Der Zar lässt sich photographieren, Op. 21

Opera buffa in one act.
Libretto by Georg Kaiser.

Performance Information
Principal Productions

Cover art for program of Vienna production, 1996.


Angèle, a photographer, learns that the Czar (nation unspecified) is coming to her studio to be photographed. Others have learned the same thing; before the Czar arrives, she and her assistants are kidnapped and replaced by villains who plot to assassinate him. Their leader, the false Angèle, hides her gun in the camera. When the Czar arrives, he wants to get to know her and delays the proceedings, offers to take her picture and finally asks her to dance. The would-be assassins, meanwhile, have learned that the police are onto them, and they escape as the false Angèle breaks away during the tango. At last the real photographer returns, and the Czar has his photograph taken. Zar was one of the first operas to incorporate recorded sound, the "Tango Angèle" to which the Czar and the False Angèle dance.

Performance Information

English title: The Czar has his Photograph Taken
Cast: The Czar (baritone), Angèle (soprano) the Assistant (tenor), the Boy (alto), the False Angèle (soprano), the False Assistant (tenor), The False Boy (alto), the Leader (tenor) the Czar's Aide (bass), two detectives, conspirators, officers, policemen. Male chorus in pit.
Orchestra:;; piano, timp, perc; strings; on-stage gramophone (for tape recording of "Tango Angèle").
Duration: 60 minutes
Authorized Translations:
English -- Lionel Salter; Lys Symonette
Italian -- Bruno Maderna; Boris Porena

Principal productions

Capriccio CD 10 147
Capriccio CD 60 007-2
Capriccio CD 29 110
Barry McDaniel, Marita Napier, Carla Pohl, 
Kölner Rundfunkorchester, 
Jan Latham-König, cond.