The Curse of Irrelohe

In 2010, The Opera in Bonn started a Schreker revival. Kudos! In 2010, Irrelohe was put on the stage there and recorded live by MDG (9371687-6).

The story most resembles a real horror movie. The lords of the Irrelohe castle are cursed. On their wedding day, they go mad and rape a virgin, a curse they pass on to their first-born son. Only a fire and its flames can lift the curse. And those flames do come, at the end, when the beautiful Eva (Ingeborg Greiner) prefers Count Heinrich (irresistible Roman Sadnik) to the bastard Peter (Mark Morouse). You get the idea: Peter is the first-born son of the rapist; Heinrich (who is his half-brother) was born 30 days later. All’s well that ends well, but first we shudder, shiver and enjoy…….

Roman Sadnik in scenes from Irrelohe:

Of the opera there already existed a recording on Sony, recorded live in Vienna in 1989. The Wiener Symphoniker was conducted by Peter Gülke and maybe it is his fault that it does not sound very exciting. The singers (including Luana de Vol and Monte Pederson) are certainly not to blame, although they are nothing to write home about.

Worth knowing:
Schreker wrote the libretto in a very short time (it took him only a few days) in 1919. The work takes its name from a railway station called Irrenlohe which Schreker passed by on a trip to Nuremberg in March 1919.


  1. The libretto indeed is gruesome, but, as you write, all’s well that ends well, and so it does. It is most interesting that it took Schreker only a few days to write. I am guessing that it must be a record of some sort as one often reads about how many librettist write, and write and rewrite.

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