Today, the Staatsoper Hamburg presents the world première of IchundIch, an opera in 5 acts composed by Johannes Harneit, with a libretto by Lis Arends after Else Lasker-Schüler's play.
It is the composer's third opera after Idiot (2001) and Alice im Wunderland (2015).
After Hitler seized power, the poet Else Lasker-Schüler fled to Zurich and lived in Jerusalem from 1939 until her death in 1945. Her eloquent and bitterly satirical play 'IchundIch' is a clear-minded drama of her times and life in Jerusalem. It is set in Biblical hell as well as in the Hinnom Valley in Jerusalem, “Hell’s Valley”, and it is set both in eternity and in the present time of 1941. The dramatis personae include (orthographically masked): Faust, Mephisto and Marta Schwertlein, but also the “Nacis” Göbbels, Göhring and Hitler, the poet (Lasker-Schüler herself), the stage director Max Reinhardt and the Haaretz reviewer Gershon Swet. In her play, the author imagines the utopian arrangement between Faust and Mephisto as a historical compromise against right-wing power, which then perishes in a stream of lava. (reproduced from the Staatsoper Hamburg website)The cast includes soprano Gabriele Rossmanith (Dichterin), tenor Daniel Kluge (Faust), bass Martin Summer (Mephisto 1), baritone Zak Kariithi (Mephisto 2), mezzo Ida Aldrian (Marthe), tenor Hiroshi Amako (Goebbels) and soprano Hellen Kwon (Vogelscheuche). The composer conducts the Projektensemble der Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg and the Chor of the Hamburg State Opera. Christian von Treskow directs.
The performance should last 3 hours. The venue is the Rehearsal Stage 1 (Probebühne 1).