Susannens Geheimnis (Il Segreto di Susanna)
Interlude in one act from the French by Enrico Golisciani - English Version by Claude Aveling
Composer: Wolf-Ferrari, Ermanno 1876 - 1948
Original (Italian: Golisciani / German: Max Kalbeck)
One of the works for which Wolf-Ferrari is best known, Il segreto di Susanna/Susannens Geheimnis (Susanna’s Secret) is an intermezzo in one act which premiered in Munich on December 4, 1909. SYNOPSIS: Piedmont, Italy, early twentieth-century. Count Gil returns home suspecting that he has seen his wife, Susanna, walking alone in the street, something he had forbidden her to do. He is relieved to discover that she is playing the piano in the living room, though she has secretly returned home only shortly before him. The room smells of tobacco, and he is surprised, as neither he, Susanna, nor the servant Sante, smokes. A horrible thought strikes him: is it possible that Susanna is unfaithful to him? He is soon ashamed of having such suspicions, but notices that the tobacco smell comes from Susanna’s clothes. She finally admits to having a secret, but does not tell him what it is. When Gil leaves the house, she takes out a cigarette and smokes with Sante. But while she is smoking with Sante, Gil comes back, and starts to search the house for Susanna’s ‘lover’ on the pretext of looking for an umbrella. Gil furiously goes out again and Susanna lights a second cigarette. Once more Gil enters and, this time, he is sure that he will catch her in the act. Trying to seize her hand, he gets burned - thus finally unveiling her secret. They forgive each other and swear eternal love - while smoking together.
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