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L'Enfant et les sortilèges / Der Zwerg

Sunday, 20. October 2013
07:00 pm – 09:50 pm
Nationaltheater

Duration est. 2 hours 50 minutes · 1 Interval between Enfant and Zwerg (est. 07:40 pm - 08:15 pm )

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Cast

Musikalische Leitung
Martyn Brabbins

L'Enfant et les sortilèges

Inszenierung
Grzegorz Jarzyna
Bühne
Magdalena Maria Maciejewska
Kostüme
Anna Nykowska Duszynska
Licht
Jacqueline Sobiszewski
Video
Bartek Macias
Dramaturgie
Olaf A. Schmitt
Chor
Sören Eckhoff

Das Kind
Laura Tatulescu
Die Mutter
Okka von der Damerau
Eine Bergère
Eri Nakamura
Die chinesische Tasse
Okka von der Damerau
Das Feuer
Mélody Louledjian
Die Prinzessin
Hanna-Elisabeth Müller
Die Katze
Yulia Sokolik
Die Libelle
Okka von der Damerau
Die Nachtigall
Mélody Louledjian
Die Fledermaus
Eri Nakamura
Die Eule
Iulia Maria Dan
Das Eichhörnchen
Yulia Sokolik
Eine Schäferin
Iulia Maria Dan
Ein Schäfer
Rachael Wilson
Der Sessel
Christian Rieger
Die Standuhr
Andrea Borghini
Die Wedgwood-Teekanne
Kevin Conners
Das alte Männchen
Kevin Conners
Der Kater
Andrea Borghini
Ein Baum
Christian Rieger
Der Laubfrosch
Kevin Conners

Der Zwerg

Inszenierung
Grzegorz Jarzyna
Bühne
Magdalena Maria Maciejewska
Kostüme
Anna Nykowska Duszynska
Licht
Jacqueline Sobiszewski
Video
Bartek Macias
Dramaturgie
Olaf A. Schmitt
Chor
Stellario Fagone

Donna Clara
Hanna-Elisabeth Müller
Ghita
Irmgard Vilsmaier
Don Estoban
Paul Gay
Der Zwerg
John Daszak
Die erste Zofe
Elsa Benoit
Die zweite Zofe
Yulia Sokolik
Die dritte Zofe
Okka von der Damerau
Das erste Mädchen
Iulia Maria Dan
Das zweite Mädchen
Rachael Wilson
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Learn more

In the first opera: the child who stubbornly refuses to do his homework and spitefully trashes his room suddenly watches objects come to life, inimically turned against him because of his hostility toward them. The furniture dances, the fire in the fireplace chases the child around, the numbers from his arithmetic book swirl about. Not until the child lovingly bandages the wounds of an injured squirrel on the lawn do the objects forgive him.

In the second: a dwarf looks forward to being allowed to congratulate the princess personally on her birthday, not suspecting that his function is simply to display his ugliness for the amusement of the party guests. Until now, he had never seen himself in the mirror, which is why he was captivated by his love for the princess. As he finally catches a glimpse of his mirror image, he suddenly becomes aware of the dirty trick that was played on him and sinks down dead.

Sidonie Gabrielle Colette and Oscar Wilde wrote two totally different stories, both of which reveal how brutally people can treat one another. In Maurice Ravel’s score, jazz, operetta tunes and exotic themes blend together to form an enchanting fantasy world. The Viennese composer Alexander Zemlinsky had a close personal and artistic connection with Gustav Mahler, to whom he ultimately lost his lover Alma Schindler, who later described him as a “short, ugly gnome.”

 

L’Enfant et les Sortilèges

The Child does not want to work at his lessons, all he wants to do are the things he is not allowed to do. When his mother sees this she punishes him by leaving him alone in his room for the whole of the afternoon with only unsweetened tea and dry bread. She has scarcely left the room when the Child suddenly loses control and wreaks destruction: he smashes the cup and teapot, breaks furniture, slashes the wallpaper, maltreats the pets and kindles the fire in the grate. When he stops, carried away by his anger, he starts to sink into a nightmarish fantasy in which the objects and the animals take on human characteristics.

The Armchair and the Bergère are happy not to provide the naughty Child with a seat any longer. The Comtoise Clock strikes uncontrollably, no longer able to keep to the hour. The black Wedgwood Teapot and the Chinese cup quarrel and attack each other. The Child barely has time to bemoan the loss of his beautiful cup before the Fire spits at him out of the hearth and threatens to burn the him. The Child anxiously looks on as a procession of shepherds and shepherdesses from his torn wallpaper passes by, lamenting the destruction of their peaceful harmony. The Princess rises out of the torn pages of the book of fairy tales and the Child recognizes in her his first love. The Child tries to hold the Princess back as she sinks through the floor and thus save the love between them – but in vain. Instead a Little Old Man and a wild jumble of  Numbers appear and bombard the Child with snatches of mathematical challenges from the arithmetic book.

Completely exhausted, the Child notices the Black Cat, who now embarks on an erotic love duet with the White Cat. As if by a miracle the Child is transported into the garden where various  sounds of Animals and a chorus of Frogs are to be heard. This peaceful mood in natural sourroundings is brought to a sudden end by the lamenting of the Trees, whose bark has been cut by the Child. A Dragonfly is looking for its mate which has, however, been pinned to the wall by the Child. The Squirrel accuses the Child of having held her captive in a cage merely because of her beautiful eyes and warns the Tree Frog that he might suffer a similar fate. The Child senses the love that prevails amongst all the animals around him and, feeling lonely, calls out for his mother. All the animals unite against the naughty Child and goad each other into a battle in which the Squirrel is injured. When the Child lovingly bandages up the Squirrel’s wounds and remains lying motionless on the ground himself, all the animals are touched and unite in calling for his mother.

The Dwarf

The Infanta’s birthday is to be celebrated with great festivities: under the supervision of the major-domo, Don Estoban, the presents are being put on display. The maids cannot contain their curiosity, which is affecting their work. Don Estoban calls them to order. Even before the festivities begin, the Infanta bursts in accompanied by her entourage, causing quite an upset and wanting to see her presents. It takes a great deal of skill on the part of Don Estoban to persuade her to the contrary and urge her and her entourage to leave. Relieved, he tells the maids about the individual presents and announces that there is a very special one among them: a real dwarf, who is to entertain the guests with his songs. It transpires that the dwarf is ugly, but that he has no idea that this is the case as he has never seen himself in the mirror. Thereupon all the mirrors are covered.

The climax of the celebrations is the dwarf’s performance. He astonishes the guests with his sad song and they make fun of him. The Infanta would like the dwarf to marry one of her ladies but he only has eyes for her. Moved by his obviously heartfelt longing, the Infanta sends everyone away in order to be alone with the dwarf. It becomes clear that he thinks of himself as some kind of latter-day knight who will rescue the Infanta from all harm. She imagines him to be a handsome hero. They declare their love for each other. Just as he wants to kiss her, the Infanta is called away to dance by Ghita, her favourite among her entourage. Having promised the dwarf that she will dance with him, she instructs Ghita to show him a mirror. Ghita does not have the heart to do this. During the dance the Infanta gives the dwarf a white rose. Left alone, the dwarf catches sight of himself in a mirror for the first time and is forced to realize that he looks completely different to what he had imagined. He collapses, exhausted by his struggle with his image in the mirror. When the Infanta returns she calls him repulsive and finally returns to the ballroom. Ghita hurries on to the scene just in time to grant him his wish to die with the white rose in his arms.

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Biographies

Martyn Brabbins studierte Komposition in London und später Dirigieren am Konservatorium von Leningrad. 1988 gewann er die Leeds Conductors Competition und dirigierte danach renommierte Orchester vor allem in Großbritannien. Von 1994 bis 2005 war er ständiger Gastdirigent des BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Gastengagements führten ihn zum Concertgebouworkest nach Amsterdam, zum London Symphony Orchestra sowie zur First Night of the Proms des BBC Symphony Orchestra. Mittlerweile ist er Chefdirigent des Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra und Erster Kapellmeister der Koninklijke Filharmonie van Vlaanderen. Als Operndirigent trat er an den Häusern von Amsterdam, Lyon, Antwerpen, Frankfurt, Berlin und London in Erscheinung. (Stand 2014)

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