Both Viktor Ullmann and Alexander Zemlinsky were among the group of composers persecuted by the Nazi regime. Ullman would die in Auschwitz, Zemlinsky in exile and obscurity. This 2008 recording from Los Angeles Opera’s “Recovered Voices” series brings together two one act operas; Ullman’s Der zerbrochene Krug and Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg. in productions directed by Darko Tresnjak and conducted by James Conlon.
Last night I saw the Canadian Opera Company’s double bill of Zemlinsky’s A Florentine Tragedy and Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. I had a pretty good idea what to expect having attended the dress rehearsal a couple of weeks ago. I said then that I thought that there was something in this show for everyone, even the most traditionalist, and I would still hold to that view if I hadn’t read the very silly review by Arthur Kaptainis in the National Post. Apparently there are people who can’t cope with a simple change of time setting and there are editors who let them write for real newspapers. It’s very puzzling. So let’s just say something for anyone with a smidgeon of imagination or dramatic instinct. Continue reading