Darker and more convoluted than his smash Hänsel und Gretel 16 years before, Engelbert Humperdinck’s Königskinder (Children of Kings) was but the second opera to receive its world premiere at the Met, preceded only by Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West less than three weeks before (!). Audiences were enthralled. From 1910 to 1914, the morose Wagnerian fairy tale chalked up an impressive 39 performances—a statistic Puccini’s spaghetti Western did not achieve until 1931. Then it just went away. Yet from the moment the Met launched its online archive until this very day, the top image on the landing page has shown Geraldine Farrar, prima donna and silent movie star, as the Goosegirl, cheerfully tending her real live gaggle on a field of daisies. In our time, Jonas Kaufmann has championed the score with ardor. If only the Met would mount a revival for this treasured artist, by way of honoring its own history. Deep in the Alpine heart of the Tyrol, Erb cannot field the marquee names you find in nearby Salzburg or Munich, but let’s not take lightly the opportunity to see the piece at all. —M.G.
Tiroler Festspiele Erl Mühlgraben 56a, 6343 Erl, Austria Get Directions »