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Lost Liszt opera to be heard 200 years on

Press Association logoPress Association 7/03/2017 Sam Russell

An abandoned opera by Franz Liszt which has lain largely forgotten in a German archive for nearly two centuries will be given its world premiere this year.

The manuscript was discovered in an archive in Weimar by Cambridge University academic David Trippett more than 10 years ago.

Much of its music was written in shorthand, only one act was completed and it was assumed to be fragmentary, often illegible and consequently indecipherable.

But it has been resurrected after Dr Trippett spent the past two years working on the manuscript and a ten-minute preview will be performed for the first time in public as part of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World contest in June.

"In 1849 Liszt began composing an Italian opera, but he abandoned it halfway through and the music he completed has lain silently in an archive for nearly 170 years," said Dr Trippett, who is a senior lecturer in the faculty of music.

"This project is about bringing it to life for the very first time.

"There is nothing else quite like it in the operatic world.

"We will never know exactly why he abandoned his work on the opera and I suspect he would have been surprised to learn that it is resurfacing in the 21st century."

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