Das Lied von der Erde

Gustav Mahler / Arnold Schönberg:
Das Lied von der Erde

Elfriede Jelinek: Die Bienenkönige
A symphony for Tenor and Alto (or Baritone) and orchestra
Based on Hans Bethge's Die chinesische FlöteChamber orchestral version by Arnold Schönberg, completed by Rainer Riehn
An energy being from out of space is paying a visit to the Earth to further research the mortality of planets. The Earth’s population suffocated themselves and their environment by a thick layer of plastic. Whilst searching for either, signs of civilization and of the events leading up to the collapse, the being comes across a colony of researchers beneath the Earth’s surface.

The proximity to death which can be found in Mahler’s work, also finds an equivalent in Elfriede Jelinek’s essay Die Bienenkönige (The Kings of Bees). Jelinek’s story, written in 1976 and placed at the beginning of the evening like a prologue to Mahler’s composition, likewise narrates of standstill and a perishing civilization.

Location
Opernhaus
World premiere
1911 in Vienna

This production's premiere
27 October 2020