Robert Storch

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(Strauss: Intermezzo). Bar. Hofkapellmeister, husband of Christine and father of young Franz. He is a famous conductor and much in demand. He is about to leave for Vienna and his wife is packing his suitcases and trunks and grumbling about him all the time. But he has heard it all before and smiles knowingly. Whilst in Vienna, Storch and his colleagues, including another conductor, Kapellmeister Stroh, play his favourite card game of Skat. The men are discussing Storch's affable nature as opposed to his shrewish wife, but he defends her, saying how he finds her stimulating—and anyway, he knows what she is truly like deep down. At this point a telegram arrives for him from Christine telling him that she is going to divorce him—she has opened a letter to him from one Mieze Maier and has assumed the worst. His distress is obvious as he hurriedly leaves the room. He wanders round the Prater in Vienna, quite distraught—he cannot explain who the writer of the letter is, as he does not know her, and he cannot return to his home because of his engagements in Vienna. Stroh finds him and explains that the letter was meant for him, and that Mieze Maier has mixed up their names. Furious, Storch insists that Stroh return at once to prove this to Christine. When Storch returns home, Christine is quite cold with him, but for once he does not take her nagging lying down—he gives her a long overdue piece of his mind and storms out of the room. When he returns, he displays jealousy over Christine's relationship with Baron Lummer, but she quickly assures him she is bored with the young man and there is a final scene of passionate reconciliation. Duet (with Christine): Es ist sicher kein Gaune (‘I'm sure he's no crook’). Created (1924) by Josef Correck, who for the première was made up to look like Strauss. The stage set was deliberately designed to resemble the room in the Strausses’ home and the story was based on a true episode in their marriage, which Strauss had found extremely painful. After Correck other well‐known singers of Storch have included Alfred Jerger, Dietrich Fischer‐Dieskau, and Hermann Prey.

Subjects: Opera.

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