Jungfrun i tornet

Jungfrun i tornet
Opera by Jean Sibelius

The composer in 1892, by Eero Jaernefelt
Librettist Rafael Hertzberg
Language Swedish

Jungfrun i tornet (The Maiden in the Tower) JS 101, is the only completed opera by the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. Its Swedish libretto is by Rafael Hertzberg. It was first performed in a concert version during a fund-raising evening for the Helsinki Philharmonic Society on 7 November 1896. It received three further performances before Sibelius withdrew it, claiming he wanted to revise the score. He never did and the opera remained unheard until it was broadcast on Finnish radio in 1981. The work's lack of success has been blamed on the weakness of the libretto, described by Stephen Walsh as "a lifeless concoction" (Viking p. 983). Some of the music shows the influence of Richard Wagner. The opera is in a single act, divided into eight scenes, and lasts about 35–40 minutes.


Cast Voice type Premiere cast
Maiden soprano
Bailiff baritone
Lover tenor
Chatelaine mezzo-soprano Emmy Achté


The story is set in the Middle Ages. After the Maiden rejects the advances of the Bailiff, he kidnaps her and imprisons her in his castle. She manages to tell the Lover of her predicament and he is preparing to fight a duel to free her when the Chatelaine arrives and arrests the Bailiff. The Maiden and the Lover are reunited and the opera ends with general rejoicing.



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