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Published on May 24, 2014
A short speech to the audience held by me in Dresden before the performance.
Good evening and welcome to the world premiere of the chamber opera Albus.
The idea to compose an opera about Silvius Lepopold Weiss came to me as I got the invitation to take part in the music exhibition at the FESTIVAL DER LAUTE -- DRESDEN 2000.
My first phone call went to the lute player, Weiss expert and historian, Frank Legl to ask him to write a libretto. "Do you want a comical or a serious opera?" Frank asked. "A comical" I said. "It starts with the famous biting of Mr. Weiss thumb by an envious french violin player and ends when he can play again. During his invalid time he receives visits from a lute student and artist personalities who philosophize over pros and cons in a musician living in general and the enslavement under a musical instrument in particular". "Fine," Frank said, "But it isn't particularly comical".
My second phone call went to Lutz Kirchhof, the director of the festival. Lutz was immedeately enthusiastic about the idea of an Weiss opera, but said right away that there are no money available for such a venture, which I in turn didn't find very comical.
The third phone call went to the lute player Daniel Kurz. I asked him to take over the role of Silvius Lepold Weiss. "Gladly", Daniel said, "but I don't have a baroque lute". "No matter", I said, "you will not play a lute at all but sing", and that Daniel did find very comical. "OK, I will do it for you, but please tell the audience that I don't perform as a singer but as a singing lute player".
And now, ladies and gentlemen: It's night, big men sleeps and dreams about new works, about fame and honor. Small vindictive men with sharp teeth are awake and makes the uncertain territory. Our play can beginn.