Exactly 90 years after the creation of Erich Wolfgang Korngold's Das Wunder der Heliane, Opera Vlaanderen is bringing this rarely performed opera to the stage. Das Wunder der Heliane is steeped in a romantically charged world of symbols and earthly eroticism. The composer based his work on the mystery play by the author Hans Kaltneker, who died tragically young. Korngold masterfully transports listeners to an elusive, often stirring world of sound.
The opera takes place in a nameless country: a remote and desolate wasteland, subject to its own ruthless laws and regulations. All that adds colour to life has been banned: desire, humour and love. Identity is suppressed, the dictatorship of the Ruler is all that counts. Literally: rien ne va plus! Nothing is allowed anymore. Heliane seems to be the only one to possess any individuality, and this allows her to overcome the power of the Ruler. The only condition appears to be faith in miracle and love.
The production will be directed by David Bösch, whose previous work at Opera Vlaanderen includes Strauss' Elektra and Mozart's Idomeneo. Following a highly successful performance of Richard Strauss' Die Frau ohne Schatten in the 2010-2011 season, first guest conductor Alexander Joel will once again be presenting an early 20th-century work. Soprano Ausrine Stundyte will also return to our stage as a sublime Heliane.