Music by Igor Stravinsky
Libretto by W.H. Auden and Chester Kallman
A devilish tale, seductively sung
Led by a sinister companion, a young man abandons his sweetheart for the dangerous excitement of London. When he gambles his life, he loses his mind – but his soul is saved through true love.
Exuberantly bizarre and heart-breakingly tender, The Rake's Progress is part fairy tale, part cautionary fable. At once a love story and a zany adventure, it is also an ode to the redemptive power of love and music – and a fabulous theatrical romp. Stravinsky's score is a revelation, quirky, and seductive. Astonishingly sweet and lyrical, spiked with idiosyncratic twists of harmony and rhythm, this music is as irresistible as temptation.
A simple country boy got chewed up by the temptations of the big city. His girlfriend remained faithful to the end. It was pure opera – and it broke my heart.
Musicologist David Schiff
First Performance September 11, 1951, Teatro La Fenice, Venice
In English with English Surtitles
The performance is approximately 2 hours, 40 minutes, with one intermission.