From the original 1918 production, Savalgo
As I am writing this commentary, I am listening to a scene from the last act of Franz Schreker's little known opera, presented for the first time in this hemisphere in April 2010 by the LAOpera as part of their Recovered Voices series featuring works by composers suppressed by the Nazis. The glorious aria "Oh Glowing Night," is a literally shimmering, violins-harp-and-celesta infused aria to a magical night on the paradisiacal island of Elysium, built by the an ugly deformed hunchback who has put all of his aesthetic talent and buried desires into creating the near-perfect forum for beauty and love.
It is, however, hard to recreate the sense of manic action and grandiose proportion with such a small cast as this production was allotted. The grand orgy scene in Act III had to be represented by a single naked couple, the woman raped by the man. But I believe the audience understood the shock of the original work.
Tamare, rejected soon after by Carlotta, vows he will make her his whore. When Carlotta, joining the local citizens, visits Elysium, he gets his opportunity and succeeds, as she is overcome by his and the island's sensuality.
Los Angeles, April 19, 2010