New Productions

(A Village Romeo and Juliet)

Frederick Delius
1862 - 1934
Lyric Drama in six scenes
Libretto by the composer, Jelka Rosen-Delius and Charles Francis Keary after the novel Romeo und Julia auf dem Dorfe (1855) from Die Leute von Seldwyla/The People from Seldwyla by Gottfried Keller
World premiere of German edition February 21st 1907, Komische Oper, Berlin
World premiere: February 22nd 1910, Covent Garden, London
First ever performance in Frankfurt
Sung in English with German surtitles

About the piece

Gottfried Keller read the following news item in the Zürcher Zeitung on September 3rd 1847: »In the village of Altsellerhausen, near Leipzig, lived a young man of 19 and a girl of 17, both members of poor families which, because they were deadly enemies, refused to allow them to see each other. On August 15th the two young lovers met in a bar, where they danced until the early hours. The next morning their bodies were found in a field; they had shot themselves in the head.« This inspired him to write the story, which ends with Sali showing Vrenchen a barge laden with hay saying »Here is your bridal bed«, knowing only too well that they are not destined to find happiness on earth. It is, said Keller, one of the ancient, deep rooted hideous sides to human nature: »which surfaces again and again in new clothes, refusing to be let go of.«
    Frederick Delius’ operas, discovered for the first time in Germany after the turn of the last century and almost completely forgotten today, were composed at a time when late romantic and modern music crossed paths. A Village Romeo and Juliet is like an enormous orchestral rhapsody that is constantly interrupted by sudden expressionistic outbursts and shocking moments. Music is, said Delius, a »cry from the soul«.

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Sunday 06.07.2014 19:30 h

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Paul Daniel
Eva-Maria Höckmayr
Set Designer
Christian Schmidt
Costume Designer
Saskia Rettig
Lighting Designer
Olaf Winter
Norbert Abels
Chorus Master
Matthias Köhler

Dietrich Volle
Magnús Baldvinsson
Jussi Myllys
Amanda Majeski
Der schwarze Geiger
Johannes Martin Kränzle

Chorus and Orchestra of Oper Frankfurt

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