Udo Zimmermann (*1943) Levin's Mill
Opera in 9 Scenes 1972 Text: Ingo Zimmermann
26 soloists – choir: SATB – 188.8.131.52. – 184.108.40.206. – timp.perc – hp.guit – pno.cel – str / stage music:: trp.gong.acc.vl.
World premiere: Dresden, 1973
Duration: full evening
Text by Ingo Zimmermann after Johannes Bobrowski’s novel "Levins Mühle, 34 Sätze über meinen Großvater.”
Place and time: Neumühl and Briesen, two villages in den 70ies of the 19th Century
Characters: Leo Levin (baritone) - Habedank, a Sinti (bass) - Maria, his Daughter (soprano) - Weiszmantel, Bard (baritone) - Willuhn, dismissed Teacher (baritone) - Korinth and Nieswandt, Polish mill Workers (tenor, bass) - Tante Huse (alto) - Johann, German Miller (bass) - Frau Christina, his Wife* (mezzo-soprano) - Fargin, her Father (tenor) - Gustav, Johann’s Son* (baritone) - Gustav’s Wife* (mezzo-soprano) - Glinski, a Parish Priest (tenor) - Frau Glinski* (alto) - Rogalla, a Curate (baritone) - Nebenzahl (baritone) - Village Gendarme Adam (baritone) - Rosinke, Landlord (tenor) - Frau Rosinke* (alto) - Kossakowski, rich Farmer* (bass) - Frau Kossakowski* (mezzo-soprano) - Tomaschewski, rich Farmer* (tenor) - Scarletto, Director of circus (speaking part) - Antonja, Emilio, Antonelle, Sinti of circus (Schauspieler oder Tänzer) - Bonikowski, Secretary of Justice, Sergeant (speaking parts) - higher society, simple people from Neumühl, soldiers (chorus)
The characters indicated with a * can be played by first chorists
The action takes place in an ethnically mixed region shared by Germans, Russians, Sinti, Poles, Jews and Balts. The wealthy German miller Johann has eliminated his small Jewish rival Levin by flooding away Levin’s mill. although there are no witnesses, everyone in the town knows who did it. Levin takes his complaint to the magistrate, but loses the trial since Johann has bribed the German judge, the parish priest and the district administrator. Levin refuses to accept the judgment and obtains the support of the Poles and Sinti.
At Rosinke’s inn, the bard Weiszmantel creates a song about the events, the "Song of Water and Wonder,” in which all the villagers join in. Johann is turned away along with the rest of the "upper classes.” He denounces Levin and Weiszmantel for disturbing the peace, but ultimately decides to leave the town, fearing that his mill will be burned down. Levin and Weiszmantel succeed in evading the police.
LP (Schallplattenfassung vom Komponisten):
Wolfgang Hellmich (Levin), Günter Dreßler (Habedank), Helga Termer (Marie), Werner Haseleu (Weiszmantel) u. a.
Rundfunkchor und Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Leipzig, cond. Siegfried Kurz
LP Deutsche Schallplatten Berlin, Nova 885 119
Wolfgang Hellmich, Günter Dreßler u. a., Rundfunkchor Leipzig, Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester Leipzig, cond. Siegfried Kurz
CD edel 0094512BC
CD BMG 74321 73541 2