Prelude to "The Stigmatized" Drama

The Stigmatized is an opera in three acts, whose libretto Schreker began writing in 1911, commissioned by the composer Alexander von Zemlinsky. The work was based on the play Hidalla by the German playwright Frank Wedekind, but Schreker decided to set the text himself, and completed the opera in 1915. The score was first published by the Universal Edition Vienna.

An expanded concert version of the overture to the opera, entitled Vorspiel zu einem Drama, was performed at the Vienna Musikverein on February 8th,  1914 by the Vienna Philharmonic, conducted by Felix Weingartner. The complete opera was first performed on 25 April 1918 by the Oper Frankfurt, conducted by Ludwig Rottenberg. It was this that established Schreker as the most distinguished opera composer of his generation and won him the support of the most eminent German music critic, Paul Bekker. 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. 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).

After half a century of oblivion, The Stigmatized was revived again in 1979 thanks to conductor Michael Gielen, who staged it at the Frankfurt Opera. The American premiere of the work was in 2010 in Los Angeles under the baton of James Conlon, followed by three more performances. In the present day, the work was staged at the  Opéra de Lyon in 2015 and at the Bavarian State Opera in July 2017 as part of the Munich Opera Festival.

Past events

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