Lélio (The Return to Life) Hol.55: A Lyric Monodrama
Lélio was composed during Berlioz's stay in Italy in 1831. He conceived the idea of a semi-theatrical work that combined music and monologues to express the idea of returning to life after a profound traumatic experience. Originally entitled Le Retour a la Vie" it consists of six separate compositions interspersed with dramatic monologues. The monologues are to be recited by an actor in front of a curtain which conceals the Orchestra, and they reflect Berlioz's most passionate concerns in 1831, especially friendship, love, Shakespeare, and the healing power of music.
"The work is to be played immediately after the "Symphonie fantastique", to which it forms the conclusion and the complement. The orchestra, chorus and soloists should be out of sight on the stage, behind the curtain. The actor speaks and acts by himself on the forestage. After the last monologue he exits, and the curtain rises to reveal all the performers for the finale thus a platform must be built over the orchestral pit. The part of Lélio demands a skilful non-singing actor. In addition a Tenor is required for the Ballad, another Tenor for the Song of Bliss and a strong Baritone for the brigand-chief" - Hector Berlioz
- Urtext of the New Berlioz Edition
- Full score (BA5447) and vocal score (BA5447-90) on sale
- Performance material available (BA5447-72) available for hire