COMPOSED BY FREDERIC CHASLIN LIBRETTO BY P.H. FISHER
Synopsis The opera is an adaptation of a short story written by Theophile Gautier in the French genre of "le conte fantastique" where science fiction, fantasy and magic realism merge. La Morte Amoureuse (1836) is a tale of the supernatural in which a handsome priest, Romualdo, makes nocturnal visits to Clarimonde, whom he perceives as the beautiful woman he loves. She is actually a vampiress but not a ghoulish, fanged, neck biting Bram Stoker-type ( Gautier's story pre-dates Stoker's by 6 years). Clarimonde is an exquisite, erotic courtesan who believes she is in love with the young priest and that his pure love (combined with a taste of his priestly blood) is her only way to escape her enslavement by Maker and eternal doom. The tough and zealous Bishop Serapion realizes the seduction of Romualdo is transpiring nightly and wages a battle to save not only the young priest's physical life, but also his very soul.