Die tote Stadt

Erich Wolfgang Korngold

In September 2017 the production will be shown at the Centre for the Meetings of Cultures, Lublin.

Opera in three scenes
Libretto: Paul Schott after Bruges-la-Morte by Georges Rodenbach
World premiere: 4 December 1920, Cologne/Hamburg
Premiere: 10 June 2017, Warsaw
Co-production: Théâtre de la Monnaie / de Munt, Brussels
In the original German with Polish surtitles 

Erich Wolfgang Korngold was a child prodigy. He played tunes from Don Giovanni at age five, composed music at ten, and his teenage works were conducted and staged at famous European theatres by the greatest conductors of the time. He wrote Die tote Stadt at the age of 23, in 1920, and the work premiered in Hamburg and Cologne that same year. The libretto was based on Bruges-la-Morte (1892), a novel by Belgian symbolist Georges Rodenbach that became part of a protest against plans to transform the Flemish city of Bruges, a gem of medieval architecture, into a modern port. But it was not the nocturnal scenery of endangered Bruges that made the work a success (by 1924 it had played in Vienna, New York, Prague, Munich and Berlin), but the intriguing plot and ecstatic music. The world of the dead is mixed here with the world of the living, and protagonists Paul and Maria/Marietta float between dreams and reality. In Poland before World War II, following the opera’s European success it had its premiere in Lwów [today’s Lviv] in 1928 under the title Zamarły gród [The Lifeless Town]. The composer moved to the United States in the 1930s and wrote compositions for Hollywood, defining the style of American film music. Nominated four times for an Academy Award, he won two. Die tote Stadt by Korngold, whose person unites opera with cinema, seems the perfect theme for a directing project by Mariusz Treliński.



Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera,
‘Artos’ Children’s Choir,

actors, mimes


  • Patron of Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera

  • Partners of Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera

  • Media patrons of the premiere

  • Media patrons of Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera

  • Logo Gazeta Wyborcza
  • Logo Co jest grane 24
  • Co-organiser of the cocktail reception

  • Time is measured by