Author Topic: Zar und Zimmermann  (Read 1845 times)

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uffeviking

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Zar und Zimmermann
« on: September 07, 2007, 01:33:01 PM »
“Heil sei der Tag an welchem Du bei uns erschienen – dweedlededum, dweedlededum, dweedlededum.”

Albert Lortzing created a melody being hummed joyously by a generation of opera lovers, lucky to have lived while opera directors still cared enough about their customers scheduling lesser known operas. I would have to do a tiring research to discover when and where this comic opera has been shown within the last five years. – Mozart, et al. are not in the same category. –

Rolf Liebermann was director of the Hamburg State Opera from 1959 to 1973 and also a composer, left as his legacy excellent theatrical productions and among them the 1969 Joachim Hess opera film production. This Arthaus DVD is of the studio recording and in those days there was no alternative but to mime the singing, but the singers achieved excellent lip-synchronisation. The dialogues were recorded live!

Outstanding singers they were! A very  young Hans Sotin and Lucia Popp carry the show, Sotin as the mayor of the Dutsch town Saardam and Popp, his niece. The opera deals with the period of Zar Peter the Great’s time spent in Holland to study the ship building trade. All kinds of romantic and intriguing happenings make this a German light opera.

Fascinating is the fact that the composer Lortzing sang the title role of Zar Peter at the premiere and his mother Charlotte that of the widow Browe. Lortzing had tailored the role to his own vocal capabilities. The opera enjoyed great success all over Europe and in 1853 was played for the opening of the German opera house in Milwaukee.

For a delightful evening with light operatic music and super vocalising, be daring and entertain yourself and friends with this DVD out of the main stream of present operatic fare. And yes, you can sing along lustily with the Burgers of Saardam:

Heil sei der Tag . . . .”





Mark G. Simon

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Re: Zar und Zimmermann
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2007, 05:25:50 PM »
Somewhere I have this on LP, with Hermann Prey and others whose names I can't remember. Like all of my LPs, I haven't listened to it in ages. The tunes are catchy, that's for sure.

I don't think Lortzing has ever been widely performed in the US. I may be wrong. Maybe in some distant past he was popular, but I stronly suspect this is one composer who never crossed the Atlantic.

Now that I think of it, the Syracuse Opera (Syracuse, New York) did Z & Z some time around 1999 or 2000. I was tempted to go, just because of the rarity of it, but I didn't.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2007, 05:33:42 PM by Mark G. Simon »

uffeviking

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Re: Zar und Zimmermann
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2007, 05:34:57 PM »
I can well imagine Hermann Prey in the role of the Mayor, fun! If you have a chance either buy, rent or borrow the 1969 one with Hans Sotin and Felicia Lott! Too bad they didn't record the premiere with Albert Lortzing and his Mama singing!

Can you think of any opera composer who sang the title role of his own work at it's premiere?  :-\




Mark G. Simon

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Re: Zar und Zimmermann
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2007, 05:39:07 PM »
I can think of one librettist who did:

Schickaneder, as Papageno in the premiere of Die Zauberflöte (another "Z" opera)

uffeviking

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Re: Zar und Zimmermann
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2007, 05:46:26 PM »
Librettist? That's close enough, the other half in the creative process. At least he didn't need a prompter!

Thanks, Mark!