We start with the overture and an aria from Carl Maria von Weber’s opera Der Freischütz, which premiered in Berlin in 1821 and is based on a story from August Apel’s horror anthology, the Gespensterbuch.
In order to be able to marry his adored Agathe, Max has to prove his marksmanship in a shooting trial. But since he has had little luck shooting lately, he enters into a diabolical pact with the black hunter Samiel.
This is followed by arias from Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin: “Mein lieber Schwan” (My dear swan) is widely used in Germany as a poetic expression of surprise. But when Lohengrin sings farewell to his beloved Elsa in the eponymous aria, he is probably not the only one who will be “infinitely sad” (Wagner’s stage direction). So have a handkerchief ready!
The third part of the programme will then cheer you up with works by the magician of sound, Richard Strauss, including Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks and a selection of orchestral lieder. The finale is the Suite op. 59 from Der Rosenkavalier – put simply, a best-of from Strauss’ most famous opera.