A commission by the Leipzig Opera has brought together some of the most prominent names in contemporary German pop music, resulting in a new musical entitled Elixier, which enjoyed a successful premiere at the Dreilinden Theatre, Feb. 27.
Composer Tobias Kunzel, who also plays the lead role, normally tours and records as the lead singer of the group Die Prinzen (The Princes). Together with his longtime arranger, Wolfgang Lenk, he has written a score which combines familiar rock-opera styles with operetta and pop idioms.
The libretto is by Kati Naumann, Kunzels wife. Elixier tells the story of a student named David who works in a Bitterfeld chemical laboratory during the late 1970s. (Bitterfeld was one of the most heavily industrialized and environmentally-damaged areas of East Germany.) David is searches for a substance which will bring eternal youth. His love affair with the young dancer Betti brings about complications which become untangled only twenty years later.
The Dreilinden Theatre is one of several stages under the direction of the Leipzig Opera. It has its own roster of solists, chorus, ballet and orchestra. This season's repertoire includes seven operettas, eight musicals and one revue. In 1945, it was the only functional theatre in Leipzig, and served as the town's opera house. After the Leipzig Opera was rebuilt in 1960, the Dreilinden returned to its original calling as a "light" opera house for musicals and operetta.
The next performances of Elixier are on March 11,12 and 19, and on April 1, 15, 16 and 17 For information regarding further performances and ticket reservations, call (++49) 341 / 48350. --By Scott Lawton, Germany