Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Die tote Stadt (The Dead City)
Berlin, Komische Oper, 28 June 2019
Carsen’s Dead City is not really dead
Grieving the beloved dead and venerating the past were topics finding a sensitive public in the mournful atmosphere of a society still wounded by the devastating events of World War 1.
Thus Die tote Stadt had the result of enhancing the precocious fame of Erich Korngold, a young prodigy expressed by the Austrian-German musical environment of Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler. The latter, who got to know him at the age of ten, proclaimed him “a musical genius”, while Giacomo Puccini, who had listened to the opera in a piano reduction, designated the composer as “the strongest hope of the new German music”…