Wonderful news: A Berthold Goldschmidt opera at Bregenz

Wonderful news: A Berthold Goldschmidt opera at Bregenz


norman lebrecht

November 16, 2017

The Bregenz Festival pulled a rabbit out of its hat today.

Next summer, it will show the Austrian premiere of Beatrice Cenci by Berthold Goldschmidt, an opera that won an Arts Council of Great Britain competition in 1951 and has never been seen in the UK.

It’s a powerful work with strong contemporary themes of child abuse and a rich, colourful score.

Can’t wait.



  • MacroV says:

    I love the two operas of his that I know – Beatrice Cenci and The Magnificent Cuckold (forget how it’s written in German). Definitely deserve some productions.

  • Basia Jaworski says:

    O WOW!
    If I only could be there!

    • Sue says:

      Same. And that wonderful ‘theatre’ projecting out into Lake Constance; Austria is a country which I describe as “ridiculously beautiful”.

  • Gabriele says:

    The German is: Der gewaltige Hahnrei. Goldschmidt conducted it here in Berlin, in the 90ies I believe, with the then Radio-Symphonie Orchester (now Deutsches Symphonie Orchester. He was already quite aged, but still vital. He almost jumped onto the stage.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      No, that’s his previous opera, dating from 1932. It was staged at the Komische Oper around 1992 (I was there). Beatrice Cenci was written in 1950-51.

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    If the opera won a competition without being staged how did ACE judge it. Judges reading the score?

  • Don Niperi Septo says:

    Subject matter is appalling, will make my annual baroque pilgrimage to Melk instead in my XK120.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Very good composer. one of those who were written-out of music history because of the nazis, war and – on top of such catastrophes, the third one: postwar modernism which insisted that composers like Goldschmidt were ‘irrelevant’. Currently I am reading Christopher Hailey’s wonderful biography on Franz Schreker, also a great talent, made disappear from the records after the war. Fortunately he, and Goldschmidt and their likes, are being dug-out and get their rightful place in the repertoire. Well – at least, A place.