Opera Australia presents the first of its Insight evenings for its winter season in mid-June. The evenings are open to Patrons and Friends of Opera Australia as well as to non-members, and are held at the Opera Centre in Surry Hills. They are designed to preview and delve further into the musical and dramatic elements of the productions.
This year’s first Insights features Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt, a three act opera completed in 1920 when Korngold was just 23 with libretto by Korngold and his father Julius under the joint pseudonym Paul Schott. Based on Bruges-la-Morte, a short novel by Georges Rodenbach, and set in Bruges at the end of the 19th century, the essence of the tale is about young Paul coming to terms with the death of his beloved wife Marie.
Its sentiments undoubtedly resonated with audiences who were emerging from the trauma of World War I. To accommodate the fierce demand to see it, the opera was scheduled to premiere simultaneously in Hamburg and in Cologne where it was conducted by Otto Klemperer. Within two years it had been performed several times around Europe and at New York’s Met until the rise of Nazism saw Korngold’s work languish until more recent times.
Die Tote Stadt opens in Sydney on Saturday June 30th, 2012. Bruce Beresford directs this Australian premiere in which Stefan Vinke sings the role of Paul with Cheryl Barker in the dual role of Marie/Mariette. Also in the ensemble are Michael Honeyman, Deborah Humble, David Corcoran, Dominica Matthews, Jose Carbo and, Stephen Smith
Insights features Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific in July and Richard Strauss’ Salome in September.
Tickets: Patrons and Friends $15; non-members $20.