Folks Operetta and University of Chicago
Opening April 7, 2022
One of the most unjustly neglected composers of the twentieth century was Erich Wolfgang Korngold.
Die Kathrin was Korngold’s last opera. A first performance, scheduled for 1938 in Vienna, was canceled. This opera by a Jewish composer, depicting a love story between a German woman and a French soldier in French-occupied Saarland, was destined to run afoul of Nazi censors. The opera received its European premiere in Sweden in 1939, where it was given an overly harsh and anti-Semitic review. To make matters worse, Die Kathrin was almost lost forever when the Nazis broke into Korngold’s villa to destroy his work. Die Kathrin was finally given its Viennese premiere in 1950 but ran for only eight performances. In 1997 a complete recording of the work was created by the BBC Orchestra.
Since then, the work has seldom been performed. Its music, however, is compelling and masterfully written. It deserves another look.
Further announcements coming soon!