Songs and Poets: An English Pastorale

Song recitals in the foyer

20:00 - 22:00
€ 16,00 / concs.: 8,00*
Free choice of seats
Information about the work

approx. 2 hours / one interval

Share this post
Our thanks to our partners

A joint production of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Haus für Poesie

20:00 - 22:00
€ 16,00 / concs.: 8,00*
Free choice of seats
the content

George Butterworth [1885 - 1916].
"Six Songs from a Shropshire Lad"

Arnold Bax [1883 - 1953]
"As I came over the grey, grey hills"
"When I was one-and-twenty"

*** Interval ***

Frank Bridge [1879 - 1941]
"Three Songs" for viola and voice

Ivor Gurney's [1890 - 1937]
"Ludlow and Teme" for tenor, piano and string quartet

This time, the event in the Songs and Poets series takes us to England in the first half of the 20th century. Different songs from the late and most late Romantic period will be presented, among others by two of the greatest song composers of their time: Ivor Gurney and George Butterworth. Their lives show many parallels typical of their time: Both set texts by the poet and scholar A. E. Housman from his volume "A Shropshire Lad" published in 1896, both were closely associated with the famous composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, and both fought in the First World War (Butterworth was killed in the Battle of the Somme aged only 31 and Gurney spent much of his life in mental institutions due to "war neurosis"). Some of Housman's settings will be played this evening, including Gurney's song cycle "Ludlow and Teme". There will also be songs by Frank Bridge and Arnold Bax.

The writer who will respond to the songs with his own texts this time is Alban Nikolai Herbst (born 1955 in Bensberg). Herbst is the great maverick of contemporary German literature; he became known in 1994 with the novel "Wolpertinger oder das Blau" (Wolpertinger or the Blue), which is heavyweight in every respect (the revised new edition was published by Elfenbein-Verlag in 2021). This was followed between 1998 and 2013 by the "Anderswelt" trilogy. Most recently, the poetry collection "Die Brüste der Béart" (diaphanes 2022) was published.


News about the schedule
and the start of advance booking
Personal recommendations
Special offers ...
Stay well informed!

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our Newsletter and receive 25% off your next ticket purchase.

* Mandatory field



Advents-Verlosung: Das 2. Fensterchen

In today's Advent calendar window, we are giving away 3 DVDs of "Der Schatzgräber" - an opera in a prelude, four acts and a postlude by Franz Schreker. If you would like to win one of the three DVDs, please send an e-mail today with the subject "The 2nd window" to

DER SCHATZGRÄBER (THE TREASURE HUNTER) by Franz Schreker was a triumph at its world premiere in Frankfurt in 1920 and went on to play 44 times at assorted venues over the next five years. It then fell victim to a shifting zeitgeist and slipped from opera-house programmes, with a National Socialist ban on performances sealing its demise. Even after 1945 the Schreker revival was a long time coming – and THE TREASURE HUNTER has not featured prominently in the renaissance.

As with the vast majority of Schreker’s libretti, the story of Els and Elis explores the relationship between fantasy and reality, between art and life. Soulmates in the sense that they are both at the mercy of the king’s disposition, Els and Elis set off in search of different treasures. Elis, the minstrel, uses his magic lute to locate a stash of jewels and do humanity a good turn. Els, an innkeeper’s daughter who has grown up motherless in a tough, male-chauvinist world, becomes a liar, cheat and murderess in pursuit of her goal, tasking her suitors to steal the queen’s jewels and then having them killed once they have returned with the haul of treasure. Yet even with the gold in their possession, the pair are not content, and so, true to form, Schreker turns his attention to the theme of yearning per se, which is the actual “treasure” that the composer is interested in, “a dream of happiness and redemption”. Elis and Els are caught up in a swirl of dreams, memories, premonitions, songs and music. Their stories take on a dreamlike quality in a world beset by greed, murder and emotional inconstancy. For Franz Schreker the path to redemption could only be via art. Composed during the turmoil of the First World War, the TREASURE HUNTER score amounts to Schreker’s personal confession of artistic faith, executed in florid strokes of late-Romantic musical colour.

Conductor Marc Albrecht; Staging Christof Loy; Set design Johannes Leiacker; Costume design Barbara Drosihn; With Tuomas Pursio, Doke Pauwels, Clemens Bieber, Michael Adams, Joel Allison, Michael Laurenz, Thomas Johannes Mayer, Seth Carico, Daniel Johansson, Gideon Poppe, Stephen Bronk, Elisabet Strid, Patrick Cook, Tyler Zimmerman a. o.; Chorus and Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin

Closing date: 2 December 2023, the winners will be informed by email on 4 December 2023. The DVDs will then be sent by post. Legal recourse is excluded.