The Premiere of Kauder's Opera Merlin

Merlin banner

Merlin - a fantastical opera. The world premiere took place on Sunday, June 9th, 2013, at Trinity Lutheran Church in New Haven, CT, with a pre-show talk by Music Director Adrian Slywotzky, Kauder scholar David Goldblatt, and the Hugo Kauder Society's president Norman Dee.

Click here to read a review in the Boston Classical Review.

Click here to see photographs of the dress rehearsal.

Merlin and Blasius

Click here to view the Kickstarter campaign (ended in June). The Kickstarter campaign includes a video of Merlin cast members talking about the music and production.

The Hugo Kauder Society is thrilled to report a successful performance of Kauder's only opera, Merlin. The performance date, June 9th, 2013, marked its world premiere on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the composer's birth.

Merlin is the result of a collaboration in the 1960's between Kauder and German poet, philosopher, and writer Rudolf Pannwitz. Its fantastical themes are reminiscent of the mythology that inspired the music dramas of Richard Wagner.

In the story, Merlin comes from the Orient to the Western world in order to fight its lust for power and violence. Over the course of the drama, far-eastern wisdom is combined with the western cultural tradition, the mythical past merges with the future, and earthly hedonism unites with the will to the sublime. Merlin comes to realize that it is only in the perpetuity of love and death that his work can find a higher purpose.

The opera's harmonic language, like its story, certainly owes much to the romanticism of Wagner. Its unique, enhanced tonality, however, incorporates the modernism of the 20th century while simultaneously evoking the music of Renaissance composers such as Ockeghem, Obrecht, and Josquin de Prez.

For updates, please visit us here, at, or at


The Hugo Kauder Society is grateful for the generous support from the Connecticut Office of the Arts, The Victor Herbert Foundation*, the Austrian Cultural Forum New York, Pearce Real Estate, and Friends of the Hugo Kauder Society.
*The Foundation's purposes include supporting the performances of musical works of composers who were either born or, like Hugo Kauder, naturalized citizens of the United Stages

Thank You to our:
Friends: Nancy Sepe, Michael Schelle, Alexis Zingale
Patrons of the Elves:
Leslie Kuo, Joanna Polonsky, Jennifer Freeman, Susan Forster, Emily Bell, Mattias Bjornerstedt, Linda Lindroth
Patrons of the Dragons: Jodel Mintel, Ingrid Sweeney
, Jack Guo, Sibylle Grosjean
Patrons of the Knights: Michael Krauthammer, Barbara Goren, Janet Levarie Smarr, Doris Krauthammer, Kim Cummings, Richard Cohn, Lauren Pinzka, Braxton McKee, Robert M. Schwartz, David Gerber, Ted Efremoff, Lisa Matisoo-Smith, Marianne Bernstein, Rodrigo Canales, Albert Hofeldt, Adi Segal, Lienna Silver, Karen Karp, Phil Lesh
Patrons of the Kingdom: James OShea, Seth Brown, Cade Massey, Lawrence Hui, Ahlexander Shaknovich
Patrons of the Sorceress: Nina Kauder, Jef McAllister and Ann Olivarius