In an exceptionally fascinating opera, the promising, but too early deceased composer Rudi Stephan opens up a rich musical world about one of man's primal conflicts.
A tragic feeling of unfulfillment hangs over Rudi Stephan's (1887-1915) artistic achievements. The German composer was only 28 years old when he died at the front in the First World War. He had then just completed his first opera, Die ersten Menschen, which would not have its world premiere until after his death. Much work by and about Stephan was lost in the two wars. The little material that has survived shows his distinctive musical language. This suggests that in a longer life he could have left his mark on the developments of the classical music of his time. Die ersten Menschen has been performed very little; the last staged performance of the work took place in 1988. The masterpiece will finally be presented again in this new production of Dutch National Opera. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, which has performed orchestral work by Stephan before, is looking forward to performing this rich opera score. The musical direction is in the hands of François-Xavier Roth, who makes his DNO debut with this performance.