Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Maximilien: Ópera historique en 3 actos et 9 tableaux

A couple of years ago, the late great Mexican art historian Don Ricardo Pérez Escamilla very generously gave me his copy of a rare French libretto and program of the opera performed in the Académie Nationale de Musique et de Danse, Maximilien (libretto by R.S. Hoffman; adapted from the work by Franz Werfel; French adapted version by Armand Lunel; music by Darius Milhaud). The libretto was published in 1931 in Vienna.

The cast of characters (my translation):

Maximilian, Archduke of Austria, Emperor of Mexico (Baritone)

Carlota, Empress of Mexico (Soprano)

Princess Agnes Salm-Salm (Mezzo)

Chancellor Stefan Herzfeld, childhood friend of Maximilian (Baritone)

Tomás Mejía, Mexican General serving the Monarchy (Tenor)

Colonel Miguel López (Tenor)

Francois Achille Bazaine, Marshal of France, Commander-in-Chief of the Expeditionary Forces (Baritone)

Monsignor Pelagio Labastida, Cardinal of Mexico City and Puebla (Bass)

Three Mexican Republican generals reporting to Don Benito Juárez)
Porfirio Diaz (Bass)
Riva Palacio (Tenor)
Mariano Escobedo (Bass)

The Mayor (Basse)


Indigenous People and Notables (Men)
Maximilian's Guests (Mixed)
The Crowd (Mixed)
Rebellious Soldiers, Indigenous People, etc. (Mixed)
The Delegantes of the Junta (2 tenors)
The Generals (2 tenors, 2 baritones)
Imperial Soldiers (Men)
The Crowd of Querétaro (Mixed)
Guards (2 tenors, 2 baritones)
An Officer and the Firing Squad - a Chaplain (Mute actors)
Republican Crowd (Mixed)

For more operas and musicals about Maximilian and Carlota, scroll down to the bottom of the Maximilian von Mexiko links page.

Next post next Tuesday.


  1. It was by accident I learned about this opera by Darius Milhaud a couple of years ago. I searched the Internet for an album, but all I found was a Maximilien suite for strings. Today I looked again, and guess what I found? A 1963 recording by the Orchestre et Choeur de la RTF (Radio-Television Française) on YouTube. A very interesting document to be sure. Here's the link:

  2. Thank you so much, Paco, this is wonderful to know about.



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