Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Recovered Voices Conference, Los Angeles

From the American Musicological Society's announcement list. Note that you can see Schreker's Die Gezeichneten at Los Angeles Opera on April 10, 18, 22, and 24, 2010.

Recovered Voices: Staging Suppressed Opera of the Early 20th Century

Sponsored by The OREL Foundation and The UCLA Center for Jewish Studies
Dates: April 7 and 8, 2010

The Nazi regime was not only responsible for the destruction of millions of lives, but also for the suppression of countless works of art, literature, and music. These works, grotesquely termed “degenerate art” by the Nazis, were banned, and the artists, Jewish and non-Jewish, were branded enemies of the state. Thousands were murdered, some went into hiding, and some escaped. But even many of the “fortunate” ones were ruined by the trauma. Although by now this is a well-known story, it continues to unfold in its tragic details, and we are only beginning to truly understand the enormity of the loss.

The work of the historian is not only to document this loss; we can also make some small contribution to undoing this terrible story: forgotten artists and composers can be brought back to public attention, lost masterpieces can be retrieved. And great music can be heard again and enter into its rightful place as part of the repertory.

This conference, organized by UCLA Professor Kenneth Reinhard, is co-sponsored by the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies and The OREL Foundation and is inspired by the work of James Conlon and Los Angeles Opera’s “Recovered Voices” project, an ongoing commitment to stage masterpieces of 20th-century European opera that were suppressed by the Third Reich. LA Opera's project has richly demonstrated that an enormous amount of this music--much of it by composers little known or unknown in America--is not only worthy of retrieval from the abyss of historical circumstances, but, by any standard, is great and capable of speaking to us urgently and eloquently today.

The conference will feature two days of talks and presentations by major scholars from the US and Europe. Scholars such as David Levin, Christopher Hailey, Albrecht Dümling, Ryan Minor, Peter Franklin, Mladen Dolar, Michael Beckerman, Michael Haas and Slavoj Zizek (among others) will present lectures on various aspects of the cultural history and musical importance of composers such as Franz Schreker, Viktor Ullmann, Erwin Schulhoff, and Alexander Zemlinsky. The music and circumstances of other composers, whose names are more familiar to us - ­Arnold Schoenberg, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, for example - ­will also be examined.

To register, and for information concerning housing, meals, etc, as well as detailed program information, visit The OREL Foundation web site www.orelfoundation.org and click on the conference link on the home page.


Henry Holland said...

I am SO there. I really would like to get Christopher Hailey to sign my copy of his great Schreker biography, which I've read a couple of times and constantly dip in to.

An enormous amount of this music [snip] is great and capable of speaking to us urgently and eloquently today

My favorite Schreker factoid is this: ca. 1921, his three big operas --Der Ferne Klang, Die Gezeichneten and my favorite, Der Schatzgraber, were performed more often in German speaking Europe than the operas of Strauss. That's the Strauss of Salome, Elektra, Rosenkavalier, Ariadne auf Naxos and Frau!

Leon Botstein is doing the American stage premiere of Der Ferne Klang at Bard in August, time for another trip to ravishing upstate New Yawk. Nice time to be a Schrekerite these days!

Lisa Hirsch said...

Some day I will get to the Bard Festival!