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Glanert, Detlev: Joseph Süß (Joseph Suess) (1997-1999) 105'
Opera in thirteen scenes

Music Text


Libretto by Werner Fritsch and Uta Ackermann; English translation by Lisa J. Coppack (G,E)


S,colS,M,T,highBar,Bar,speaking role; mixed chorus; 1(=picc).2.corA.0.bcl.1.dbn-0.2(=picctpt).2.1-timp.perc(3):I=5tom-t/SD/anvil/t.bells/vib/tgl/whip/wdbl; II=plate gong/tam-t)lg)/watergong/chin.cym/susp.cym/anvil/SD/vib/whip/tamb/crot/wdbl; III=BD/whip/glass chimes/SD/crot/gong in lo Eb/wood dr/hammer/wdbl-harp-pft-cel-hpd(ampl)

Abbreviations (PDF)


This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

For full details on this stagework, including synopsis and roles, please visit our Opera section.

World Premiere

Bremer Theater, Bremen
Tilman Knabe, director / Bremer Theater / Rainer Mühlbach

Press Quotes


"The fate of Joseph Süss Oppenheimer provides history with an example of latent antisemitism in Europe – the Nazis misappropriated this story in a perfidious propaganda film. Glanert and his librettists consciously closed the circle, succeeding in balancing on the precarious tightrope walk between the stereotypical ‘coming to terms with history’ and allusions to the contemporary era. Take it for granted, at this near sell-out world premiere, that the pupil of Hans Werner Henze exercises his audience energetically with sudden harmonic changes and percussive insistence, punching holes in the historical patina with sharp-pointed sonorities, razor-sharp instrumentation and occasional electronic effects... Their breath taken away, the Bremen audience responded with sustained applause." (Gert Deppe, Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, 16 Oct 1999)

"[The opera] carries such contrasting elements that it makes Glanert’s musical score sound ever more gripping, more varied and more appealing. There are lyrical, transparent and chamber music-like passages alongside piercing, keenly sharpened sound masses; soft, melodic singing lines alongside angular interval leaps and sprechgesang of approximate contour; skilful and atmospheric ensembles are set against rhythmic murmurs and the collective outcry. But going beyond such stylistic qualities are Glanert’s witty play with form, quotation and collage, without which his characteristic individuality would be incomplete... The audience responded with unanimous cheering and bravos." (Gerhart Asche, Opernwelt, Dec 1999)

"This work by one of the most important of developing opera composers is audience-friendly and ideally suited to the theatre. The opera managers who were present will take this message back to their own houses." (Jörg Königsdorf, Der Tagesspiegel, 20 Oct 1999)

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