Cornelius Schwehr (*1953) Heimat
Opera in 2 Acts 'in Memorial of the Baden Revolution 1848/49' Duration: 90' Text: Walter Mossmann
solos: SMezTBarB – choir SSATBB – 2(picc).2(cor ang).2(B-clar).2(dble bsn) – 220.127.116.11. – hp – guit- perc(2) – str 18.104.22.168.3 – stage music: clar – perc – pno – vl
World premiere: Freiburg, May 29, 1999
Place and time: Hikel's study, barrack square, in front of the baker's shop, street, attic room, railroad station, in front of the palace "Charivari”, in the fields, in the mountains, salon in Strasbourg, 1848/49 and in the present
Characters: Sofie (soprano) - Amalie (mezzo soprano) - Max (tenor) - The old Man (baritone) - Hikel (bass) - Mother* (soprano) - Father* (tenor) - The Kipperer* (baritone) - 3 Women* (soprano, mezzo soprano, alto) - 2 Journeymen* (tenors) - The Boy* (speaking part) - de Mill* (baritone) - 3 Men* (tenor, baritone, bass) - 3 Masks* (soprano, alto, tenor) - 2 Men* (baritone, bass) (* Supporting roles that can be played by the choir)
Characters for the interludes: 3 actresses, 1 actor, 1 male supporting role
The revolution was a failure, but the demands of the years 1848/49 constitute the basis for presentday Germany's democracy. Schwehr distances himself from real-life historical figures. His play unfolds on two levels, one sung and the other spoken. There is on the one hand the opera as a commemoration of revolutionary events, seen from the perspective of old Hikel on his deathbed. On the other, a play which takes place in the present has been interwoven into the composition. These interludes are inserted as short interruptions. They serve, among other things, to cast a subjective light on the apparently objective actions occurring on the opera stage. Whereas the opera figures cannot see the actors since they have no window on the future, the actors occasionally circulate in the opera as well. After all, limited insights into history are plausible. The characters of the opera stand for various individual fates: the student Hikel turns into a revolutionary orator and ultimately flees into insanity; the servant girl Sofie becomes an agitator in the social revolution; the officer Max breaks his oath of allegiance and changes fronts, and the "salon dame" Amalie begins to focus her interest on politics and ultimately emigrates.