Zemlinsky - A Florentine Tragedy
Stephen Johnson surveys Zemlinsky's opera A Florentine Tragedy. Based on a play by Oscar Wilde, the work is a tragic tale of jealousy and revenge, and premiered in 1917.
Stephen Johnson surveys the compelling opera, A Florentine Tragedy by Alexander Zemlinsky. Based on a play by Oscar Wilde, this one act opera was premiered in 1917, and is a tragic tale of jealousy and revenge, masked behind the façade of good living. It is a disturbing work in which a husband and wife realise their feelings for one another and their relationship is rejuvenated through a catastrophic event, the merciless act of murder.
By the time this opera was premiered, Zemlinsky was famed as an opera conductor in Prague. Out of the five operas he composed, A Florentine Tragedy has received the most performances and was described as 'a splendid work' by Zemlinsky's pupil and brother-in-law, the composer Arnold Schoenberg.