Rudi Stephan: "The First Humans"

François-Xavier Roth conducts in Amsterdam
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"An erotic mystery": That's the subtitle of the sole opera composed by Rudi Stephan, The First Humans (1920). The conflict at the heart of the story arises from the idea that the first people on Earth were thrown into a place without morality: emotions and drives dictate their behavior. Only after transgressions do ethics and morality begin to emerge to keep primal drives in check. There are echoes of Otto Weininger's misogynist theory of the sexes, as well as Sigmund Freud's psychoanalysis. Stephan tells the story in an old-testament setting, shortly after the banishment of Adam (hier: Adham) and Eve (here: Chawa) from paradise. It is a work of late romantic excess and expressionist extremes. François-Xavier Roth conducted this revival in June 2021 in Amsterdam, staged by Calixto Bieito, and featuring a first-rate cast. 

 

Premiere
recorded at 12/30/2021, 08:00pm (CET)
Program
Rudi Stephan: "The First Humans"

Act I

Act II