Die tote Stadt

Erich Wolfgang Korngold

Opera in three scenes
Libretto: Paul Schott after Bruges-la-Morte by Georges Rodenbach
World premiere: 4 December 1920, Cologne/Hamburg
Premiere of this production: 10 June 2017, Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera
Co-produced with La Monnaie/De Munt, Brussels
In the original German with Polish surtitles 

Love, illusions, delusions, romantic dreams, and even subsequent versions of our- selves… everything ends. Fascinated by psychoanalysis, the writer Judith Viorst shows in her book Necessary Losses how inevitable losses in life help us grow. The hero of Korngold’s early opera – Paul, who lives in Bruges turned into a city of the dead – cannot come to terms with his loss after the death of his wife. In a series of obsessive hallucinations he starts an affair with a woman who is a dead ringer for her. The delusion leads to a crime. Its entourage is poignant and dark, further enhanced by the expressionistic music and Kudlička’s beautiful set design, symbolically leading us to the core of madness in the final scene. Treliński’s staging keeps us in suspense like a thriller. The finale does not bring easy solutions. We must ourselves unravel the mystery of what was reality, and what was only a nightmare.



Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera
Władysław Skoraczewski Artos Children’s Choir
Actors, mimes


  • Patron of Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera

  • Partners of Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera

  • Logo Perlage
  • Logo Sisley
  • Logo Albert Riele

The performances of Die tote Stadt have been cancelled. Learn more about ticket returns.