Rienzi, der letzte der Tribunen (Rienzi, the last of the tribunes; WWV 49) is an early opera by Richard Wagner in five acts, with the libretto written by the composer after Edward Bulwer-Lytton's novel of the same name (1835). The title is commonly shortened to Rienzi. Written between July 1838 and November 1840, it was first performed at the Königliches Hoftheater, Dresden, on 20 October 1842, and was the composer's first success.
The opera is set in Rome and is based on the life of Cola di Rienzi (1313–1354), a late medieval Italian populist figure who succeeds in outwitting and then defeating the nobles and their followers and in raising the power of the people. Magnanimous at first, he is forced by events to crush the nobles' rebellion against the people's power, but popular opinion changes and even the Church, which had urged him to assert himself, turns against him. In the end the populace burns the Capitol, in which Rienzi and a few adherents have made a last stand.
Performances & Interviews
- Wagner: Rienzi - Opera Guidehttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01vm29l.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01vm29l.jpg2014-03-18T15:54:00.000ZA guide to Wagner's Rienzi featuring the voices of of Wagner experts.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01vm2b5
Wagner: Rienzi - Opera GuideA guide to Wagner's Rienzi featuring the voices of of Wagner experts.