• Henri Tomasi
  • Miguel Mañara (Don Juan de Mañara) (1942)

  • Alphonse Leduc (World)
  • 3333/433+cbtbn1/timp.perc.bell.gl.xyl/2hp.cel.om/str.
  • Soloists, 2 speaking roles
  • 1 hr 45 min
  • H. Tomasi
  • French, German

Programme Note

Don Miguel de Mañara was a cynical, debauched aristocrat who took pleasure in collecting both female conquests and violent crime. He spread such terror in 17th century Seville that legend associated this historical figure with the scandalous character of Don Juan. There is, however, an important difference between the two men, for Miguel de Mañara is a Don Juan who ends up seeing the error of his ways. Filled with despair, Miguel is transfigured by the appearance of Girolama. Thanks to the young woman, the libertine discovers self-transcendence. The death of this luminous being, three months after their marriage, leads Mañara to an unimaginable fate.

1942-44: Henri Tomasi takes refuge in the composition of this opera that adapts the mystery of Franco-Lithuanian poet Oscar Miłosł. The idea was certainly to transmit a universal spiritual message to which people could cling at a time when the world was awash in sound and fury. A treasure of the French repertoire, Don Juan de Mañara enjoyed a triumphant premiere at the Bavarian State Opera in 1956. Along with Dialogues des Carmélites by Poulenc and Saint François d’Assise by Messiaen, it is one of the 20th century’s masterpieces.