In 1937, Franz Werfel and Kurt Weill's opera, The Eternal Road, premiered at the Manhattan Opera House. And it hasn't been performed since.
But according to Variety (July 15), that will change this year and next when Hollywood Bowl principal conductor John Mauceri brings the work to various venues, including Chemnitz, Germany, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Israeli Symphony.
Mauceri says the absence of Road from concert stages for more than half a century was not due to benign neglect. The opera, penned in German just before Werfel and Weill escaped that country, predicted the onslaught of the Holocaust.
The conductor told Variety that when he approached various international music halls about the piece, "They looked away... I am accusing whole countries for the banning of it. After all, in Europe, the arts are run by the governments." Mauceri was reported saying he plans to write "an eye-popping book to show who was running the music institutions in Germany and Austria after the war."
The German "re-premiere" of the work, set for June 1999, will dovetail with the upcoming millennial celebration -- and the hundredth anniversary of Weill's birth. Other works by composer Weill include Threepenny Opera and One Touch of Venus. -- By David Lefkowitz