Looking Back

Thoughts on Early Music Performance

Graun's Der Tod Jesu

Carl Heinrich Graun, one of the prominent figures in German opera in the 18th century, began his musical life - like so many musicians of his day - as a singer in a choir, which in his case was the Dresden Kreuzschule. Profoundly affected by the Dresden Opera, Graun became a tenor in the Brunswick Opera, from which he was drawn to the court of Crown Prince Frederick of Prussia, where he performed Italian cantatas at the Prince's home. Upon his accession to the throne, the new king elevated Graun to Royal Kapellmeister in Berlin, and in 1742 the Berlin Opera House opened with Graun's opera Cesare e Cleopatra, the first of 26 operas Graun wrote for that house. Graun's Passion oratorio and undi

Embracing the past. Enriching the future.

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