Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini’s “Edward II” in Berlin

Edward II keeps bad company, and the friend he needs least is Piers de Gaveston. The king’s childhood playmate and favourite pal, Gaveston is showered with power and fiefdoms, to the annoyance of the peers of England. So it is that Edward’s re-gency is overshadowed by assorted conflicts revolving around this resented friend-ship. When the nobles finally take their revenge, the battle lines are drawn between peers and loyalists and a period of violence and bloodshed ensues. The protégé is murdered; the king is deposed and, according to folklore, killed in a particularly gory manner. Whether the close bond between Edward and Gaveston in the early 14th century was sexual in nature remains a contested issue, but among art circles Edward II has been an icon of the gay movement for centuries. The subject matter in-spired Christopher Marlowe’s bloody 1593 play about the self-assertive strivings of the hapless English king, the version by Bertolt Brecht of the same name [1923] and Derek Jarman’s famous film adaptation “Edward II” in 1992.

In response to a commission from the Deutsche Oper Berlin and using a libretto by Thomas Jonigk, Swiss composer Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini (photo: Janis Huber) has written a piece of musical theatre that focuses entirely on the role of the outsider Edward II and looks at society’s attitude towards homosexuals both then and now.

19.2.2017 Deutsche Oper Berlin, World premiere
Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini:
Edward II. Music Theatre in 10 scenes
Libretto by Thomas Jonigk
Conductor: Thomas Søndergard, Stage director: Christof Loy, Set design: Annette Kurz, Costume design: Klaus Bruns
Further performances: 24.2., 1.3., 4.3., 9.3.2017
www.deutscheoperberlin.de