Zurich Opera brings back Kafka’s Amerika

Zurich Opera brings back Kafka’s Amerika


norman lebrecht

March 07, 2020

An opera by the Israeli-Austrian composer Roman Haubenstock-Ramati based on Kafka’s imaginary America is to be brought back in Zurich’s next season, announced today.

Staged in Berlin in 1966, the opera went through several revisions and has not been seen apparently for two decades.

Other Zurich highlights include a Barrie Kosky Boris Godunov and Pergolesi’s L ‘ Olimpiade.


  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    I would have wanted to see that Kafka opera, a writer that meant much to me in my twenties ( a long time ago). Kafka himself had no feel for music unfortunately. Unlike Gustav Mahler he had a very strong connection to Judaism and subsequently most of his family ended up perishing in the holocaust.
    The other person who identifies himself strongly as a Jew, probably secular, is Barrie Kosky & he has become very major these days. As a secular Turkish born person, who is more attached to Western civilisation than anything else, I am quite fascinated by how the Jewish identity is maintained in spite of secularism prevalent among many. There is nothing equivalent for people born in Turkey of officially Muslim parents. One is either Western oriented like myself, or eastern oriented (perhaps embrace Islam & all that). I , nor anyone that I know in my family, have the slightest attachment to our official religion.

  • Miguel Cervantes says:

    It’s an incredible season. Donizetti’s La Mamma is also being mounted !

  • Gonout Backson says:

    Check in your Baker/Slonimsky : Roman Haubenstock-Ramati, Polish composer born in 1919 in Cracow, studied with Malawski and Koffler in Cracow and Lodz. Left for Israel in 1950.

  • Beobachter says:

    I saw this in Berlin in 1966 and loved it. The sets were a tour de force. The audience was stunned by the music and the feverish energy of the piece. Amerika was my introduction to early Regietheater at its best.

  • Cyril says:

    The novel is unfinished. Does that mean the opera is unfinished too?