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DIE ANDERE FRAU (Rasch) Dresden 2022 Magdalena Anna Hofmann, Markus Marquardt, Stephanie Atanasov

Information on the Performance
Information about the Recording
  • Published by: Semperoper Dresden  
  • Date Published: 2023  
  • Format: Streaming
  • Quality Video: 4 Audio:4
  • Subtitles: yessubs, desubs, gensubs  
  • This Recording is NOT AVAILABLE from a proper commercial or public source

Commissioned by the Semperoper, the composer Torsten Rasch, together with the writer Helmut Krausser, developed a music theater work based on the biblical story of Abram and his wife Sarai. »The Other Woman« tells the love triangle about the »surrogate mother« Hagar, who is rejected after the birth of Sarai’s son Isaac. The biblical story stands for the emergence of the three monotheistic world religions, for war and peace, hatred, loss of homeland, love and tolerance. Torsten Rasch includes early Babylonian text fragments in his composition and opens a window into a completely different musical culture with passages for the Iranian singer Sussan Deyhim. Originally planned for the 2019/20 season, the Semperoper is finally bringing »The Other Woman« to the stage and inviting its audience to an unusual place: the opera story and the audience find their place together on the Semperoper stage. The auditorium becomes part of the action on stage and allows the audience a different perspective of their usual place.

Abram and his wife Sarai are fleeing war and famine. In Egypt, where they found refuge, Sarai had to pose as Abram’s sister to protect him. But he did not protect her from the Egyptian men. Now she can no longer have children. Sarai is bitter, but Abram continues to trust in God, who has promised him a blessed future in the “promised land” of Canaan. Since Sarai knows that Abram must establish a dynasty for this future, she proposes that he have a child with the young slave girl Hagar and raise this child as his heir. Abram, proud of his manhood and imbued with the idea of being one of God’s chosen, commands Hagar to give himself to him and bear his child. But out of jealousy, Sarai soon regrets her plan. Her jealousy grows when Hagar becomes pregnant. Hagar fears for her life and wants to flee into the desert. But there an angel appears to her, who persuades her to stay and announces the name of her son: Ishmael. Sarai finds her position as Abram’s wife increasingly in question and refuses to acknowledge the child. She wants to chase away the concubine Hagar as soon as she has fulfilled her task as a surrogate mother. When Abram receives the news of the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, Sarai reacts hard-heartedly and without compassion. Then three mysterious guests appear – actually three angels – who prophesy to Sarai that she will have a son after all: Isaac. Sarai triumphs over Hagar, who points out in vain that Ismael is Abram’s firstborn son. She demands that Abram kill Hagar to end the rivalry between the two wives and the two sons. But Abram refuses to commit murder and submits to the will of God. Supposedly to protect her, he gives Hagar his freedom and tells her to flee as quickly as possible. Hagar sees through Abram’s cowardly decision and takes her son into the desert. The three angels prophesy that both sons will survive and become founding figures of two world religions.

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