“Mazel tov! Congratulations” in Düsseldorf

The Polish composer Mieczysław Weinberg has become aware of opera lovers in recent years primarily through his work “The Passenger”. This rediscovered gem experienced a “revival” on German opera stages. In 1975 Weinberg composed a comic opera with melancholy and sad echoes based on the model by the Ukrainian-Yiddish author Scholem Alejchem from the 1920s. “Mazel Tov! Congratulations! ”Had its premiere at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein. In the center: the basement of a stately home. The daughter’s engagement is to be celebrated upstairs, but the servants are engaged to each other downstairs. Weinberg had dedicated the score to his friend Shostakovich, to whom it could no longer be heard. A version for a reduced orchestra is played in Düsseldorf, and attention must also be paid to keeping a distance on stage. In view of the main role that love plays here, that’s not that easy. Director Philipp Westerbarkei does his best. “The staging wins quality because the actions never come across as Biedermeier and the colportage-like aspect of the play is captured by a framework in which the characters remain clear and personable,” can be heard on WDR. The musical part of the evening is consistently successful. “Under the direction of the conductor Ralf Lange, the Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra perfectly matches the tone of music with great demands of a rhythmic and, above all, gestural nature,” reports Deutschlandfunk. And once again the WDR: “The singing in Düsseldorf is very nice.” The photo (Sandra Then) shows Kimberley Boettger-Soller as the cook Bejlja, Jorge Espino as the servant Chaim, Lavinia Dames as the maid Fradl and Norbert Ernst as the flying bookseller Reb Alter .

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