Failed opera to be restaged as musical

Failed opera to be restaged as musical


norman lebrecht

February 11, 2014

Friedrich Dürrenmatts ‘Der Besuch der alten Dame’ (the old lady’s visit) has never caught on outside Austro-Germany, either as a play or in Gottfried von Einem’s 1971 operatic snooze, despite having the irresistible Christa Ludwig in the title role.

So they’re giving it another crack next week – as a musical. Read here.



 Photo: Barbara Zeininger


  • Roland Mathews says:

    This opera was performed in Ghent ( Belgium ) in the 1970s. I know because I prepared, so I know the opera very well.

  • GW says:

    The Visit has been a staple of college and community theatre productions in the US ever since the original Brook-directed Lunt and Fontaine Broadway production of 1958 with a very respectable run of 189 performances, with revivals in 73-74 and in 1992. The Kander and Ebb musical adaptation of 2008 was critically well-received but only had a special performance on Broadway in that year. A victim of the crash of 2008, it cannot yet be described as ‘failed.’

  • Brian says:

    I saw Von Einem’s opera in San Francisco with Resnik and thought it anything but a snooze. I’ve revisited it several times via a broadcast recording and always enjoyed it though Resnik was well past her,prime.

  • ira says:

    John Doyle Will Direct Kander and Ebb’s The Visit, Starring Chita Rivera, at Williamstown in 2014

    By Adam Hetrick

    21 Nov 2013

    Chita Rivera in rehearsal

    Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

    The Williamstown Theatre Festival will produce the John Kander and Fred Ebb musical The Visit, starring two-time Tony Award winner Chita Rivera, as part of its 60th anniversary season.

    Plans for a Williamstown staging of the dark musical based on Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s play about love and revenge were first revealed to in an October interview with Rivera. “I think we’re going to be doing it next season in Williamstown,” Rivera said. “It’s, to me, very exciting, very unique, dark [and] passionate. It’s one of the last scores Freddie and John wrote [together].”

    Presented July 31-Aug. 17, 2014, The Visit will be staged by Tony Award-winning director John Doyle (Sweeney Todd, Company). Tony nominee Graciela Daniele (Ragtime, The Rink, Drood) will choreograph.

  • Larry Schwartz says:

    I directed it at a community theatre in Fargo ND in the late 90s. It was an evil little play, which was I liked it so.

  • David Boxwell says:

    It was also 1964 film with a very glamorous Ingrid Bergman.