The Work

Ciprian Porumbescu used a libretto by Vasile Alecsandri, one of the most important Romanian poets, based on a popular myth: The New Moon is to be prayed and chanted three times by peasant girls in order to meet the love of their life and marry a young man. The libretto has its roots in a poem by the same Alecsandri, written in 1842/43.

The plot is set in a mountain village and tells the conquering love story of an orphaned girl, Anica and master Leonaș despite all their tribulations: Leonaș is accused of robbery by the high steward Corbu and abducts Anica into the woods, being chased by the gendarmes captain Bujor. After many twists and turns, the real thief is caught and with the help of an old man (Moș Corbu), the two lovers can marry, while the steward admits his wrong judgement.

While Alexandru Flechtenmacher (Baba Hârca – 1848, Coana Chirița – 1850 and Scara mâței – 1850), Eduard Wachmann (Păunașul codrilor – 1858, Spoielile Bucureștilor – 1963) or Eduard Caudella (Harță Răzeșul – 1872, Olteanca – 1880, Fata răzeșului – 1881) wrote the first Romanian operettas, it was Porumbescu’s attempt on this genre which would last to our days.

“The text between the musical parts is written in prose and the lyrics of the songs are rhymed, as the composer used the sounds and rhythms of the national language with the aim of creating melodic structures that lead to a genuinely Romanian profile. There are many pearls of wisdom specific of the local folklore; among them, there are a few patriotic, inspirational messages, supported musically by patriotic songs.

The setting creates a rustic atmosphere, which is complemented by the protagonistsʼ traditional Romanian costumes, thus described by the composerʼs sister, Maria” (Rosina Caterina Filimon: Ciprian Porumbescu, creator and protagonist of the Romanian operetta in Sciendo – Arts. Journal of Musicology)

Maria, the composer’s sister and and two choir girls in Crai Nou

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