Saturday, December 3, 2016

German Barihunk Dominik Köninger in campy Oscar Straus revival

German Barihunk Dominik Köninger
Director Barrie Kosky has done it again, with another highly original production of a long lost piece of musical theater. His highly entertaining The Pearls of Cleopatra (Die Perlen der Cleopatra) by Oscar Straus is destined to become one of the major hits in any opera house this year. The piece has been on the shelves for more than eighty year and is now viewable on the OperaPlatform. There are additional performances at the Komische Oper on December 15, 19 and 21.

German Barihunk Dominik Köninger and Dagmar Manzel
Kosky has been reviving works by composers who fled the Nazis, which Strauss did in 1939 following the Nazi Anschluss. He fled to Paris and eventually to Hollywood. After the war, he returned to Europe, and settled at Bad Ischl, where he died.  Straus' best-known works are Ein Walzertraum (A Waltz Dream), and The Chocolate Soldier (Der tapfere Soldat). He may be best remembered for composing the theme song from the 1950 film La Ronde.

Dancers and extras from The Pearls of Cleopatra
In the comedic The Pearls of Cleopatra, the queen longs for a ‘little Egyptian flirting’ to lift her mood. The permanent drought and the armies of the Roman Empire at the Egyptian borders have given her quite a headache. So she flirts with the Syrian prince Beladonis and takes Silvius, the Roman ambassador, as her new lover. International or intimate relations – the most beautiful queen of the world holds sway over the hearts of all men. Could the pearls be the secret to her power. 

German Barihunk Dominik Köninger
In this production, German barihunk Dominik Köninger sings the role of the Roman Officer, who is shown in a number of pretty sexy situations throughout the operetta. There are also plenty of scantily clad, energetic performers on stage, adding to the lively Cabaret feel of the pre-Nazi Weimar Republic.

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