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Sunday Afternoon at the Opera - Wagner: Die Feen

05/12/2013 1:00 pm
05/13/2013 4:30 pm


Sunday Afternoon at the Opera host Keith Brown writes:

Die Feen ("The Fairies") was Wagner's first opera, completed in 1833 but never performed in his lifetime. (Wagner suppressed it. ) Its first production was mounted at Munich in 1888, with a few stagings to follow in the twentieth century.

A few recordings of it have been made. The one I aired on Sunday, May 5, 2002 originated with the 1998 production at the Teatro Communale of Cagliari, Italy. It was released under the Italian Dynamic label in a three-CD package. Frankfurt Opera in Germany produced Die Feen in concert version--not as Wagner envisioned it to be staged, with monumental, spectacular changes of scenery, from a fairy garden, to a wild, rock-strewn wasteland, to an awesome deep chasm in the netherworld, and to a fairy palace in the clouds.

This is German mystical romantic opera on the grand scale, taking its models from Weber's Oberon or E. T. A. Hoffmann's Ondine. The new Frankfurt Opera recording of Die Feen came out this year on three compact discs courtesy of the German Oehms Classics label.