Composition Commission issued to Philipp Maintz for the chamber opera "Thérèse"

Hamburgische Staatsoper GmbH, Germany


Love, passion, murder and suicide – these are the main plot elements in Émile Zola’s novel Thérèse Raquin. Here a woman suffering from an unhappy, arranged marriage falls in love with her husband’s best friend. This is the first time she experiences passion and happiness. The couple’s wish to live together at all costs prompts the woman to murder her unwanted husband. Although the way is now clear it is precisely this opportunity that causes their love to die off quite unexpectedly. Mutual blaming highlights the powerlessness arising from the senseless fatalism of the event. In the end the couple’s only achievable common ground is suicide.

Philipp Maintz was commissioned with the support of the EvS Music Foundation to compose a chamber opera here. The libretto by Otto Katzameier offers Maintz the opportunity to elaborate several musical materials as a leitmotif. At the same time, however, he can also use an associatively open operatic language that leaves room for music which comments, reveals and, more importantly, acts as a psychogram. Also convinced of the success of the work is Georges Delnon, Director at Staatsoper Hamburg: “The production is an asset for Salzburg and Hamburg. Both institutions are very committed to contemporary music theater and are continuing their activities in this field. For this production to be premiered as part of the Hamburg Music Festival I consciously chose the small hall at the Elbphilharmonie to anchor music theater firmly into the Elbphilharmonie program."


April 14, 17 and 18, 2019
Salzburg Easter Festival, Austria

May 19, 21 and 22, 2019
Kleiner Saal, Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, Germany


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