KÖNIGSKINDER (Royal Children)
New Productions

KÖNIGSKINDER (Royal Children)
Engelbert Humperdinck
1854 - 1921

Fairy Tale Opera in three acts
Libretto by the composer after a fairy drama (1893) by Ernst Rosmer (pseudonym for Elsa Bernstein Porges)
World premiere December 28th 1910, Metropolitan Opera, New York

Sung in German with German surtitles
Duration: c. 3 1/4 hrs. incl. one interval

About the work

The score of this gloomy fairy story, one of the most beautiful of the turn of the century, is one of 14 operas written by Humperd ...
The score of this gloomy fairy story, one of the most beautiful of the turn of the century, is one of 14 operas written by Humperdinck, but all were overshadowed by the success enjoyed by Hänsel und Gretel. The first edition was a long Melodrama. Although the first performance in Munich was successful few companies dared tackle the demanding score. Between 1907 and 1910 Humperdinck shortened the text and turned the work into an opera. He was strongly influenced by Wagner, with whom he worked, using »reminiscent motives« instead of leitmotivs, and atmospheric sound to create an extraordinary work. The young couple’s »Liebestod« in the snow is shocking, moving and deeply pessimistic. Königskinder, the saddest of all fairy stories, reflects on a heartless society which is incapable of tolerating anything unfamiliar.

Synopsis

A goose-girl lives with her supposed grandmother, a witch, who teachers her magic, including how to bake cursed bread. The girl co ...
A goose-girl lives with her supposed grandmother, a witch, who teachers her magic, including how to bake cursed bread. The girl counters the curse with a blessing: whoever eats of it will see visions of what their heart most desires. A King's son, exploring the world, meets her and they fall in love. When she refuses his golden crown he throws it away and asks her to follow him. But the witch has cast a spell which makes this impossible. He storms off. The witch comes home, finds out a man has been there and locks the girl up. A minstrel, woodcutter and broom-maker have been sent by the people of Hellastadt to ask the witch how to find a king. She says that the first person to enter the town gates at twelve the next day will their new ruler. The minstrel finds the girl and says that he will help her look for the prince. The girl's prayer to her dead parents break the spell and she follows the minstrel. Hellastadt prepares to welcome its king. The prince finds work tending the innkeeper's pigs. When the woodcutter and broom-maker arrounce the king's arrival the prince tries to explain what it takes to be a good king. He is ridiculed. The gates are opened at twelve and the goose-girl enters, the crown on her head. The prince welcomes her as his queen. The townspeople drive them out of town. A child realised that they have chased away their king and queen. Winter: the witch has been burned at the stake. The Minstrel now lives in her hut. The woodcutter, broom-maker and children try to bring him back to town. The minstrel and children go to look for their lost king and queen. The royal children, starving, find the hut. The prince gives the woodcutter his crown in return for some old bread found in the hut. It is the magic bread. He and the girl eat it, and die. The minstrel and children find their bodies in the snow.


With generous support from the Frankfurt Patronatsverein - Sektion OperSponsorenlogo Frankfurter Patronatsvereins - Sektion Oper
Performances

Sunday 14.10.2012 18:00 h

Further performances

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Cast

Conductor
Sebastian Weigle
Director
David Bösch
Stage Designer
Patrick Bannwart
Costume Designer
Meentje Nielsen
Lighting Designer
Frank Keller
Dramaturge
Zsolt Horpácsy
Chorus Master
Matthias Köhler
Children's Chorus Master
Michael Clark

Der Königssohn
Daniel Behle
Die Gänsemagd
Amanda Majeski
Der Spielmann
Nikolay Borchev
Die Hexe
Julia Juon
Der Holzhacker
Magnús Baldvinsson
Der Besenbinder
Martin Mitterrutzner
His Daughter
Chiara Bäuml
Der Ratsälteste
Franz Mayer
Der Wirt
Dietrich Volle
Die Wirtstochter
Nina Tarandek
Der Schneider
Beau Gibson
Die Stallmagd
Katharina Magiera
1. Torwächter
Thomas Charrois
2. Torwächter
Garegin Hovsepian
Eine Frau
Claudia Grunwald

Chorus and Orchestra of Oper Frankfurt

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