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Holst’s Sāvitri Libretto

Brodbeck, Simon ORCID: 2022. Holst’s Sāvitri Libretto. Religions of South Asia 16 (2-3) , pp. 342-369. 10.1558/rosa.24408

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This article focuses on the libretto (the words) of Gustav Holst’s one-act opera Savitri (opus 25, 1908), which is based on a story told in the Mahabharata. The article introduces Holst’s Savitri project biographically in the context of his love of India. It explores the question of what sources Holst used in preparing his libretto. It discusses Holst’s main departures from his source text(s): his removal of the framing story, his featuring of the character Satyavan, and his introduction of the topic of maya. Historical reasons for Holst’s interest in maya are briefly explored. Finally, the article places Holst’s Savitri in the context of operatic history, reading it as a version of the story of Orpheus and Eurydice.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
P Language and Literature > PK Indo-Iranian
Date of Acceptance: 11 January 2022
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2023 13:18

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