„Schachnovelle“ – Composition Commission issued to Cristóbal Halffter

Theater Kiel

Die Schachnovelle (The Royal Game) after Stefan Zweig is the third opera in a cycle used by the Spanish composer Cristóbal Halffter to invoke the power of the spiritual. The libretto comes care of Wolfgang Haendeler. The two other operas Don Quijote (2006) and Lazarus (2008) were also premiered in Kiel. The protagonist from Zweig’s novella – while playing chess – battles with insanity, tyranny, and dictatorship thereby linking him in a multifarious way with the main figures of the two previous operas. Halffter finds in Zweig’s text a literary legacy revealing an entire interpretation of time and the world that is brought back to life in his opera.
The composition commission supported by the EvS Music Foundation for large orchestra, soloists and ballet is characterized by concentrated dramatics. The Kiel Ballet accompanies the work here on stage as a living embodiment of conflicting ideologies and principles.

Spring 2013
Opernhaus Kiel