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Judith Weir

Publisher: Chester Music

Blond Eckbert (1993)
commissioned by English National Opera with funds from the Arts Council
Text Writer
the composer, after Ludwig Tieck
Chester Music Ltd
Opera and Music Theatre
Year Composed
1 Hours 15 Minutes
Soprano, Mezzo soprano, Tenor, Baritone

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Programme Note
Judith Weir Blond Eckbert (1993)

Eckbert and his wife Berthe live in seclusion in the Harz Moutains. One stormy night, Eckbert's friend Walther arrives and, to while away the time, Berthe tells him her life story. Walther mysteriously knows a great deal about Berthe' s early life and Eckbert's suspicions grow, eventually leading him to murder Walther during a hunting expediton. Consumed by terror and suspicion, Eckbert retreats into seclusion and revisits the fairy-tale scenes of Berthe's childhood, accompanied by a magical singing bird. He encounters the old woman who raised Berthe, and at last learns the terrible truth about Walther, Berthe, and himself.

© Judith Weir

Score preview:

  • Ensemble
    English National Opera
    Sian Edwards
    Collins Classics:
  • Ensemble
    Chorus and Orchestra of English National Opera
    Nicholas Folwell (baritone), Anne-Marie Owens (mezzo-soprano), Christopher Ventris (baritone), Nerys Jones (soprano)
    Sian Edwards
  • 16 SEP 2011
    Mecklenburgische Staatstheater, Schwerin, Germany
    Mecklenburgische Staatstheater
    Paolo Bressan, conductor

    Other Dates:
    18,23 September; 21 October - Mecklenburgische Staatstheater, Schwerin, Germany
  • 22 OCT 2010
    Das neue Opernloft, Hamburg

    Other Dates:
    26 October; 5,11,13,19,20 November - Das neue Opernloft, Hamburg
  • 26 NOV 2003
    Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
    Town Hall Reception Room, Huddersfield
    Screening of the film, directed by Ann Beresford, of Judith Weir's opera
  • 22 JUN 2003
    Hamburg, Germany
    NDR Symphony Orchestra
    Stefan Asbury, conductor
  • 20 APR 1994
    Blond Eckbert World Premiere
    London Coliseum
    English National Opera
    Sian Edwards, conductor

...of the quality of Weir's score there can be no doubt... as with Janacek, you feel there isn't a single note that doesn't need to be there... so concise, so infinitely complex... a highly accomplished, beautiful and absorbing new opera.
The Times,1/1/0001
'Blond Eckbert' is dramatically riveting, not a minute too long, and you come away haunted by the plot and - here's a thing - snatches of tune. In short, the Coliseum has found itself an accessible modern classic... Judith Weir deserves global recognition.
The Independent on Sunday,1/1/0001
I urge anyone interested in theatre, never mind opera, to make a bee-line to the Coliseum... beautiful to look at, fascinating to listen to, it makes the average musical look overblown, frowsy and trite.
Time Out,1/1/0001
...the music is continuously melodic... outstandingly graphic and expressive... ENO commissions have at last struck gold.
The Sunday Telegraph,1/1/0001
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