Der Zwerg (The Dwarf)

Princess Donna Clara is quite astonished when she realizes one of her presents for her 18th birthday is a real-life dwarf!

  • Der Zwerg  | Copyright: © NAXOS Audiovisual Division

    Der Zwerg © NAXOS Audiovisual Division

  • Der Zwerg | Copyright: © NAXOS Audiovisual Division

    Der Zwerg © NAXOS Audiovisual Division

  • Der Zwerg | Copyright: © NAXOS Audiovisual Division

    Der Zwerg © NAXOS Audiovisual Division

It’s Princess Donna Clara’s 18th birthday and she’s getting showered with presents from all sides, but one gift from the Turkish Sultan stands out from the crowd: a real-life dwarf! Amidst all the splendour and beauty, the misshapen man attracts her special attention with his singing, 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.

English title The Dwarf
Original title Der Zwerg
Genre Opera
Recording location Deutsche Oper Berlin
Production year 2019
Duration 90 min.
Video format HD
Production Company Naxos
TV Director Götz Filenius
Stage Director Tobias Kratzer
Composer Alexander von Zemlinsky
Orchestra / Band Orchestra and Chorus of Deutsche Oper Berlin
Conductor Donald Runnicles
Chorus Master Jeremy Bines
Stage Director Rainer Sellmaier
Soloist DONNA CLARA Elena Tsallagova
Soloist DER ZWERG David Butt Philip
Main Actor DER ZWERG (ACTOR) Mick Morris Mehnert
Soloist GHITA Emily Magee
Soloist DON ESTOBAN Philipp Jekal



Lucerne Festival 2019 with Emmanuel Pahud

NAXOS Audiovisual Division

This concert features favourites of the Classical and Romantic repertoire, with Emmanuel Pahud as the soloist for Wolfgang A. Mozart's Flute Concerto.

The Nutcracker (Visual Album) on Apple Music

Opus Arte

Peter Wright’s 2018 timeless and enchanting interpretation of The Nutcracker launching as a Visual Album on Apple Music on 6 December.

Culture is back!

IMZ International Music + Media Centre

Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen announced that the title of Commissioner Mariya Gabriel will be renamed to “Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth”.

WDR Cooperation Partner of dancescreen 2019

IMZ International Music + Media Centre

We thank our cooperation partner Westdeutscher Rundfunk supporting our vision to maximise the outreach of dance films.


Benefit from exclusive insights + opportunties with a thematic variety of IMZ Mailings to choose from.

By clicking "SUBSCRIBE" you consent that your data can be processed by the IMZ International Music + Media Centre for the purposes of processing your inquiry.