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Bremer Freiheit

Singwerk auf ein Frauenleben
Text by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Libretto adapted by Thomas Körner
Product number: WER 65112
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In Adriana Hölszky's opera "Bremer Freiheit", Geesche leads her fellows with cheerful nonchalance to their doom. The murders follow in regular succession, with no more passion or sentimentality than “Ten Little Indians”. What Hölszky wanted to create was anything but a neo-veristic shocker, a psychoanalytic character study or the melodrama of a victimized woman. Instead, she has given us an almost playful alienation, a sort of Grand Guignol operetta.
Connoisseurs of Fassbinder's plays know that they are generally neither realistic nor "naturalistic" but instead find their raison d'être in stylization, albeit not on the sublime classical sense. Only on the surface do they seem to deal with real human beings of flesh and blood. In reality they deal with character masks, like the generalized figures of comedy. In “Bremer Freiheit”, then, all the characters apart from Geesche are “marionettes of suppression”.
It is precisely because of these admittedly horrifying goings-on that Hölszky has succeeded in giving all her characters and stage actions a lite-rally "tactile" plasticity. Yet at the same time she has remained playful, pre-serving Fassbinder's rondo structure, for example, and introducing a number of buffo elements.
(from the liner notes by Gerhard R. Koch)

Plot Summary
Geesche is humiliated, tormented and raped by her drunken husband and his drunken friends. Her husband dies, writhing with abdominal pain.
Geesche's father dictates to her the death announcement of his son-in-law. Friends offer condolences. Gottfried takes over the Business and moves in with Geesche.
Geesche's mother curses her for living in sin with a man. She is the next to die.
Gottfried wants to return to a flat of his own because the children from Geesche's first marriage are too loud. Suddenly the children are quiet.
Geesche's father rejects his whore of a daughter.
Gottfried yells at Geesche, who is expecting his child. Suddenly he feels deathly ill. Moments before his death, the marriage ceremony is performed. Geesche confesses to the minister that she poisoned him.
Geesche's father wants to marry her off to his nephew. Geesche refuses. Both father and nephew perish.
Geesche carries on her business alone. It flourishes. But Zimmermann comes to reclaim the money he lent her. He dies.
Geesche's brother Johann returns from the war. He wants to take over the business from his "poor little sister" and find her a husband. But the man who can win Geesche's heart has not been born. Johann dies.
Geesche receives a visit from her friend Luisa. She considers Geesche's poisonings nothing more than a good joke. But she dies in all seriousness.
Rumpf finally discovers the pellets in the coffee and has them examined. Now it's Geesche's turn to die.


Bremer Freiheit. Singwerk auf ein Frauenleben


Nancy Shade (Geesche Gottfried) / Raymond Wolansky (Miltenberger) / Paul Mayr (Timm) / Grace Hoffman (Mutter) / Guy Renard (Gottfried) / Robert Wörle (Zimmermann) / Michael Pinkerton (Rumpf) / Klaus Hierte (Johann) / Klaus Bertram (Pater Markus) / Jan Konieczny (Bohm) / Marja-Leena Varpio (Luisa Mauer) / Ute Wille (Mezzosopran) / Hanna Liska-Aurbacher (Alt) / ensemble avance / Andras Hamary: conductor

More Information

Bremer Freiheit
Singwerk auf ein Frauenleben
Text by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Libretto adapted by Thomas Körner
65 ′58 ′′

Technical Details

Product number:
WER 65112
0,11 kg

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