Der Besuch der alten Dame (opera)

Der Besuch der alten Dame (The Visit of the Old Lady) is an opera in three acts by Gottfried von Einem to a German libretto by Friedrich Dürrenmatt, based on his play of the same name.

Der Besuch der alten Dame
Opera by Gottfried von Einem
TranslationThe Visit of the Old Lady
LibrettistFriedrich Dürrenmatt
Based onDürrenmatt's play The Visit
23 March 1971 (1971-03-23)

Performance historyEdit

The work was first performed at the Vienna State Opera on 23 May 1971, with Horst Stein conducting and Christa Ludwig in the principal role.[1] The German premiere was staged at the Deutsche Oper Berlin on 1 March 1972. Further productions followed in Strasbourg and Karl Marx Stadt in 1973, and in Stockholm in 1976. [2] The work had its United States premiere on 25 October 1972 at the San Francisco Opera in a production directed by Francis Ford Coppola and using an English translation by Norman Tucker.

Recent productions include a run of five performances at the Görlitz Theatre, Germany in May/June 2010.[3]


Role[4] Voice type[4] Premiere cast[1]
23 May 1971
(Conductor: Horst Stein)
Claire Zachanassian, multi-millionairess mezzo-soprano Christa Ludwig
Her husband No. 7 actor Wolfgang Peschel
Her husband No. 9 tenor Elmar Brenneis
The butler character tenor Heinz Zednik
Toby, Roby, chewing chewing-gum actors Erich Trachtenberg, Klaus Peters
Koby, Loby, blind tenors Karl Terkal, Fritz Sperlbauer
Alfred Ill high baritone Eberhard Wächter
His wife lyric soprano Emmy Loose
His daughter mezzo-soprano Laurence Dutoit
His son tenor Ewald Aichberger
The mayor heldentenor Hans Beirer
The preacher bass-baritone Manfred Jungwirth
The teacher baritone Hans Hotter
The doctor baritone Siegfried Rudolf Frese
The policeman bass-baritone Alois Pernerstorfer
First woman soprano
Second woman soprano
Hofbauer, citizen tenor
Helmesberger, citizen baritone
Station master bass-baritone
Train driver bass-baritone
Conductor tenor
Reporter spoken role
Cameraman bass
A voice tenor
Chorus: citizens of Güllen


A recording of the world premiere performance at the Vienna State Opera was released by Deutsche Grammophon on LP. This recording has been reissued on CD by Amadeo.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Almanacco 23 May 1971" (in Italian). AmadeusOnline. Retrieved 11 September 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Der Besuch der alten Dame von von Einem" (in German). Retrieved 11 September 2010.
  3. ^ "Performances - Der Besuch der alten Dame". Operabase. Retrieved 11 September 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Gottfried von Einem - Der Besuch der alten Dame - opera". Boosey & Hawkes. Retrieved 11 September 2010.