When thinking of great Czech composers, Smetana, Dvořák and Janáček are usually the names that come to mind. This Slavic musical tradition was continued into the 20th century – albeit with drastic ruptures that caused many works and composers to fall into oblivion. One of these was Jaromír Weinberger.
With his people’s opera Schwanda the Bagpiper
, which premiered in Prague in 1927, Weinberger became an overnight success. Up until 1933 the opera was staged thousands of times across the world. Thus the premiere of his operetta Spring Storms
was awaited with great excitement at the Berlin Admiralspalast. Until March 1933, the work was still being performed – when, all of a sudden, the curtain fell permanently on the »last operetta of the Weimer Republic« and its Jewish composer. Weinberger fled Nazi persecution to the United States where, forgotten and alone, he took his life in 1967.
This season, on the occasion of presenting two masterpieces from Weinberger’s oeuvre– the worldwide success Schwanda the Bagpiper
, and the newly reconstructed Spring Storms
–, the Komische Oper Berlin is dedicating a weekend to this exceptional composer in order to bring his work back to the stage and allow his music to be heard again. The performances will be supplemented with an operetta medley, two chamber concerts, and a small symposium where scholars in the fields of musicology and theater studies will explore together with the audience the various facets of the Jewish-Czech composer.