Numi Opera presents Erich Korngold's rarely performed "Der Ring des Polykrates."
Numi Opera finishes its debut season with a second concert performance of composer Erich Korngold’s rarely performed one-act opera Der Ring des Polykrates. Based on Friedrich Schiller’s ballad “Der Ring,” and Heinrich Teweles’ resulting parody, the 1916 opera’s thin libretto by Leo Feld (about a trickster named Peter, portrayed in this production by Roberto Perlas Gómez, who gives treacherous advice to a pair of otherwise happy couples) belies Korngold’s rich, sumptuous melodies.
The cast, which also features Shana Blake Hill, Scott Ramsay, Emily Rosenberg and Alex Boyer, is strong. As Laura, the wife of composer Wilhelm Arndt (portrayed with robust gusto by Ramsay), Hill is a revelation, belting out the composer’s melodies with a radiant force. Hill is also the most charismatic and persuasive actor among the cast, imbuing her thinly sketched character with genuine personality.
Conductor Francesco Milioto leads a small orchestra that is highlighted by LACO cellist Armen Ksajikian’s intuitive touch and flutist Sara Andon’s nimble dexterity with Korngold’s alternately lush and frenetic arrangements. Kornfold was a Jewish composer born in Austria who left Europe to escape the Nazis and later reinvented himself as a composer for various Hollywood films (Captain Blood, Of Human Bondage, The Adventures of Robin Hood) before dying in Los Angeles in 1957. Part of Numi Opera’s mission is to celebrate composers whose work was overshadowed by the Nazis, and the company succeeds wildly in this production, revealing the beauty in Korngold’s overlooked Der Ring des Polykrates. (Falling James)
Scott Ramsay and Shana Blake Hill (photo by Philicia Endelman)