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Royal Palace, op. 17

Opera in one act (in German). Libretto by Iwan Goll. Available for performance only with the score reconstructed by Gunther Schuller and Noam Sheriff. The original orchestration is lost.

Work Details


45 minutes

First Performance

2 March 1927, Berlin, Staatsoper Platz der Republik, Franz-Ludwig Hörth, dir., Erich Kleiber, cond.

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A luxury hotel by an Italian lake. As the women’s chorus sings, Dejanira, her Husband, Yesterday’s Lover, and Tomorrow’s Lover walk onto the terrace and express their weariness with travel and pleasure (). The Husband and Tomorrow’s Lover exit, and Yesterday’s Lover reproaches Dejanira for forgetting their love (), but she insists that she is exhausted and no longer believes even in herself (). The for the honored guests. Tomorrow’s Lover announces his desire to possess Dejanira (). The Husband wants to buy the lake for Dejanira (); he asks her which of the three she loves the most. Yesterday’s Lover makes his case with nautical metaphors (). Dejanira accuses all three of failing to understand women (). A Young Fisherman and an Old Fisherman enter, describing the rough conditions on the lake. The Old Fisherman announces that one of the four must die (). Dejanira gives him her ring (). Each of the three men proclaims his desire for Dejanira, but she rebuffs them again (). But they insist on their suits in a trio; then they offer her extravagant gifts (). Dejanira replies that she will go with the one that understands her. A succession of interludes follows. The Husband goes first, offering her all the pleasures Europe affords, which are displayed on film (). Yesterday’s Lover offers her sexual pleasure (). Finally, Tomorrow’s Lover offers her the wonders of nature, represented by an . At last, Dejanira rejects all three suits () and proclaims her independence and her unwillingness to remain in the world (). As the women’s chorus and the Fishermen sing her name, soon joined by the three suitors (), Dejanira walks into the lake. The Husband calls for help for the drowning woman as the curtain falls.

  • Cast

    • Singing Roles

      • Dejanira (dramatic soprano)
      • The Husband (bass)
      • Yesterday's Lover (baritone)
      • Tomorrow's Lover (tenor)
      • The Young Fisherman (tenor)
      • The Old Fisherman (bass)
      • Head waiter
      • Boy
      • Soprano solo and female chorus (off stage)
  • Instrumentation

    • 2 Flutes
    • Piccolo
    • 2 Oboes
    • 2 Clarinets
    • 3 Bassoons (cbn)
    • Alto saxophone
    • 4 French horns
    • 2 Trumpets
    • 2 Trombones
    • Tuba
    • Timpani, percussion
    • Strings
    • Stage Orchestra: Glockenspiel, 5 bells, celesta, piano, harp, percussion, pitched auto horn.

Universal Edition, UE 8691

Piano-vocal score
Universal Edition, UE 8690

  • Filmszene aus Royal Palace 1925-26

    Orchestral excerpt from Royal Palace.

    Read More

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