In his new production of Korngold’s Das Wunder der Heliane (The Miracle of Heliane)—voted Revival of the Year in Opernwelt—director Christof Loy sets the action in a strikingly lit wood-panelled hall early in the twentieth century. In period costumes, the stars evoke the dreamlike quality of Korngold’s music and Hans Müller-Einigen’s libretto, a delicate balance between religious and erotic undertones. The leads boast the combination of Wagnerian power and studied restraint that the music requires, with Brian Jagde’s (The Stranger) dynamism and stunning low notes a perfect complement to the vocal agility and rich timbre of Sara Jakubiak (Heliane).
With the world-class Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Dutch conductor Mark Albrecht’s impressive interpretation of Korngold’s score brings out its Mahlerian influences—notably at the end of Act I, inspired by Des Knaben Wunderhorn. This triumphant production (the first audiovisual recording of the opera!) should reinvigorate interest in this undersung work that Korngold considered his finest, one of the final masterpieces of Viennese Romanticism.
Waldbühne 2010: Night of Love – Berliner Philharmoniker
Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin directed by Jochen Rieder