Riccardo Martin
Rovescalli/Maison Marie Muelle, stage directors
Discography Search for recordings of Cyrano at Amazon.com

Walter Damrosch: Balcony scene from Cyrano (Felix Knight, Agnes Davis)


Souvenirs from American Opera

CD / IRCC 818 (1998)

Last update: January 1, 2009