Des Kaisers neue Walzer
Des Kaisers neue Walzer
© Christina Baumann-Canaval

The Emperor’s New Waltz

Alma Deutscher

An original work commissioned by the Salzburg State Theatre

Dialogue by Nina Schneider, Guy Deutscher, Alma Deutscher / Lyrics by Nina Schneider / In German with German and English surtitles

World premiere: 4 March 2023 / Salzburg State Theatre

Synopsis

Mozart versus modern beats, shrill dissonance versus harmonic beauty: Alma Deutscher's opera takes place in a world full of music. Inspired by the fairy tale “The Emperor's New Clothes”, it tells a story about pretence and truth and about the bonding power of music.

The gardener and the rich heiress: Jonas and Leonie could hardly be more different. No wonder they cannot stand each other. What unites them, however, is their shared dream of studying at the music academy. But Leonie's father, fashion mogul Rudolf Kaiser, thinks that her planned marriage to the renowned composer and rector Sir Anthony Swindelle will bring enough high culture into the family. Disguised as a boy, Leonie visits the university, where she unexpectedly meets Jonas. Together they discover that Swindelle is pursuing rather self-serving plans.

With director Christina Piegger and conductor Katharina Wincor, a young team presents the commissioned work by 17-year-old Alma Deutscher on the stage of the Salzburg State Theatre. “The Emperor’s New Waltz” represents a consistent further development in the composer’s musical style: Elements of contemporary music meet classical melodies in this opera.

Alma Deutscher (*2005) has received recognition from major artists including Anne-Sophie Mutter, Sir Simon Rattle and Zubin Mehta. 2021 marked the premiere of the Salzburg version of her opera “Cinderella” at the Salzburg State Theatre. As a pianist and violinist she is much sought after around the world and has for instance performed at the Wiener Musikverein and the Carnegie Hall in New York.

Christina Piegger has directed many plays in Salzburg, for both the drama and music theatre divisions. She also staged “Die Zauberflöte” at the Landestheater Niederbayern. Katharina Wincor, who has worked with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Bruckner Orchestra Linz, will for the first time act as musical director at the Salzburg State Theatre.