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Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897 – 1957)

Erich Wolfgang Korngold spoke of this work as his “masterpiece”. THE MIRACLE OF HELIANE bears all the hallmarks of Korngold’s musical theatre - and goes one step further in scale, with a huge score and orchestra, intoxicating pathos and exquisitely expressive harmonies that play with polytonality - resulting in a gripping and sensuous drama.

Highlight: Ich ging zu ihm (Das Wunder der Heliane)
Highlight: Ich ging zu ihm (Das Wunder der Heliane) © Monika Rittershaus

The world premiere in Hamburg in 1927 was a triumph, with more than a dozen houses booking the latest work by Korngold, at the time the second most performed composer of opera after Richard Strauss. In 1928 the work was presented at the Städtische Oper Berlin, with Bruno Walter directing, but here, as at other venues, the reception was cool, due in part to intrigues, in part to the charge that his Late Romantic score was behind the times. With the Jewish Korngold prevented by the Nazis from presenting his works to the public, THE MIRACLE OF HELIANE vanished from the repertoire, never to return. This is a timeless fairy tale portraying a cold ruler incapable of loving anyone, his wife Heliane, devoted to a Dionysian stranger, and a people waiting for a redemptory miracle to occur.

A precise psychological analysis of a work’s protagonists is what interests director Christof Loy, who is returning to the Deutsche Oper Berlin after stints here presenting JENUFA, FALSTAFF and EDWARD II. And it falls to Marc Albrecht, for many years a close collaborator with the opera house, to waken Korngold’s grand and opulent music from decades of slumber.
Additional information
Pre-performance lecture (in German): 45 minutes prior to each performance
Participating artists
Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin;person_category_orchestra;Orchester|Orchestra
Chor der Deutschen Oper Berlin;person_category_choir;Chöre|Chorus
Hyeyoung Moon;person_category_singer;2 Seraphische Stimmen|2 seraphic voices
Sua Jo;person_category_singer;2 Seraphische Stimmen|2 seraphic voices
Michael Bachtadze;person_category_singer;6 Richter|The six judges
Philipp Jekal;person_category_singer;6 Richter|The six judges
Clemens Bieber;person_category_singer;6 Richter|The six judges
Artur Garbas;person_category_singer;6 Richter|The six judges
Daniel Nicholson;person_category_singer;6 Richter|The six judges
Andrew Dickinson;person_category_singer;6 Richter|The six judges
Maiju Vaahtoluoto;person_category_singer;Die Botin|The messenger
Kieran Carrel;person_category_singer;Der junge Mann|The young man
Burkhard Ulrich;person_category_singer;Der blinde Schwertrichter|The blind judge
Derek Welton;person_category_singer;Der Pförtner|The doorman
Mihails Culpajev;person_category_singer;Der Fremde|The stranger
Jordan Shanahan;person_category_singer;Der Herrscher, ihr Gemahl|The ruler, her husband
Sara Jakubiak;person_category_singer;Heliane|Heliane
Jeremy Bines;person_category_choir;Chöre|Chorus Master
Thomas Jonigk;person_category_dramaturgy;Dramaturgie|Dramaturge
Dorothea Hartmann;person_category_dramaturgy;Dramaturgie|Dramaturge
Olaf Winter;person_category_lighting_design;Licht|Light design
Barbara Drosihn;person_category_costume_designer;Kostüme|Costume design
Johannes Leiacker;person_category_stage_designer;Bühne|Set design
Christof Loy;person_category_stage_direction;Inszenierung|Stage direction
Marc Albrecht;person_category_conductor;Musikalische Leitung|Conductor
Events
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Deutsche Oper Berlin
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Deutsche Oper Berlin
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Deutsche Oper Berlin
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Deutsche Oper Berlin