A rising tide of nationalism in the 19th century sparked the desire to create an authentic German operatic tradition. Under the all-purpose title of »Romantic opera«, such diverse works as Carl Maria von Weber’s »Euryanthe«, E.T.A. Hoffmann’s »Undine« or Heinrich Marschner’s »Vampyr« were declared »deutsch«, in an effort to displace the dominant Italian operatic repertoire. The list can be continued indefinitely: Engelbert Humperdinck’s fairy-tale operas belong to this period, along with the stageworks of Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Franz Schreker. And of course let’s not forget the great Richard Wagner, in whose »Lohengrin« and »Flying Dutchman« the world of the supernatural collides with our reality of flesh-and-blood protagonists. Richard Strauss succeeded Wagner as the celebrated German composer – and these artists are until today the reigning musical gods of Dresden’s Semperoper. Thus, after Italian verismo and music »à la française«, it is time to return our gaze to Germany. The third Dresden Opera Gala is dedicated to German language music theatre of the period directly before, during and after Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss, two composers celebrating special anniversaries in the 2013/14 season.
Of Vampires, Heroes and the Children of Kings