Der Junge Lord
Regarded as one of the world's greatest living composers, Hans Werner Henze (b. 1926) is 'particularly well known for his works for the stage. He composed one of his great successes, the comic opera Der junge Lord (The Young Lord) to a libretto by famous author Ingeborg Bachmann (1926-1974), a very close friend of his. The world premiere at Berlin's Deutsche Oper in 1965 under the baton of Christoph von Dohnanyi caused a sensation and the opera was widely performed all over Europe. Parts of it were also brought to stage at the Komische Oper in former East Berlin, prompting the composer to write to his librettist: "I can't tell you how much I admired the two of us that evening, especially you, whose text could be understood, word for word. read more" This 1968 recording features the original team of conductor and stage designer in an opulent setting at Berlin's Deutsche Oper. Der junge Lord - based on the fairy tale "The Ape as a Man" by Wilhelm Hauff - tells how a whole town is deceived into taking a dressed monkey as a young lord. In style and plot it owes much to Italian opera buffa but also features some Brechtian influences in the treatment of the story. The work has 25 solo singer parts, including the charming Edith Mathis as Luise, a role that was to define the beginning of her career. This DVD allows the viewer not just to relive an entertaining opera production but to share a milestone in Henze's brilliant career.