Carl David Friedrich, Rocky Landscape in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains , 1823
Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 10 October 2017
Demons and angels in the first German romantic opera
Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischütz is a work of wide contrasts. Derived from a popular legend it was the opera of German national identity, perhaps even more than Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. This was realized by the Germans who paid a huge success to the work at its first appearance at the Schauspielhaus in Berlin in 1821.
The contrast between good and evil haunts Max’s conscience: he is the unlucky shooter, so, as not to miss the shooting contest the following day whose prize consists in the hand of his beloved Agathe, he doesn’t shrink from involving the devil, here embodied by Samiel, the “black hunter” to whom Kaspar granted his soul, in order to earn infallible bullets…