Weiße Rose (opera)

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Grave of Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl, and Christoph Probst, in the Perlacher Friedhof, next to the Stadelheim prison in Munich.

Weiße Rose (White Rose)[N 1] is a chamber opera in one act by composer Udo Zimmermann. The opera tells the story of Hans and Sophie Scholl, a brother and sister in their early twenties, who were guillotined by the Nazis in 1943 for leading Die Weiße Rose, a non-violent resistance group. The opera premiered at the Dresden Conservatory on 17 June 1967 with a German libretto by the composer's brother, Ingo Zimmermann, who is a well known journalist and writer in Germany.[1] The opera was received fairly well but did not spark the interest in a professional production.

A revised and less conventionally narrative version of the opera was premiered at the Hamburg State Opera on 27 February 1986 and was a success with both audience and critics. The opera became an international success and has had performances at many of the world's leading opera houses and with leading orchestras including the Vienna State Opera, Komische Oper Berlin, Zurich Opera, the Salzburg Festival, and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra among many others.[2] The United States premiere of the opera was presented by Opera Omaha in 1988 with soprano Lauren Flanigan as Sophie.[3]

Roles[edit]

Cast Voice type Premiere of revised opera, 27 February 1986
Conductor: Udo Zimmermann)
Hans Scholl tenor*See note Lutz-Michael Harder
Sophie Scholl soprano Gabriele Fontana
  • Note — The tessitura and range of the role of Hans is such that a number of baritones with good upper extension have also learned and performed the role.

Recordings[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b The title of the opera is often shown as Die Weiße Rose; however, the publisher, Breitkopf & Härtel, shows both versions as Weiße Rose.

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • F. Hennenberg: Udo Zimmermann: Leidenschaft Musik – Abenteuer Theater: Komponist – Intendant – Dirigent (Bonn, 1992)
  • M. Ernst, ed.: Udo Zimmermann: ein Fünfzigjähriger im Spiegelbild von Zeitgenossen: eine Biographie in Zitaten (Leipzig, 1993)
  • Lars Klingberg. "Zimmermann, Udo." Grove Music Online. (subscription access)