Emily Magee (Soprano), David Butt Philip (Tenor), Elena Tsallagova (Soprano), Philipp Jekal (Bass), Mick Morris Mehnert (Actor)
Deutsche Oper Berlin Orchestra
Tobias Kratzer (Director)
Based on Oscar Wilde’s story The Birthday of the Infanta, Zemlinsky’s single-act opera Der Zwerg is the tragic tale of a dwarf who is presented at court, falls in love with the beautiful Donna Clara, but is ultimately forced to see himself as others see him and to die of a broken heart. Preceded by Schoenberg’s Accompaniment to a Cinematographic Scene, Op. 34, Zemlinsky’s Romantic score is full of psychological intrigue. Is Der Zwerg a critique of society’s superficiality? Is it the composer’s self-portrait in his doomed affair with Alma Schindler? Director Tobias Kratzer’s stunning, transparent production creates a space in which each character is thrown into sharp relief in this ‘fine, noble and melancholy work’ (Bachtrack.com).