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Alexander Zemlinsky’s Opera “Der Zwerg (The Dwarf)”

It’s Princess Donna Clara’s 18th birthday and she’s getting presents from all sides, but one gift from the Turkish Sultan stands out from the crowd: a real-life dwarf!

  • DER ZWERG | Copyright: © Monika Rittershaus

    DER ZWERG © Monika Rittershaus

  • DER ZWERG | Copyright: © Monika Rittershaus

    DER ZWERG © Monika Rittershaus

  • DER ZWERG | Copyright: © Monika Rittershaus

    DER ZWERG © Monika Rittershaus

Amidst all the splendour and beauty, the misshapen man attracts her special attention with his singing and fascinating her all the more for seeming to be blissfully unaware of his physical appearance. The dwarf falls madly in love with the princess and is blind to the coquettish game that she is playing. But then he comes face-to-face with his reflection for the first time in his life. Realising the truth of his situation, he falls down dead.

Alexander Zemlinsky’s The Dwarf is based on Oscar Wilde’s fairy tale “The Birthday of the Infanta” and received its world premiere in 1922. Following Zemlinsky’s death in 1942 in American exile the work quickly slipped from public awareness, not to be rediscovered until the 1970s. Since then it has been drawing crowds as a subtle, vibrant seismogram of a highly complex and psychological constellation. Stage director Tobias Kratzer is considered one of the most interesting opera directors of the younger generation.

Original title DER ZWERG
English title THE DWARF
Genre Opera
Recording location Deutsche Oper Berlin
Production year 2019
Duration 90 min.
Video format HD
Production Company Naxos
Director Götz Filenius
Stage Director Tobias Kratzer
Costumes Rainer Sellmaier
Composer Alexander von Zemlinsky
Orchestra / Band Orchester and Chor der Deutschen Oper Berlin
Conductor Donald Runnicles
Chorus Master Jeremy Bines
Main Actor Mick Morris Mehnert (Der Zwerg, Actor)
Soloist Elena Tsallagova (Donna Clara)
Soloist David Butt Philip (Der Zwerg)
Libretto by Georg C. Klaren, based on “The Birthday of the Infanta” by Oscar Wilde

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