Jacobowsky und der Oberst (opera)

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Jacobowsky und der Oberst
Opera by Giselher Klebe
Giselher Klebe 2008.jpg
The composer in 2008
TranslationJacobovsky and the Colonel
Based onJacobowsky und der Oberst
by Franz Werfel
2 November 1965 (1965-11-02)

Jacobowsky und der Oberst, Op. 49, (Jacobovsky and the Colonel) is an opera in four acts by Giselher Klebe who also wrote the libretto based on the 1944 play of the Jacobowsky und der Oberst  [ de ] by Franz Werfel.

Opera artform combining sung text and musical score in a theatrical setting

Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theater. Such a "work" is typically a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costume, and sometimes dance or ballet. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor.

Giselher Klebe German composer

Giselher Wolfgang Klebe was a German composer, and an academic teacher. He composed more than 140 works, among them 14 literary operas, eight symphonies, 15 solo concerts, chamber music, piano works, and sacred music.

Libretto text used for an extended musical work

A libretto is the text used in, or intended for, an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata or musical. The term libretto is also sometimes used to refer to the text of major liturgical works, such as the Mass, requiem and sacred cantata, or the story line of a ballet.


It premiered on 2 November 1965 at the Hamburg State Opera which had commissioned the work. Klebe dedicated it to the then director of the Staatsoper, Rolf Liebermann.

Hamburg State Opera opera building in Hamburg, Germany

The Hamburg State Opera is a German opera company based in Hamburg. Its theatre is located near the square of Gänsemarkt. Since 2015, the current Intendant of the company is Georges Delnon, and the current Generalmusikdirektor of the company is Kent Nagano.

Commission (art) hiring and payment for the creation of a piece of art

In art, a commission is the act of requesting the creation of a piece, often on behalf of another. Artwork may be commissioned by private individuals, by the government, or businesses. Commissions often resemble endorsement or sponsorship.

Rolf Liebermann Swiss composer

Rolf Liebermann, was a Swiss composer and music administrator. He served as the Artistic Director of the Hamburg State Opera from 1959–1973 and again from 1985–1988. He was also Artistic Director of the Paris Opera from 1973–1980.


Playbill of the premiere Jacobowsky und der Oberst (Klebe) playbill.jpg
Playbill of the premiere
Role Voice type Premiere cast, 2 November 1965
Conductor: Leopold Ludwig
Jacobowsky baritone Oskar Czerwenka
Colonel Stjerbinsky tenor Gerhard Stolze
Marianne soprano Arlene Saunders
Szabuniewiczbaritone Erwin Wohlfahrt
The tragic gentlemanbaritone Toni Blankenheim
Madame Bouffier mezzo-soprano Tatiana Troyanos
Salomon bass Ernst Umlandt
The old lady from Arras contralto Maria von Ilosvay
The flirting womansopranoElfriede Zimmer
ChauffeurbassCarl Schultz
Clairon, café-owner
in Saint-Jean-de-Luz
bassPeter Roth-Ehrang
Brigadier at Saint CyrillbassHans-Otto Kloose
First Lieutenant in
the German army
tenorWilfried Plate
The dice playerbass Hans Sotin
The Wandering Jew tenor Kurt Marschner
St. Francis baritoneHerbert Fliether
Chef D'ilotspokenGeorg Mund
Police chief of
spokenTheo Herrmann
A Gestapo officialspokenPeter Markwort
A Warrant Officer spokenHeinz Vossbrink
Hotel and café guests2 sopranos,
contralto, tenor
Orchestra Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg
Director Günther Rennert
Scene designIta Maximowna

Time and place: 1940, Paris, St. Cyrill, Bayonne and Saint-Jean-de-Luz

Bayonne Subprefecture and commune in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Bayonne is a city and commune and one of the two sub-prefectures of the department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of south-western France. It is located at the confluence of the Nive and Adour rivers in the northern part of the cultural region of the Basque Country, as well as the southern part of Gascony where the Aquitaine basin joins the beginning of the Pre-Pyrenees.

The first American performance was on 27 June 1967 at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, using the same cast, conducted by Matthias Kuntzsch. [1]

Metropolitan Opera opera company in Manhattan, New York City

The Metropolitan Opera is an opera company based in New York City, resident at the Metropolitan Opera House at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The company is operated by the non-profit Metropolitan Opera Association, with Peter Gelb as general manager. As of 2018, the company's current music director is Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Matthias Kuntzsch is a German-born conductor living in the United States. Earlier in his career in Germany, he was Principal Conductor of the Bonn Theater, Nationaltheater Mannheim, State Opera Hamburg, and Nationaltheater Munich, and Music Director of the Opera and Symphony of Lübeck and the State Theater and Orchestra of the Saarland, Saarbrücken.

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  1. Margaret Ross Griffel, Operas in German: A Dictionary, Greenwood Press, New York, 1990, p. 121
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The Hamburger Abendblatt is a German daily newspaper in Hamburg.

<i>Die Zeit</i> German weekly newspaper

Die Zeit is a German national weekly newspaper published in Hamburg in north Germany.

Boosey & Hawkes is a British music publisher purported to be the largest specialist classical music publisher in the world. Until 2003, it was also a major manufacturer of brass, string and woodwind musical instruments.