Leonore 40/45

Rolf Liebermann (1910 –1999)
– In German and French –

A production as part of Fokus ’33

Photographs: Thilo Beu

Rolf Liebermann’s opera semiseria was last produced in 1959, and the audience in Oldenburg appeared to be just as disapproving of this “drama of fraternisation” between a German Wehrmacht-soldier and a young Frenchwoman as the audiences of previous stagings: Post-war Germany was not ready for a play of this sort.

The musical language – Liebermann proved that dodecaphony is no guarantee for sensual brittleness – cannot have been the reason for such an extensive incomprehension. While the 1952 world premiere in neutral Basel was a veritable success with the audience (well-documented by the press), “the semiseria,” as Ulrich Schreiber wrote in his Opera Guide for Advanced Learners, “led to riots in the audience at all (!) of its performances in Germany. Rather than reconciliation between ‘hereditary enemies’, they only saw it as despicable collaboration.” Oper Bonn will put this work to the test for the first time since this last scandal – with the utmost confidence.

This production was recorded by Deutschlandfunk Kultur in october 2021 and is available on Operavision. See the full opera here.

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