Met Opera on Demand Catalog
Death in Venice
(Dec. 14, 1974)
Composer: Benjamin Britten
Librettist: Myfanwy Piper
Bedford; Pears, Shirley-Quirk
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 15 min.
Thomas Mann’s celebrated tale of unrequited love and death is given a new perspective in Benjamin Britten’s final opera, first performed just a year and a half before this Met broadcast. The composer’s long-time companion, tenor Peter Pears, reprises his world-premiere portrayal of Gustav von Aschenbach, the elderly and solitary novelist at the center of the story, who tragically falls in love with the beautiful youth Tadzio (played by a dancer). Pears is joined by two other veterans of the opera’s world premiere—John Shirley-Quirk, who plays the seven characters that propel Aschenbach to his destiny, and conductor Steuart Bedford.