[Euryanthe] Soprano Ellie Dehn as Euryanthe; Photo by Todd Norwood
Soprano Ellie Dehn as Euryanthe; Photo by Todd Norwood


Composer in Context: Carl Maria von Weber

Bard SummerScape Opera and the Bard Music Festival have become synonymous with a new kind of concert experience, one that provides a “rich web of context” (New York Times) for a full appreciation of each composer’s inspirations, significance, and legacy. 

This week, UPSTREAMING illuminates the work of German Romantic composer Carl Maria von Weber (1786–1826), featuring:

Carl Maria von Weber’s short life was marked by many lows—frequent illnesses, an arrest on embezzlement and other charges—but he also became one of the most influential composers of the early 19th century whose prodigious gifts as a composer, pianist, conductor, and writer bring to mind Mozart. The premiere of Der Freischütz in 1821, an opera that immediately captured the imagination of audiences in Europe and beyond, was a transformative event in the history of Romanticism and helped to usher in a new sensibility in music. He did not have a comparable success in the remaining five years of his life, although the overtures to his later Euryanthe and Oberon became repertory standards. In these operas, and in less familiar compositions, his masterful orchestration and compelling evocation of mood became models for composers from Meyerbeer to Wagner, Liszt, Berlioz, Glinka, and Hindemith.