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Korngold: Die Tote Stadt

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This 2009 production from Venice's Teatro la Fenice is the most modern production available on DVD. Erich Korngold's Die Tote Stadt from 1920 was a huge success before he went to America and became famous for his great Hollywood film scores, but until recently it has been mostly neglected. The opera is based on Georges Rochenberg's novel Bruges-la Morte. It tells the story of a man who, having lost his wife, takes refuge in the city of Brugue. Whilst overcome with grief he becomes obsessed with a woman who bears the same likeness as his wife. The book is notable for its poetic evocation of the decaying city and the director Pier Luigi Pizzi uses this as his inspiration for the set. Similar to his staging of Britten's Death in Venice, Pizzi uses mist and fog on stage to evoke a sense of ghostly silence and desolation.
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