Elegy for young lovers
Music by Hans Werner Henze
Libretto by Wystan Hugh Auden and Chester Simon Kallman
German version by Ludwig Landgraf in collaboration by Werner Schachteli und Hans Werner Henze
Director Keith Warner
In German with German surtitles
Production of Theater an der Wien
Premiere: 2. 5. 2017
Hans Werner Henze and his librettists, the English poets Wystan Hugh Auden and Chester Simon Kallman, dedicated Elegy for Young Lovers, a commissioned work first performed in 1961 at the Schwetzingen Festival, "to the memory of Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Austrian, European and master librettist". The work was intended to hover between ironic comedy and tragedy in the spirit of Hofmannsthal. Satirical elements are juxtaposed with melancholy and even harrowing ones. Like a chamber play, a drama about an artist unfolds that is open to many interpretations and was inspired by William Butler Yeats' motto, "The intellect of man is forced to choose perfection of the life or of the work". Henze created a contemporary score to the drama that never forgets its attachment to European operatic tradition. The composition possesses enormous musical diversity, a nuanced, transparent sound pattern that always abides by the primacy of the vocal part and does justice to the libretto's wealth of relationships with classical recitatives and also extends to highly virtuoso solo and ensemble passages.
As of June 15, 2016 ticket sale at the box-offices (Theater an der Wien, Wien-Ticket Pavillon) as well as telephone and online booking for performances until December 31, 2016. Tickets for performances as of January 1, 2017 will be available as of September 1, 2016.