The Music of Die tote Stadt (The Dead City)
By: Jennifer Colgan
Paul is a widowed artist who is grieving the death of his wife, Marie. Even the city he lives in—Bruges—haunts him. Life is turned upside down when Paul meets the bright and passionate Marietta, the mirror image of Marie. What follows is a series of events that will leave you questioning what is real and what is only a dream.
Sound intriguing? It’s the story of Opera Colorado’s highly-anticipated winter production, Korngold’s Die tote Stadt (The Dead City), featuring brand-new sets and costumes by Robert Perdziola. Many of our audience members haven’t heard of this rarely-performed gem from the 1920s, and it is even new to some of our staff. It didn’t take us long to fall in love with the music of Die tote Stadt, and we’ve picked a few of our favorite selections to help you fall in love as well.
Music of Die tote Stadt Selection #1: “Gluck, das mir verblieb”
Also called “Marietta’s Lied” or the “Lute Song,” this is a gorgeous duet that appears in act one of the opera. Marietta arrives for a visit at Paul’s house, and he asks her to perform a song Marie used to sing. They speak touching words of love and death: “Come to me, my true love…if you must leave me one day, believe, there is an afterlife.”
Music of Die tote Stadt Selection #2: “Mein Sehnen, mein Wähnen”
The title of this aria translates to “My yearning, my obsession,” and it’s also known as “Pierrot’s Tanzlied.” After Marietta makes a toast with the rest of her dance troupe, she asks Fritz to sing a song. He sings a lyrical, yearning dance song that looks back on his past.
Music of Die tote Stadt Selection #3: Prelude to Act Three
If you are looking for solid proof that Korngold was an Oscar-winning Hollywood film score composer, look no further than the prelude to act three. The Opera Colorado Orchestra will shine in this sweeping, cinematic orchestral highlight. Until you can witness Ari Pelto lead our talented musicians live, enjoy this performance by the Munich Radio Orchestra.
There’s nothing like hearing this glorious music live, and you won’t want to miss it. Interested in seeing Die tote Stadt and Turandot? Save 20% when you see both! Learn more about being a season ticket holder, starting at just $64.>>
Do you have any favorite moments from Die tote Stadt, or other works by Korngold? Let us know in the comments below.