DIE TOTE STADT (THE DEAD CITY)
In deutscher Sprache mit deutschen und englischen Übertiteln. Altersempfehlung: Ab 14 Jahren
Bruges, once a key centre of medieval trade and commerce, has now become a symbol of isolation and remoteness from the world. It is here that Paul settles after his wife’s death and attempts to preserve every detail of her existence for eternity. Paul’s only contacts with the outside world come through his housekeeper Brigitta and his best friend Frank, until life comes bursting into Paul’s temple of memories in the form of the dancer Marietta. In Paul’s eyes she looks so similar to his dead wife, he cannot tell them apart. He becomes ever more absorbed in an obsessive love. The boundaries between life and death, dream and reality become increasingly blurred until Paul commits a murder – or does he?
‘Die tote Stadt’ is based on the novel ‘Bruges-la-Morte’ by Georges Rodenbach,
one of the key texts of French symbolism. Erich Wolfgang Korngold and
his librettist Paul Schott (alias Julius Korngold, the composer’s father) nevertheless made substantial changes to the story, giving the opera a happy ending and giving the central character Paul the strength to take control of his own destiny once again and return to the living as a result of a cathartic dream.
The 23-year old composer Korngold achieved sensational success with ‘Die tote Stadt’. After simultaneous world premieres in 1920 in Hamburg and Cologne, the opera was subsequently performed in some eighty opera houses around the world. In the mid-1930s Korngold was forced to flee from the Nazis and go into exile in America. Here he became one of Hollywood’s most influential composers and the “founding father” of symphonic film scores.
The production will be conducted by Theater Basel’s Music Director Erik Nielsen, who has a particular fondness for the sound worlds of the early 20th century. Resident director Simon Stone, whose productions of ‘Angels in America’ and ‘John Gabriel Borkman’ have already been seen at Theater Basel, makes his debut as an opera director with ‘Die tote Stadt’.
Preisstufe VII (von 30.– bis 118.–)