Die Gezeichneten (The Branded or The Stigmatized) is an opera in three acts by Franz Schreker with a German-language libretto by the composer.

Composition history

Schreker wrote the libretto in 1911 at the request of composer Alexander Zemlinsky based on the 1904 play Hidalla by German playwright Frank Wedekind.[1] However, Schreker decided to set the text himself, and completed the opera in 1915. The score was first published by Universal Edition Vienna in 1914.[2]

Performance history

An expanded concert version of the overture to the opera, entitled "Vorspiel zu einem Drama", was performed at the Vienna Musikverein on 8 February 1914 by the Vienna Philharmonic, conducted by Felix Weingartner.[3]

The complete opera was first performed on 25 April 1918 by the Frankfurt Opera in the Alte Oper, conducted by Ludwig Rottenberg.[4][5] It established Schreker as the pre-eminent opera composer of his generation and won him the support of Germany's foremost music critic Paul Bekker. Before the composer's music was banned in 1933, due to his Jewish ancestry, a further two dozen productions followed in fifteen different cities in Germany and Austria.[6] The playbill of the first performance in Vienna, in January 1920, mentions 66 previous performances of the opera in five different opera houses (Frankfurt, Nuremberg, Munich, Dresden and Breslau).[7]

Conductor Michael Gielen revived the opera at the Frankfurt Opera in 1979.[8] In the performance, which was recorded, William Cochran appeared as Alviano Salvago, Barry Mora as Tamare, June Card as Carlotta, and Günter Reich as the Duke.[1] It was staged, albeit heavily cut, at the Salzburg Festival in 2005, directed by Nikolaus Lehnhoff and conducted by Kent Nagano, with Robert Brubaker (Alviano) and Anne Schwanewilms (Carlotta) in the leading roles.[9]

The American premiere was staged by Los Angeles Opera on 10 April 2010, followed by three more performances.[10]James Conlon conducted. Robert Brubaker (Alviano), Anja Kampe (Carlotta) and Martin Gantner (Tamare) sang the principal roles. These performances were hailed by critics as the first-ever performance of a Schreker opera in the Western Hemisphere.[11]

Back in Europe, the same month, Die Gezeichneten received six performances at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo in a production by Graham Vick.[12][not in citation given] The French premiere took place in March 2015, at the Opéra de Lyon in a production by David Bösch. It was conducted by Alejo Pérez.[13] The opera returned to Munich in a new production at Bavarian State Opera in July 2017 as part of the Munich Opera Festival. Krzysztof Warlikowski directed, Ingo Metzmacher conducted.[14]

Roles

The Alte Oper in Frankfurt
Role[2] Voice type Premiere cast[4]
25 April 1918
(Conductor: Ludwig Rottenberg)
Duke Antoniotto Adorno bass Walter Schneider
Count Vitelozzo Tamare baritone Robert vom Scheidt
Lodovico Nardi, Podestà bass Willy Roos
Carlotta Nardi, his daughter soprano Else Gentner-Fischer
Alviano Salvago, a Genoan nobleman tenor Karl Ziegler
Guidobald Usodimare, a Genoan nobleman tenor Hermann Schramm
Menaldo Negroni, a Genoan nobleman tenor Erik Wirl
Michelotto Cibo, a Genoan nobleman baritone Rudolf Brinkmann
Gonsalvo Fieschi, a Genoan nobleman baritone Fritz Meurs
Julian Pinelli, a Genoan nobleman bass Josef Gareis
Paolo Calvi, a Genoan nobleman bass Josef Gareis
Capitaneo di Giustizia bass Leo Kaplan
Ginevra Scotti soprano Marta Uersfeld
Martuccia, Alviano's housekeeper contralto Marie Welling-Bertram
Pietro, a cutthroat tenor
A youth tenor Franz Wartenberg
His friend bass Willy Schürmann
A young girl soprano Elisabeth Kandt
First senator tenor Erik Wirl
Second senator baritone Rudolf Brinkmann
Third senator bass Josef Gareis
A servant bass
A maidservant mezzo-soprano Anita Franz
First citizen tenor
Second citizen baritone Carl Bauermann
Third citizen bass Willy Schürmann
Father bass Paul Neumann
Mother contralto Frieda Hammerschmidt
A small boy, (silent part)
First young man tenor Franz Wartenberg
Second young man baritone Carl Bauermann
Third young man bass Willy Schürmann
A giant citizen bass Karl Kröff

Instrumentation

The orchestral score requires:

Synopsis

The opera is set in 16th-century Genoa

Act 1

The young Genoan nobleman Alviano Salvago, hunchbacked and deformed, does not dare dream of the love of women. He wants to donate to the people of Genoa the island paradise called "Elysium" he has created. His friends, a group of dissolute young noblemen, have been using an underground grotto on the island for orgies with young women abducted from prominent Genoan families, and intervene with Duke Adorno to stop the transfer of ownership. One of them, Count Tamare, has set his sights on Carlotta, daughter of the Podestà. Carlotta rejects him, as she is only interested in Salvago, whose soul she wants to paint.

Act 2

Infuriated by Carlotta's rejection, Tamare swears to Adorno that he will take her by force. He also reveals the secret of the grotto to Adorno. Not wanting Salvago to become more popular than himself as a result of the gift, Adorno decides to use the existence of the secret grotto as an excuse to veto the transfer. While Salvago is sitting for Carlotta, she complains that she can't paint his soul if he keeps avoiding looking at her. To which he responds that ugly as he is, he still has the feelings of a man in the presence of a beautiful woman... Eventually Carlotta confesses that she loves him, but faints in his arms as both are overcome with emotion.

Act 3

Les Stigmatisés, Opéra de Lyon 2015

The citizens of Genoa go to the island for the first time and are awed by what they see. Salvago asks the Podestà for Carlotta's hand in marriage. She evades him, wanders off alone, and in the grotto finally succumbs to Tamare who's wearing a mask. The Duke accuses Salvago of masterminding the abductions. Salvago, beside himself with worry for Carlotta, leads everyone to the underground grotto. Carlotta lies senseless on a bed, while Tamare prides himself on his conquering abilities. Salvago stabs him. Carlotta awakens, Salvago rushes to her side, but with her dying breath she calls for Tamare. Salvago, completely deranged, stumbles over Tamare's body as he makes his way through the stunned crowd.

Recordings

(key: conductor — carlotta/alviano/tamare/adorno/lodovico)

References

Notes

  1. ^ a b "Die Gezeichneten". operone.com. 2010. Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "Franz Schreker – Die Gezeichneten, opera in 3 acts". Universal Edition. Retrieved 31 July 2010. 
  3. ^ "Musical events 8 February 1914". AmadeusOnline. 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Musical events 25 April 1918". Italy: Amadeusonline. Retrieved 31 July 2010. 
  5. ^ "Chronology". Franz Schreker Foundation. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  6. ^ Hailey 1993, p. ??[page needed]
  7. ^ Die Gezeichneten (Media notes). Franz Schreker. Decca Record Company. 1995. 444442-2. 
  8. ^ Peters, Rainer (2010). "The Ernst von Siemens Music Prize-Winner Michael Gielen". Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung. Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  9. ^ Peter Franklin, The Opera Quarterly, Vol. 23, Autumn 2007.
  10. ^ "L. A. Opera: Productions – The Stigmatized". Los Angeles Opera. 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2010. 
  11. ^ "Opera review: Franz Schreker's The Stigmatized". Los Angeles Times. April 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2010. 
  12. ^ "Performances of Die Gezeichneten by city". Operabase. 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2010. 
  13. ^ Les Stigmatisé, production details. Retrieved 29 March 2015. (French)
  14. ^ https://www.staatsoper.de/en/opera-festival/productioninfo/die-gezeichneten/2017-07-01-19-00.html?type=0&tx_sfstaatsoper_pi1%5BfromSpielplan%5D=1&tx_sfstaatsoper_pi1%5BpageId%5D=579&cHash=61b73922e8e5e64bc722dabbde1a6a06
  15. ^ Rob Barnett (February 2003). "Franz Schreker: Die Gezeichneten". MusicWeb International. Retrieved 31 July 2010. 
  16. ^ "On-line catalogue entry Franz Schreker Die Gezeichneten". Decca. Retrieved 28 August 2012. 

Sources

  • Batta, András, Opera – Komponisten, Werke, Interpreten, Könemann Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, 2000, (Dutch translation)
  • Hailey, Christopher, Franz Schreker: A Cultural Biography Cambridge University Press, 1993