The Music Commission of the Círculo del Liceo hosted a new session of the Opera and Screen cycle, with the screening of the opera "Der Zwerg" (The dwarf) by Alexander Von Zemlinsky. The event featured a presentation by the journalist Rosa Massagué.
Inspired by the story by Oscar Wilde entitled The Birthday of the Infanta, in the hands of the composer, the story is revealed to be autobiographical. The opera metaphorically tells the love story lived between the composer and one of his students, the young Alma Schindler (later, Alma Mahler).
At the helm, Donald Runnicles, musical director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, brings to life the opera legend released in 1922. The main character's torment of love mutates into despair when he first encounters his own reflection. A light festive atmosphere and majestic scenery provide a stark contrast to the heartbreaking inner drama of the Dwarf, brilliantly performed by Mick Morris Mehnert, and voiced by tenor David Butt Philip. The dazzling Elena Tsallagova, in the role of the tormented infanta, asks nothing of him. Emily Magee and Philipp Jekal also take part in this supreme staging by Tobias Kratzer.
"Der Zwerg" (The dwarf) by Alexander Von Zemlinsky
World premiere: Cologne Staatstheater (1922)
Production: Deutsch Oper Berlin (2019)
Musical direction | Donald Runnicles
Stage direction | Tobias Kratzer
Donna Clara, Infanta of Spain | Elena Tsallagova
Ghita, her assistant | Emily Magee
Voice of the dwarf | David Butt Philip
The dwarf | Mick Morris Mehnert
The chambelan | Philipp Jekal