Abraham "Bram" Stoker (November 8, 1847 – April 20, 1912) was an Irish novelist and short story writer, best known today for his 1897 Gothic novel Dracula. During his lifetime, he was better known as personal assistant of actor Henry Irving and business manager of the Lyceum Theatre in London, which Irving owned.

Heinrich August Marschner's opera Der Vampyr

Heinrich Marschner



Heinrich August Marschner's opera Der Vampyr (The Vampire) premiered in Leipzig in 1828. The libretto was written by Wilhelm August Wohlbrück, Marschner's brother-in-law. The story, based on John Polidori's short story “The Vampyre”,  takes place in Scotland in the present day of the time.

Elements of the plot are also drawn from theatrical adaptations of "The Vampyre" by Charles Nodier (Le vampire, 1820), J.R. Planché (The Vampire, or The Bride of the Isles, 1820), and Heinrich Ludwig Ritter (Der Vampyr, oder Die Todten-braut, 1821).

In 1833, Richard Wagner composed an allegro to replace the second half of Aubry's aria in the second act. Der Vampyr is still sometimes performed with Wagner's allegro in place of Marschner's original agitato.

Characters

    Lord Ruthven, the vampire (Baritone)
    Sir Humphrey Davenaut (Bass)
    Malwina, his daughter (Soprano)
    Sir Edgar Aubry, her lover (Tenor)
    Sir John Berkley (Bass)
    Janthe, his daughter (Soprano)
    George Dibdin, a servant (Tenor)
    Emmy Perth, his fiancée (Soprano)
    Toms Blunt, a peasant (Baritone)
    Suse, his wife (Mezzo-soprano)
    James Gadshill, a peasant (Tenor)
    Richard Scrop, a peasant (Tenor)
    Robert Green, a peasant (Bass)
    The Vampire Master (Spoken)
    John Perth, Emmy's father (Spoken)


Plot

Act I

Scene 1 - Outside the Vampire Cave

A chorus of witches and ghosts announces the arrival of the Vampire Master, who makes Lord Ruthven swear to kill three women in the next twenty-four hours in order to earn one more year of life as a vampire. Janthe appears, intending to elope with Ruthven, but her father has followed her with a hunting party and the couple escapes into the vampire cave. Berkley, Janthe's father, hears her scream and, finding her dead from a vampire bite, stabs Ruthven. Ruthven's friend Aubry arrives, and Ruthven instructs Aubry to drag him into the moonlight. Aubry realizes that Ruthven must be a vampire, but Ruthven makes him swear not to tell anyone for the next twenty-four hours.

Scene 2 - Davenaut's Castle

Malwina observes the beautiful spring morning while she waits for Aubry. He arrives and they joyfully reunite, intending to ask her father for permission to marry. Davenaut, however, announces that she has been promised to the Earl of Marsden. Aubry realizes that the Earl is actually Lord Ruthven, but cannot warn Malwina because of his oath.

Act II

Scene 1 - A Peasant Wedding

Emmy Perth waits for her bridegroom, George. They learn that Janthe was killed by a vampire the previous night, and Emmy relates a warning tale about vampires. Ruthven arrives and attempts to seduce Emmy. George overhears and becomes angry.

Aubry threatens to break his oath, but Ruthven informs him that if he did so, he would become a vampire himself.

Ruthven seduces and murders Emmy, and the peasants' merriment is interrupted by the discovery of Emmy's body.

Scene 2 - Davenaut's Castle

Aubry attempts once againt to warn Malwina. He tries to stop the wedding, but Davenaut has him dragged off. He forces his way back and, just as the period of the oath is up, reveals Ruthven as a vampire. Ruthven is dragged to hell, and Aubry and Malwina are allowed to marry.

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