Weill’s one-act opera, libretto by Georg Kaiser, gets a hearing this summer in southern Germany at the Isny Oper Festival in Isny am Allgäu. After three performances in June at Isny, the company will travel to Munich and Stuttgart for one performance each, on 6 July and 12 July, respectively. Der Zar will be paired with Mischa Spolianksy’s 1928 revue, Es liegt in der Luft. The lead roles will be sung by Insu Hwang, Anna Semenow, and Elsa Kodeda. Festival artistic director Hans-Christian Hauser will handle both staging and conducting duties.
The last of a series of one-act operas Weill composed in the mid-twenties, Der Zar lässt sich photographieren (The Czar Has His Photograph Taken) is a farce built around an assassination plot. It was composed as a companion piece to Weill’s first opera with Kaiser, the tragedy Der Protagonist. It was performed dozens of times in Germany after the premiere in Leipzig in February 1928, but it is not staged often today. Der Zar occupies an especially significant place in Weill’s oeuvre as the last stage work he completed before Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera).
The festival at Isny also features a concert (28 June), at which another infrequently heard Weill work, Kiddush, will be performed.
Learn more about Der Zar lässt sich photographieren
Learn more about Kiddush