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Aribert Reimann 1936—2024

Trilogie lyrique
Libretto by the composer after Maurice Maeterlinck
First performed October 8 2017, Deutsche Oper, Berlin

Sung in French with German & English surtitles
Introductory talks (in German) begin in the Holzfoyer 30 mins before curtain up and will appear here shortly after opening night

There's a chamber music concert at 11am on April 27 inspired by this work.

Death has many faces. Appearing as comforter, seducer, sadist. It shines in the dark and hides in the light.

Aribert Reimann’s L’invisible turned three Maeterlinck plays into a poetic meditation on the power of death: L’intruse shows a mother, struggling to survive childbirth. While most of her relatives fail to grasp the seriousness of the situation, her blind grandfather’s the only one to register the arrival of an invisible stranger. Intérieur starts with a young woman’s suicide. Two men, expected to break the news to her family, wonder whether it wouldn’t be kinder to hide the bitter truth. La mort de Tintagiles harks back to a dismal fairy tale: an old Queen lures her grandson Tintagiles back to her kingdom, to murder him. He puts up a fight, helped by his sisters, but vanishes without trace in his grandmother’s mysterious castle.

Maeterlinck’s late 19th century plays hover between realism and symbolic ambiguity. The everyday constantly invoking the valley of death, and omnipresent in Reimann’s score. The fears and premonitions of the characters are not only tangible in expressive vocal lines, but in iridescent orchestral interludes too. Richly contrasting instrumentation draws the three works together, producing something unforgettable.