Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Die tote Stadt will receive its (cough…cough…long overdue..cough…cough) UK stage premiere at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden later this month, and Jessica Duchen–the author of an excellent biography of the composer–is counting down the days to the big event on her blog. Meanwhile, over at Mr. Norris Changes Trains, Gavin Plumley has been posting a series of terrific pieces about Korngold and the opera in conjuction with the ROH production.
While I’m thinking of it, I should also mention upcoming performances of Die tote Stadt in Venice (January 23 – 31)–the first time the opera has been presented at the Teatro La Fenice–Vienna (March 28 – April 6), Passau (April 3 – 30), Palermo (April 16 – 23), and Nürnberg (May 30 – June 7).
I first became acquainted with Korngold’s exceedingly well-crafted film scores as a grad student in the early 1990s, and I’ve been an advocate of his music ever since. Despite the fact that the composer is still the target of some lingering critical prejudices–why, for instance, is there no entry for him in the most recent edition of the Grove Book of Operas?–we should all be encouraged to see Die tote Stadt programmed with greater frequency these days. I suppose opera companies are slowly starting to realize what many of us have known all along–that this is an intensely powerful and moving stage work that deserves to be experienced by a much wider audience.