In 1924, with Irrelohe, Franz Schreker, that composer maudit banned by the Nazis, delivered a venomous, sensual love tragedy, to be rediscovered absolutely in David Bösch’s production.
In 18th-century Germany, Count Heinrich is in love with the pure Eva. But, under the shadow of a family curse, he is afraid of giving way to murderous madness if he surrenders himself to this love. Especially as this neurotic love has attracted the jealousy of Peter, Eva’s suitor, and the hostility of the innkeeper Christobald. This rivalry will come to an end in the flames of Heinrich’s castle.
Schreker, a resurrection
A major musical figure in the Weimar Republic, Schreker was an essential man of his times. The author of a body of work marked by morbidity, self-destruction and sexuality, which owed a lot to Wagner and shone thanks to the richness of his musical palette, Schreker enjoyed huge success with Die Gezeichneten or The Stigmatized. But Irrelohe, which premiered in 1924, the same year as Hitler’s imprisonment after his failed putsch, proved to be the swan song of the then eminent director of Berlin’s Hochschule. Once the Nazis had taken power, he became a pariah, a symbol of degenerate art and decadent internationalism, who had also made the “mistake” of being Jewish. In reality, he was an avant-gardist who, 30 years ahead of his time, prefigured the Hollywoodian music of the 1950s. As a specialist in German composers of the 1920s and 1930s, the director David Bösch is providing this unjustly outcast genius with a Teutonic spirit and his venomous Irrelohe a resurrection worthy of their power.
Opera in three acts, 1924
Libretto by the composer
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