Purchase Score

60 minutes


Soprano, Mezzosoprano, Baritone, Actor, Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon, Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, Piano

premiered by

Opernfestival Oberpfalz

commissioned by

Opernfestival Oberpfalz


Libretto by Ruth Zapf

Music by Raphael Fusco

This sensational chamber opera draws the audience into an imaginary realm, blurring the line between dreams and reality. The Bavarian fairy-tale collector Franz Xaver Schönwerth, in a struggle to rest peacefully, becomes tormented by the characters of his stories. In this liminal dream-world, the Slim Reaper, Mermaid, and Wooden Maiden ardently object to Schönwerth’s portrayal of them and long to be seen for who they truly are. Reflecting on their own identifies and desire for self-actualization, each figure implores with the collector to set them free. 

In an act of ardent frustration, the Fiery Man appears and sets the stage ablaze; within this chaotic climax, the Mermaid rushes to extinguish the fire and Schönwerth awakens to find himself soaking wet.

Was it just a dream?

Daniel Ochoa as Der Bilmesschneider
"Fusco is a leader in the world of opera today"
"An extremely multifaceted, atmospheric tone world of pure poetry and powerful energy"
Mittelbayerische Zeitung Regensburg
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