Die Liebe der Danae (Richard Strauss)


Joyful mythology in 3 acts
Live at the
Deutsche Oper Berlin
A production of Monarda Arts in co-production with UNITEL and Arthaus Musik in cooperation with Deutsche Oper Berlin and CLASSICA


Richard Strauss completed his second-to-last opera Die Liebe der Danae in 1940. Written under war clouds, the “merry mythology” based on an idea by Hugo von Hofmannsthal was given a provisional, by-invitation-only dress rehearsal premiere at the 1944 Salzburg Festival the day before all theaters in the “Reich” were closed by order of the Ministry of Propaganda. The official world premiere took place at the 1952 Salzburg Festival – now no longer in the presence of the composer, who passed away in 1949. As Europe was about to go up in flames, Strauss was pouring his entire arsenal of melodic beauty and lushness into the score of Die Liebe der Danae. The rarely performed opera is nothing if not a feast for Strauss lovers, with arias, ensembles and orchestral interludes blazing with sumptuous colors and rich textures. A kind of compendium of Strauss’ most inspired musical ideas, it is like the swan song of an aged composer who is taking leave from the world on the eve of the catastrophe that will engulf it. Embodying the composer, in a way, is the role of Jupiter, an aging god who realizes that he will never win the love of the beautiful Danae. This timeless production from the Deutsche Oper Berlin can also be seen as the mirror of a changing world order, with a wonderfully suggestive symbol dominating the stage during all three acts: a grand piano suspended upside-down from the rafters. This image can be seen as “an allegory for high and noble art” (Frankfurter Rundschau) or as the symbol of a world turned upside down, ready to come crashing down at any second. Starring Manuela Uhl, Mark Delavan and Matthias Klink in the lead roles, this production does full justice to this rarely performed but exceptionally moving work.

 

Available at Arthaus Musik (DVD and Blu ray)

Production

 

Producer: Torsten Bönnhoff, Erwin Stürzer
Executive Producer: Oliver Becker
Directed for Screen by: Myriam Hoyer
Assistant Video Director: Eva Kohlweyer
Cameras: Ines Thomsen, Matthias Becker, Michael Boomers, Winfried Hermann, Götz Walter
Sound: Marie Josefin Melchior, Christian Fischer
Production Manager: Marita Stocker
Editor: Eva Kohlweyer
Postproduction: Digital Images GmbH
Language: German
Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Korean
Running Time: 155 min
Picture Format: 16:9
Year of production: 2011

 

Creative Team

 

Composer: Richard Strauss
Libretto: Joseph Gregor, after Hugo von Hofmannsthal
Conductor: Andrew Litton
Director: Kirsten Harms
Set Design: Bernd Damovsky
Costume Design: Dorothea Katzer
Light: Manfred Voss
Chorus Master: William Spaulding
Dramaturgy: Andreas K. W. Meyer
Choir and Orchestra: Deutsche Oper Berlin

Danae: Manuela Uhl
Jupiter: Mark Delavan