In an apparent idyll in the middle of the Swiss Alps, a secluded village society prepares for the next wedding. Amina is to be the lucky one this time, the groom Elvino. But he quickly turns his attention back to his former wife, because: The bride sleepwalks into the bed of a stranger who has just arrived. Count Rodolfo, son of the former lord of the manor and travelling incognito, is not believed by the villagers in his protestations of innocence, nor is Amina, until she sleepwalks again and the ingrained collective belief in ghosts is put to a stubborn test.
The motif of sleepwalking has a utopian power in Bellini's work, between the most beautiful coloratura and lilting melodies. The focus is not on the slipperiness of a sexually moralising society, but on an escapism that makes the longing for freedom and departure painfully clear. This somnambulistic topos of Romanticism between idyll and crashing edge will be narrated for the stage by Johannes Erath, whose poetically subtle works have been produced for the Bavarian State Opera, the Theater an der Wien, the Teatro Massimo Palermo, the Semperoper or the Frankfurt Opera, among others. At the Deutsche Oper am Rhein he staged "Vissi d'arte - A declaration of love for opera" in 2020/21.