New Productions

DIE LIEBE DER DANAE
(The Love of Danae) in concert

Richard Strauss
1864 - 1949
Jolly myth in three acts
Libretto by Joseph Gregor after a sketch - Danae oder Die Vernunftheirat/Danae or the Marriage of Convenience (1919) – by Hugo von Hofmannsthal
World Premiere – an open dress rehearsal on August 16th 1944, Festspielhaus, Salzburg
Sung in German with German surtitles
Concert performances
Duration: c. 3 hours, 20 min., with one interval

About the piece

Similarities to Wagner are unmistakable. The Ring almost pops out now and again in Strauss’ shining music. Walter Kell ...
Similarities to Wagner are unmistakable. The Ring almost pops out now and again in Strauss’ shining music. Walter Keller even described the work as being an »Wagner opera from Garmisch« (where Strauss lived).
    The first attempts to stage Liebe der Danae proved difficult. Richard Strauss composed his »jolly myth in three acts« in the first years of World War II. The first performance was a dress rehearsal in the run up to the Salzburg Festival on August 16th 1944 but the performances never took place because Goebbels closed down theatres and festivals after an attempt on Hitler’s life. The »performance« world premiere took place in 1952, three years after the composer’s death, and was broadcast on radio throughout western Europe. This rarity is being performed in Frankfurt for the first time.

Synopsis

Jupiter lusts after Danae, daughter of debt-ridden King Pollux. He takes advantage of her longing for riches to take on the form o ...
Jupiter lusts after Danae, daughter of debt-ridden King Pollux. He takes advantage of her longing for riches to take on the form of golden rain and approach her in a dream. The god gives Midas, a penniless donkey drover, the ability to change things he touches into gold. In return he must put his body at the god's disposal, „on call“. This is how Jupiter intends avoiding being caught out by his jealous wife Juno. Pollux hopes to marry his daugher Danae to King Midas. Pollux' four nephews – who are also kings – shall be sent to speak to this „Croesus“. The envoys and their four queens have returned to court with Midas' agreement and a golden branch as a gift for his bride. The real Midas has been forced to assume the identity of his own messenger, Crystopher, who the princess falls in love with. Jupiter, in the form of the Midas, woos Danae, which does not go unnoticed by the four queens – Jupiter's former lovers. The god now turns Midas' talent into a curse: everything he touches will now turn into gold. The lovers embrace and Danae solidifies. Midas asks Jupiter to return her to human form and allow her to choose between them for herself. Danae chooses Midas. Danae and Midas withdraw, to live together in poverty. Jupiter realises that he is being mocked by the other inhabitants of Olympus. The four queens seek, in vain, to beguile the god once more. Before Jupiter can leave he is pressed by Pollux` creditors – who take him for Midas – to settle his debts. The god uses golden rain again to calm the greedy humans. Jupiter – now in the form of a wayfarer – seeks out Danae once more. He realises that she has found true happiness with Midas. He gives their love his blessing and takes his leave.


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Performances

Thursday 19.06.2014 19:00 h

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Cast

Conductor
Sebastian Weigle
Chorus Master
Matthias Köhler

Danae
Anne Schwanewilms
Jupiter
Alejandro Marco-Buhrmester
Midas
Lance Ryan
Pollux, König von Eos
Beau Gibson
Xanthe, Danaes Dienerin
Karen Vuong
Merkur
Peter Marsh
Vier Könige, Neffen des Pollux
Michael McCown
Yves Saelens
Björn Bürger
Franz Mayer
Semele
Britta Stallmeister
Europa
Barbara Zechmeister
Alkmene
Tanja Ariane Baumgartner
Leda
Katharina Magiera

Chorus and Orchestra of Oper Frankfurt

 
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