Szymanowski's rarely performed masterpiece, Król Roger (King Roger), live from the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden with Mariusz Kwiecien in the title role, conducted by Antonio Pappano in a new production by Kasper Holten.
Szymanowski's great opera, which had its premiere in 1926, grew out of his passion for Mediterranean culture as an amalgam of different peoples and religions. It also treats some of the themes that first appeared in his lost homoerotic novel Efebos. Set in 12th-century Sicily, the opera traces the journey to enlightenment of the Christian King Roger II through his encounter with a mysterious pagan Shepherd. While Roger's court call for the Shepherd to be put to death, Roger's queen Roxana urges her husband to accept the Shepherd's creed. Roger gradually realizes that he can only maintain his integrity by neither merely upholding the law of the church, or by yielding to the wild freedom (symbolised in abandoned dances) of the Shepherd and his followers. In his final ecstatic soliloquy, Roger attains self-realization.
|Official Release Date||Nov 13, 2015|
|Starring||Kasper Holten, Antonio Pappano, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Karol Szymanowski, Royal Opera Chorus|
|Running Time||105 minutes|