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a film by Michael Dominski


ERWIN & ELMIRE is a light-hearted comic opera in the style of the late Rococo.

Produced by Lieder Theatre London with Spellfilm, with a soundtrack produced at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.


distributed by Galloping Films



Lucy Mervik, soprano, as Elmire
Tom Herford, tenor, as Erwin
Tanya Cooling, soprano, as Olympia  
Norbert Meyn, tenor, as Bernardo
Ja Yeon Kang, piano
and the
Ensemble Historical Dance Berlin



The Libretto for ERWIN & ELMIRE was written in 1773, when Goethe was just 24 years of age, and was inspired by Oliver Goldsmith’s novel ‘The vicar or Wakefield’ (1766). The duchess Anna Amalia, patron of the German Enlightenment at the court of Weimar, set it to music shortly after Goethe had moved to Weimar in 1776.

The Film

Was shot by Michael Dominski at the original Weimar locations where the opera’s creators lived and worked including Castle Belvedere and the Wittumspalais, home of Anna Amalia.

It was realized thanks to the generous support of Guildhall School of Music & Drama London, the Freundeskreis der Stiftung Weimarer Klassik, the Liebhabertheater Schloß Kochberg and the Stiftung Weimarer Klassik. Historical costumes were provided by Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar.

In the run-up to the production a CD was produced at the Guildhall School Studios which forms the base of the film’s soundtrack.

The Story

Elmire has been deserted by her sweetheart Erwin because of her apparent coldness and is now heartbroken about her loss. Her mother Olympia and her teacher and friend Bernardo try to cheer her up without success.

Finally, Bernardo has an idea: Elmire should confide in an old and wise hermit who lives in a romantic hut in the forest. This hermit is Erwin in disguise, set up by no other than Bernardo. Erwin now hears from Elmire’s own lips that she loves him.

The best known song from ERWIN & ELMIRE is ‘Das Veilchen’, most famous in Mozart’s setting of 1785 and still sung today by lieder singers all over the world.

Further Credits

Choreography: Jutta Voß

Dancers: Ensemble Historischer Tanz Berlin UdK
Maike Bretthauer, Nicolle Eccarius, Ingrid Hese, Petra Hergl
Jutta Voß, Phillip Gräßle, Achim Hese, Martin Prescha

Lights: Rene Künzel

Assistant director: Nina Röder

Production assistant: Christin Prätor

Costumes: Monika Tschernatsch, Fundus Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar
chosen by Silke Gablenz-Kolakovic

Wigs: Hendrikje Lüttich, Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar

Driver: Marcus Bischoff

Sound engineers: Alastair Kinross, David Foister

Post production sound: Raphael Mouterde

Post production picture: René Künzel

Subtitles: Rosemary Bechler

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