The opera was not very successful, and was only staged a few times during Strauss' lifetime:
The first performance took place on 10 May 1894 at the Grossherzogliches Hoftheater in Weimar. The soprano role of Freihild was sung by Pauline de Ahna, Strauss's future wife. Later performances conducted by Strauss included those in Munich on 16 November 1895 and in Prague on 9 October 1901. A performance in Frankfurt was given on 9 March 1910 conducted by Ludwig Rottenberg.
In Hamburg, on 4 February 1895, Gustav Mahler included the Prelude to Act 1 in his 6th Philharmonic Concert. He included the Preludes to Acts 1 and 2 in a concert in Vienna on 19 February 1899, and in New York on 30 March 1910 with the New York Philharmonic.
|Role||Voice type||Premiere cast, 10 May 1894
Conductor: Richard Strauss
|The old Duke||bass||Karl Bucha|
|Freihild, his daughter||soprano||Pauline de Ahna, then Strauss's fiancée|
|Duke Robert, her husband||baritone||Franz Schwarz|
|Guntram, singer||tenor||Heinrich Zeller|
|Friedhold, singer||bass||Ferdinand Wiedey|
|The Duke's jester||tenor||Hans Gießen|
|An old woman||contralto||Louise Tibelti|
|An old man||tenor||Hr. Lutz|
|Two younger men||basses||Hr. Barth
|Three vassals||basses||Hr. Fischer, Hr. Schustherr, Hr. Henning|
|A messenger||baritone||Hermann Buche|
|Four Minnesingers||tenors, basses||Hr. v. Szpinger, Hr. Knöfler, Hr. Glitsch, Hr. Weyrauch|
|Vassals, Minnesingers, monks, servants, vagrants|
Set in medieval Germany, the triangular Wagnerian-style story of love and redemption is about the minstrel Guntram, the evil Duke Robert and his saintly wife Freihild. (The story is not connected with the Merovingian king Guntram of Burgundy.)
The Old Duke
Opera House and Orchestra
BBC Symphony Orchestra and BBC Singers
|Audio CD: Gala
Cat: GL 100787
|2005||Gian Luca Zampieri,
Tirol Festival, Erl Orchestra and male chorus
|DVD: Col Legno
Hungarian State Orchestra
|Audio CD: Sony Music
- Antonio Cucuzza, Wagner a Ramacca?, Agorà XVI (a. V - Gen. - Mar. 2004), pp. 52-53.
- Recordings of Guntram listed on operadis-opera-discography.org.uk
- Murray, David, "Guntram" in The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, ed. Stanley Sadie, London, 1992 ISBN 0-333-73432-7
- Casaglia, Gherardo (2005). "Guntram". Almanacco Amadeus (Italian).
- Guntram (opera): Free scores at the International Music Score Library Project
- List of performances of Guntram on Operabase.