Uploaded on May 23, 2009
"Lear" is an opera in two parts with music by Aribert Reimann (b. 1936), and a libretto by Claus H. Henneberg, based on Shakespeare's tragedy "King Lear". Reimann wrote the title role specifically for Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, who had suggested the subject to the composer as early as 1968. Reimann then received a commission from the Bavarian State Opera in 1975. The world premiere, in a production by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle with Fischer-Dieskau in the title role, occurred at the Nationaltheater, Munich on 9 July 1978, with Gerd Albrecht conducting. The production was revived in Munich in 1982 and this revival is the source of this video. This production, an important milestone in Fischer-Dieskaus career, was also his last appearance on the operatic stage as he had decided to devote his time at this point in his career to recital and concert work.
In this final scene of the opera, Lear mourns the death of Cordelia. His grief overwhelms him and he dies.
I have added English subtitles for easier comprehension.
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone)Lear
Julia Varady (soprano)Cordelia
David Knutson (tenor)Edgar
Hans Wilbrink (baritone)Duke of Albany
Gerd Albrecht cond.