Walter Braunfels' opera ‘The Birds’ at the Tiroler Festspiele Erl

The premiere of Walter Braunfels' opera The Birds(Die Vögel)will take place on 20 July, 2019 as part of the Tiroler Festpiele Erl. A second performance will follow on 27 July. Conductor Lothar Zagrosek will take over the musical direction, Tina Lanik will be responsible for the direction.

With regard to the work, Tina Lanik also expressed her opinion:
‘In 1918 Walter Braunfels returned home wounded from the First World War. Afterwards he completed the work he had begun in 1913 on the opera Die Vögel, but in a decisive aspect deviated from the work by Aristophanes on which it was based. In the opera by Braunfels it does indeed come to a war between the birds and Zeus, which leads to the destruction of the bird fortress. Incited to take part in a senseless war, the birds are helped by two human beings, Ratefreund and Hoffegut, who formerly came to the birds, hoping to find a Utopia in contrast. Against the historical background this opera appears to be visionary as far as our present, and like a parable it shows the hubris of mankind, in which patriotism, ruthlessness, misuse of power, an exaggerated opinion of oneself and egoism have largely taken over political activity in our time too. The words of warning and admonition by Prometheus are an example but they go unheard due to the birds’ hubris. At the apocalyptic culmination there is a moment of longing and melancholy, poetry of the perfect instant between the nightingale and Hoffegut, when everything appears to be possible, and all borders between the real and the imagined world seem to dissolve. The past, which admonishes us, the present to which we are exposed and sometimes face in perplexity, and the Utopian, poetic and theatrical aspects of this opera are the starting point of the staging.’

View the full score:

The Birds