Rienzi, The Last of the Tribunes: Deutsche Oper Berlin

Rienzi (2010): Deutsche Oper Berlin, © Photo: Bettina Stöß

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The Deutsche Oper Berlin presents Richard Wagner's 'Rienzi, The Last of the Tribunes' in a provocative multimedia production by Philipp Stölzl.

Rienzi, Wagner's fourth opera, was the work that established his reputation. Long a popular work among audiences, Rienzi all but vanished from opera house repertoires after the Second World War. Hitler himself had made close associations between his own actual and envisaged biography and that of the eponymous hero and mentioned a performance of the opera in Linz in 1906 or 1907 as being the inspiration behind his later strivings. Posterity distanced itself from the work, unable to dismiss as trivial the parallels, despite the fact that the two figures were connected less in their biographical details as they were by a common vocabulary, a shared claim to power and redemption and a potential for violence that threatens to tip abruptly into an unbridled urge to destroy.
Director Philipp Stölzl interprets Rienzi as a parable of the dangerous tightrope walk between idealism, hubris and realpolitik. The republican dream of the people’s tribune ends in dictatorship and destruction. For him, in a series of symbols unique to himself, the stage becomes a multimedia experiment, set up to show the inevitable fate of a “hero.”

In German language with German surtitles

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