Opera Scotland

Hans Werner Henze Suggest updates

Born Gütersloh, 1 July 1926.

Died Dresden, 27 October 2012.

German composer and director.

Henze was one of the most internationally popular composers of the second half of the twentieth century. While he composed several symphonies and other orchestral works, his output of opera is outstanding, and there were also several pieces that might be described as oratorios (Natascha Ungeheuer) or music theatre (La cubana). Especially in the early decades there was a heavily politicized element to his work, much mellowed in later years. Right from the start, he adapted classic sources, including Euripides (The Bassarids), Cervantes (Das Wundertheater, Don Cuisciotte), Gozzi (König Hirsch), Kleist (Der Prinz von Homburg) and Balzac (The English Cat). He also collaborated with prominent contemporary writers - W H Auden and Chester Kallman as well as Edward Bond - We come to the River is a vast piece of polemic, very expensive to stage, and a complete contrast with the acerbic social comedies of Elegy for Young Lovers, The Young Lord and The English Cat. Das verratene Meer is an adaptation of Yukio Mishima. Becoming particularly involved with the local community in Montepulciano, where he lived in later years, he also composed approachable works for children (Pollicino).

Operas performed in Scotland are shown in bold, with links to the details of each work and performance histories listed alphabetically at the bottom:-

01   Das Wundertheater (Heidelberg 1940, rev Frankfurt 1965) (cpsr)

02   Ein Landarzt (radio 1951, rev Frankfurt 1965) (cpsr)

03   Boulevard Solitude (Hanover 1952) (Weil)

04   Das Ende einer Welt (radio 1953, rev Frankfurt 1965) (Hildesheimer)

05   König Hirsch (Berlin 1956, rev Kassel 1963) (Cramer)

06   Der Prinz von Homburg (Hamburg 1960) (Bachmann)

07   Elegy for Young Lovers (Schwetzingen 1961) (Auden & Kallman)

08   Der junge Lord (Berlin 1965) (Bachmann)

09   The Bassarids (Salzburg 1966) (Auden & Kallman)

10   Moralities (1967) (Auden)

11   El Cimarrón (1970) ()

12   Der langwierige Weg in die Wohnung der Natascha Ungeheuer (1971) ()

13   La Cubana (1973) ()

14   We Come to the River (London 1976) (Bond)

15   Don Chisciotte della Mancia (Montepulciano 1976) (di Leva & cpsr)

16   Pollicino (Montepulciano 1980) ()

17   The English Cat (Schwetzingen 1983) (Bond)

18   Das verratene Meer (Berlin 1990) (Treichel)

19   Venus und Adonis (Munich 1997) (Treichel)

20   The Upupu, or The Triumph of Filial Love (Salzburg 2003) (cpsr)

21   Gisela! (2010) ()

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