The Sunday Opera: Two Operas by Marschner: "Hans Heiling" and "Der Vampyr"

Mar 1, 2018

Music by the rival of Weber and friend to Beethoven and Mendelssohn is being featured on this week’s Sunday opera (2/4  3:00 p.m.) when we’ll look at two supernatural works from the pen of Heinrich August Marschner.  The first is the opera that cemented his place as one of the important composers of German opera, “Hans Heiling” in which the prince of the gnomes searches the mortal world to find a wife but learns just how difficult finding true love can be.  

Our cast includes Alexander Weltisch, Helene Werth, and Margit Guilleaume with Wilhelm Schuchter leading the Chorus and Orchestra of the North Western Radio Orchestra.  We couldn’t have a program of Marschner without his best known work, “Der Vampyr.” which deviates from the usual vampire tale when Lord Ruthven must marry and dispatch three brides within a set period of time or be dispatched himself.  The libretto is based on the play “Der Vampir oder die Totenbraut (The Vampire or the Dead Bride)” by Heinrich Ludwig Ritter which was based on a short story “The Vampyre” by English physician and writer John Polidori who is credited by many as the creator of “vampire fiction.”  This recording features Martin Engel, Carol Farley, Josef Protschka, and Siegmund Ninsgern with Gunter Neuhold conducting the Rome Radio and Television Symphonic Orchestra and Chorus.