Martha Jungwirth, Ohne Titel, 2000
Öl auf Leinwand, 100 x 70,5 cm
Foto: © Dorotheum Wien
© Martha Jungwirth/Bildrecht, Wien 2023

Ambroise Thomas owed the triumphal success of his Shakespeare opera Hamlet not least to the two protagonists at its premiere in Paris in March 1868. The young Swedish soprano Christine Nilsson, the ideal embodiment of the Romantic image of Ophelia as a femme fragile, enchanted the audience in her great ‘mad scene’ with its rich coloraturas, while the baritone Jean-Baptiste Faure did impressive justice to the complex role of the titular hero. Inspired by a plot that focuses exclusively on Hamlet’s revenge and its effects on Ophelia, Ambroise Thomas once again demonstrated both his melodic inventiveness and his ability to convincingly render dramatic situations and atmospherically charged scenes.

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