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David Hertzberg's Dark Chamber Opera THE ROSE ELF Set for Release on Halloween

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THE ROSE ELF is inspired by the fairytale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen.

David Hertzberg's Dark Chamber Opera THE ROSE ELF Set for Release on Halloween

Just months after the critically acclaimed release of David Hertzberg's 2017 opera THE WAKE WORLD on Tzadik, Swan Studios has announced the debut recording of the young LA-based composer's darkly alluring chamber opera THE ROSE ELF, available worldwide on Halloween 2020. Pre-order THE ROSE ELF HERE.

Inspired by the fairytale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen, the opera tells the story of a chilling murder as it is experienced by a magical being, existing somewhere between the realms of humans and nature, who lives secretly among the rose petals.

THE ROSE ELF premiered to rapt audiences in June 2018 in an unusual presentation in the Catacombs of Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, directed by R.B. Schlather.

Now Swan Studios presents the opera to the general public in high definition, in a recording starring mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey, conducted by Robert Kahn and produced by Grammy Award-winning engineer Andreas Meyer.

Of the work, Hertzberg says, "Andersen's beautiful, antic fantasy is itself a composite expression, drawn in part from a Decameron story in which the nightmarish imagery of putrefaction and plague, the scrim against which those tales unfold, begins to seep into the sinew of its narrative and language. The Rose Elf silhouettes this medieval vivisection of grief and violence, of isolation and decay, against a garden of sprawling abundance, in which a strange, sensuous voyeur witnesses human tragedy unravel with fear and fascination, and is changed by it."

Herztberg continues: "In a time when many of us are living sub rosa, watching unfathomable devastation unfold from a distance, in which the pain of loss and separation can be difficult to bear, it is my hope that this love-woven work of collective imagination can speak to the transformative power of nature and perhaps, in turn, offer a glimmer of hope."

THE ROSE ELF was developed by Opera Philadelphia through their Double Exposure program in the spring of 2016 and 2018. A new co-production of THE ROSE ELF is in development, and will be premiered in an upcoming season.

Hertzberg is currently at work on his third opera, Grand Hotel, a collaboration with Yuval Sharon and the Los Angeles-based company The Industry.

Watch the trailer below!

Photo Credit: Matthew Placek.

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