Karl und Anna – Opera-premiere

In the season 2023/24, most likely in April, @ Mainfranken Theater Würzburg/Germany will take place the world-premiere of Christoph Ehrenfellner’s 4th opera ‚Karl und Anna‘ op.48.

Roland Schimmelpfennig adapted a war-drama by Würzburg’s Nobel-prize-nominé writer Leonhard Frank for Christoph Ehrenfellner’s new opera. Using ways of ancient Greek storytelling with a choir as a commenting and exploring element of drama, Schimmelpfennig and Ehrenfellner explore the depths of human tragic as well as the power of love in 4 acts and some 2 hours of heart-wendig and condensed music. Würzburgs newly built Studio-Hall will be formally opened with this Premiere! Mainfranken Theater’s Intendant Markus Trabusch will direct the stage, Johannes Schütz will do the stage-setting, Young Hungarian Maestro Gabor Hontvari will conduct the Theatre’s Orchestra.

„simply sensational emerged Ehrenfellner’s tragicomical Opera ‚Mae Mona’…the music is clever, full of atmosphere and effect, long dramaturgic bows work just as well as haunting Ensemble-scenes!“

Rainer Elstner

Wiener Zeitung 29.5.2009


From the very beginning of Ehrenfellner’s dramatic composing onwards he was never shy to write his own texts. Both prior works, ‚Mae Mona‘ (2009) and ‚Judas‘ (2017), are composed on contrasting Ehrenfellner-libretti: a bizarre tragic-comedy and an epic drama on religion, revolution and human destiny, both worked well to create applause and sensational reviews. With the commissions from Würzburg and Nordhausen a new era starts for Christoph Ehrenfellner: cooperation with libretto-authors. Interestingly, the archaic story ‚Kain&Abel‘ in a new dramatized version by Daniel Klajner (Nordhausen) is in contrast to ‚Karl&Anna‘, an atmospheric work of poetry formed by Roland Schimmelpfennig (Würzburg), yet both texts are plunging their words into the formal elements of ancient Greek drama.

„Ehrenfellner is endued with a theatrical paw…!“

Wilhelm Sinkovicz

in Die Presse, 2009

Schimmelpfennig and Würzburg…

Roland Schimmelpfennig is well known also in Würzburg, where his drama ‚Der goldene Drache‘ on music by J.Widmann was heard in 2018. Prior he provided libretti for great Peter Eotvös and Christian Jost, both leading opera composers of our times. The story of Karl&Anna has a 20th-century Hungarian opera-exemple by Sandor Balassa, which might give an interesting counterpoint to this new Schimmelpfennig-Ehrenfellner version. At Mainfrankentheater Marzia Marzo, the Apulian Mezzosoprano, will sing the main character Anna, Silke Evers stages her mate Marie. The thrilling process of preparing a new musical drama is happening…now!

Gabor Hontvari – Mainfranken Theater Würzburg