RTE National Symphony Orchestra – Korngold: Die Tote Stadt (The Dead City)
RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra
Patrik Ringborg conductor
Celine Byrne soprano (Marie)
Charles Workman tenor (Paul)
Ben McAteer baritone (Fritz/Pierrot)
Katharine Goeldner mezzo soprano
Clare Presland mezzo soprano
Susanna Fairbairn soprano
Julian Hubbard tenor
Alan Leech tenor
The Choristers of St Patrick’s Cathedral (Master of Music Stuart Nicholson)
Korngold Die tote Stadt (The Dead City) / 137’ Concert Performance
If you’re looking for the discovery of the season, you’ve just found it. Despite its title, Die tote Stadt (‘The Dead City’) is alive with ear-worm tunes, heart-searing romance and unforgettable drama – as you might expect from one of the great Hollywood composers, two-time Oscar winner Erich Wolfgang Korngold.
It also boasts one of the most beautiful arias in all opera and only the hardest of hearts (not yours, obviously) will be able to resist the sublime, siren-like attractions of Marietta’s Lied. The more emotionally susceptible among you have been warned.
Set in Belgium (don’t let that put you off) at the end of the 19th century (or that!), there’s a touch of the macabre about it: a young man recently widowed becomes fixated on a young dancer who is the spitting image of his dead wife only to dream of murdering her. (Spoiler alert: he doesn’t.)
Two leading Irish singers – the ‘silver, shining, light and clear soprano’ (Oper-Aktuell) of Celine Byrne promising a performance to remember, and ‘simply brilliant’ (Robert Hugill) baritone Ben McAteer are joined by Canadian tenor Charles Workman whose voice is ‘charged with phenomenal intensity’ (Der OpernFreund).
Opera as soap opera, opera as domestic drama, opera as tragic love story, opera as searching psychological analysis, opera as an experience you’ll never forget? It’s all here.
Presented by RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra
Published on 7 April 2019