One of opera’s great “what ifs?” is what would young Erich Wolfgang Korngold have contributed to the repertoire had the likes of The Adventures of Robin Hood (which is a damned great score and won him an Oscar, by the way) not beckoned him to Hollywood? At least we have Die tote Stadt (composed when he was 23) to set our imaginations aflame.

One of the most unappreciated outright masterpieces of 20th century opera (which the Met has deemed unworthy of production since 1923, when Maria Jeritza starred in it), the opera is alive and kicking, as it does in this recent performance from Hamburg with Simone Young conducting a cast lead by today’s undisputed greatest Lohengrin, Klaus Florian Vogt.

Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Die tote Stadt

Staatsoper Hamburg
Simone Young, conductor
22 March 2015

Paul – Klaus Florian Vogt
Marietta/Die Erscheinung Mariens – Meagan Miller
Frank/Fritz – Lauri Vasar
Brigitta – Cristina Damian
Juliette – Mélissa Petit
Lucienne – Gabriele Rossmanith
Victorin – Jun-Sang Han
Graf Albert – Jürgen Sacher