Elis Thomas Blondelle Els Helena Juntunen The Fool Paul Schweinester The King Derek Welton The Queen Doke Pawels The Chancellor Damian Arnold The Count, the Herald Damien Gastl The Bailiff Wieland Satter The Gentleman James Newby The Writer Glen Cunningham The Innkeeper Per Bach Nissen Albi Tobias Hächler
The Queen has lost her jewels which gave her beauty and fertility. On the counsel of his fool, the King commands wandering minstrel Elis to hunt the missing treasure with his magic lute. Els, the innkeeper’s daughter, also wants to find the jewels and is prepared to lie, steal and murder to do so. Poor Elis is wrongly accused of a litany of crimes but is saved from execution at the last moment. He falls madly in love with Els and gives her the Queen’s jewels. Els offers herself to Elis and forgets, for one night, her desire for gold as she abandons herself to the true treasure of love.
Written in the throes of the First World War, The Treasure Hunter was completed the day after the Armistice. It was staged in Frankfurt in 1920 and became one of the most successful operas of the Weimar Republic. Its composer Franz Schreker, a leading light of the opera of this period, displays his faith in opera as humanity’s only path to salvation in a score infused with stunning post-Romantic colors, the fading lights of a twilight world. Unjustly forgotten after being banned by the Third Reich, this work makes its premiere in France in this production staged by Christof Loy with musical direction from Marko Letonja.
Overtitled in French, German