Die Soldaten
Director: Hannes Rossacher
Distributor: C Major Entertainment
Length: 122 mins.
16:9 shot in 1080i HD | stereo & 5.1 surround sound
© 2012, a production of BFMI for Unitel Classica
Op­era in four acts by Bernd Alois Zi­m­mer­mann
Based on the play of the same title by Jakob Mi­chael Re­in­hold Lenz (1751–1792)

A great chal­lenge for all in­volved is the new pro­duc­tion of Bernd Alois Zi­m­mer­mann’s Die Sold­aten, dir­ec­ted by Alvis Her­manis and con­duc­ted by Ingo Met­zmach­er. In 2012, this work, right­fully labeled an “op­era of the cen­tury”, was THE op­era pro­duc­tion of 2012 Salzburg Fest­iv­al.
In March of 1958, the City of Co­logne com­mis­sioned the op­era Die Sold­aten from Bernd Alois Zi­m­mer­mann – based on the “com­edy” of the same title by Jakob Mi­chael Re­in­hold Lenz – which be­came a key work of mod­ern mu­sic his­tory. The only com­pleted op­era by the Ger­man com­poser was sup­posed to be per­formed in 1960 dur­ing the World Mu­sic Fest­iv­al, but the de­mand­ing score and pre­sum­ably also or­gan­iz­a­tion­al dif­fi­culties of the Co­logne Op­era pre­ven­ted re­hears­als from be­gin­ning. From that time, Zi­m­mer­mann struggled against the stigma that his mu­sic­al theat­er work was un­per­form­able. In 1963, fi­nally, sev­er­al scenes were per­formed in a con­cert ver­sion, and on Feb­ru­ary 15, 1965, Die Sold­aten fi­nally had its world premiere in Co­logne. It was a great suc­cess. Audi­ence and crit­ics re­cog­nized the new, trend-set­ting as­pects of this op­era, which an­ti­cip­ates most mod­ern ele­ments of mu­sic­al theat­er.
“The story is set in French Flanders. In Lille and Ar­men­ti­ers. The time is: yes­ter­day, today and to­mor­row. That is what the score says. One stumbles over this, un­avoid­ably. Yes­ter­day, today and to­mor­row. That means, on any giv­en day. Re­peat­ing it­self etern­ally. In­de­pend­ent of his­tor­ic con­text. How is that pos­sible? Bernd Alois Zi­m­mer­mann be­lieved in a spher­ic­al shape of time. That everything that ever happened and is yet to hap­pen stands side by side, sim­ul­tan­eously. Now and forever. It is only to our per­cep­tion that it seems that things hap­pen se­quen­tially,” con­duct­or Ingo Met­zmach­er writes in his book Vorhang auf! (Cur­tain Up!) about Zi­m­mer­mann’s mas­ter­work, which he con­duc­ted in Salzburg for the first time.

Wien­er Phil­har­monik­er
Ingo Met­zmach­er, con­duct­or
Alvis Her­manis, stage dir­ect­or and set design
Al­fred Muff, Wesen­er, a fancy-goods mer­chant in Lille
Laura Aikin, Mar­ie, his daugh­ter
Tanja Ariane Baumgart­ner, Char­lotte, his daugh­ter
Cor­ne­lia Kal­lisch, Wesen­er‘s Old Moth­er
To­masz Konieczny, Stolzi­us, a draper in Ar­mentières
Renée Mor­loc, Stolzi­us’s Moth­er
Re­in­hard Mayr, Ob­rist, Count of Span­nheim
Daniel Brenna, Des­por­tes, a young French no­ble­man
Wolfgang Ablinger-Sper­rhacke, Pirzel, a cap­tain
Boaz Daniel, Eis­en­hardt, an army chap­lain
Matjaž Robavs, Ma­jor Haudy
Mor­gan Moody, Ma­jor Mary
Gab­ri­ela Beňačková, Count­ess de la Roche
Mat­thi­as Klink, The Young Count, her son
Beate Vol­lack, An An­dalus­i­an Wait­ress
Wern­er Friedl, The Count­ess de la Roche's Ser­vant