Music Paul Hindemith

Cast 08.04.2020

Conductor Michael Boder
Director Sven-Eric Bechtolf
Set design Rolf Glittenberg
Costume Design Marianne Glittenberg
Lighting Design Jürgen Hoffmann
Cardillac Tomasz Konieczny
Die Tochter Angela Denoke
Der Offizier Thomas Ebenstein
Der Goldhändler Wolfgang Bankl
Der Kavalier Michael Laurenz
Die Dame Stephanie Houtzeel


Based on E.T.A. Hoffmann's tale Das Fräulein von Scuderi, Paul Hindemith and his librettist Ferdinand Lion created the three-act opera Cardillac. In the person of the title character, a goldsmith, who is possessed by his jewelry and can’t separate himself from it and kills to protect it, as well as the tensions between the artist and the work and between the outer and inner society and a lonely personality are all discussed in this opera. The people of Paris are gripped by panic in the wake of a series of mysterious murders. The king has the Provost-Marshal announce that a special court of justice, the “burning chamber”, has been constituted to seek out the murderer. The Lady sees how reverently the goldsmith Cardillac is greeted by everyone. The Cavalier explains the reason to her: Cardillac is the best goldsmith, but all who purchase his jewellery are murdered. The Lady asks the Cavalier to buy her “the most beautiful piece that Cardillac has ever made” as a token of his love. When he appears with a magnificent belt created by goldsmith and starts to make love to her, he too is murdered. Cardillac’s daughter, who is in love with the Officer, is torn: she wants to flee with her lover, yet she is loath to leave her father. However, Cardillac does not try to restrain his daughter; he is interested only in the jewellery he is working on. When the Officer purchases a chain from him, Cardillac knows that he must kill him in order to regain possession of it, since he cannot bear to be separated from his works. The attack on the Officer is unsuccessful, and the gold merchant, who suspects the connection between Cardillac and all the murders, raises the alarm. Although the Officer defends Cardillac, the goldsmith finally confesses to the murders. He is killed by the people; as he dies, he can think only of his jewellery.


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