Farmer Irwing makes a pact with the goblin Goggolori: The mighty nature spirit is supposed to give him plenty of everything. In return the farmer promises to give him the first part of it all: Harvest, livestock – and happiness. When the goblin asks for Irwing’s daughter Zeipoth as his tribute the farmer refuses. His wife asks the healer Ullerin who has allies among the dark powers for help. A destructive battle of magic powers is about to start: Set against the background of the Thirty Years’ War, black and white magic as well as Christendom fight for his soul. In the end it is down to Zeipoth to rescue the Goggolori – but what will it cost her?
Since it was first published in 1984 Michael Ende’s story about the pact with the Goggolori is one of the most performed German sung operas of the post war period.
With this play, Michael Ende has once more landed a major hit, a theatrical one this time, as it convinces not only with its language, but also dramaturgically. Action scenes change with poetic-emotional moments in a well-measured way, drastically rough humour sets its counterpoint against pagan-religious mysticism.
Mittelbayerische Zeitung Regensburg
If you take the whole thing as a theatrical event, a full, cracking, earthy, sturdy theatre – then it is a great hit.
Unanimous cheers for a musical folk play. Once more we have serious scores full of earworms.
A work of impressive effect.
3rd February 1985, Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz, Munich. Director: Friedrich Meyer-Oertel, Conductor: Tristan Schick. Music by Wilfried Hiller.