"No man ever steps in the same river twice" (Heraclitus)


opera in 2 parts after a Turkish fairy tale,
commissioned by Darmstadt Staatstheater, artistic director: John Dew

libretto by
Alexander Gruber

composed by
Cord Meijering’s Young Composers Class of Akademie fuer Tonkunst in Darmstadt:
Christoph Bornheimer
Jakobine Eisenach
Ben Elsäßer
Kiavasch Mohammad Nejad Farid
Jadwiga Frej
Katharina Heinius
Max Wiest

Photo gallery of the AKADEMIE FUER TONKUNST YOUNG COMPOSERS CLASS composing the score of DER PRINZ VON JEMEN: here

Cord Meijering hands the score of the opera DER PRINZ VON JEMEN to John Dew, artistic director of the Staatstheater Darmstadt, Germany

Cord Meijering, Alexander Gruber (librettist), John Dew (artistic director)
Photo: Barbara Aumüller

AVID press release October 2010: please click here

dramatis personae
Padischah von Istanbul - baritone
Sultanin, his wife - soprano
Derwisch, auch Arzt - bass
Prinzessin Markweiß - lyric coloratura soprano
Dschemile, ihre Betreuerin - auch Dilfirib, eine Dienerin - alto
Prinz von Jemen - tenor


Erste Dienerin - alto
Zweite Dienerin - alto
Koch - baritone
Baumeister - bass
Die Freunde des Prinzen:: Aslan - tenor, Medschnun - tenor, Ali - baritone

Choir: Dienerinnen und Arbeiter (part 1 SATB, part 2 SSAATB)

chamber orchestra
1 flute, 1 piccolo flute, 2 clarinets Bb, 1 bassoon, 1 counter bassoon, 2 horns F, 2 trumpets C, 2 tenor trombones, 1 tuba, 1 harp, 1 celesta, timpani, 2 percussionists, strings

composed in

approx. 2 hours 30 minutes

dedicated to
no dedication

first performance
April 9, 2011
Staatstheater Darmstadt, Germany


program notes

Project Description:

The idea to have children write an opera for children was born during talks between John Dew, director of the Darmstadt State Theater and Cord Meijering, director of the Darmstadt Academy for Musical Arts.

The project with the title “The Prince of Yemen” is of great interest to the general public. The libretto, based on a Turkish fairy tale, deals with problems associated with aspects of contemporary arts education, aesthetic border crossing, and cross-cultural collaboration.

The Prince of Yemen has been given a professional production by the forces of the Darmstadt State Theater. However, children of all ages participated as creative contributors on as many levels of the project as possible. The result is sure to fascinate both, young and old and bring new, inter-cultural audiences to the world of contemporary opera.

The opera has been composed by students of YOUNG COMPOSERS CLASS at the Darmstadt Academy for Musical Arts in Darmstadt which is run by composer Cord Meijering. The composition process has been accompanied by a series of special lecture/ demonstrations.

Librettist and dramaturge Alexander Gruber of the Darmstadt State Theater joined sessions of the Darmstadt Children’s Composition Workshop and discussed the libretto with the young composers.

Singers and musicians of the Darmstadt State Theater familiarized the young composers with the particulars of vocal composition, the different types of voices, and the instruments of the orchestra.

The “Prince of Yemen” project helt additional partnerships with the press and with radio and film producers, as well as education scientists that critically observed and documented this unusual and ambitious project with its many interesting artistic and educational facets.

The Libretto:
The libretto was written by the popular author of many children and family plays Alexander Gruber (represented by Verlag Hartmann & Stauffacher, Cologne) The work is based on a German translation of a Turkish fairy tale by the name of Prinzessin Markweisschen (Princess Marrowwhite).

The Music:
The score has been composed by the Darmstadt Children’s Composition Workshop at the Darmstadt Academy for Musical Arts run by the internationally acclaimed Cord Meijering

Assistants to the Darmstadt Children’s Composition Workshop are Jakobine Eisenach ( and Christoph Bornheimer ( Both are alumni of the Darmstadt Children’s Composition Workshop.

Darmstadt State Theater, main stage

World premiere:
April 9, 2011, marking the 20th anniversary of the Darmstadt Children’s Composition Workshop at the Darmstadt Academy for Musical Arts, founded by composer Cord Meijering in 1991 and the 300th anniversary of theatre in Darmstadt.

Performing Artists:
Soloists and Chorus of the Darmstadt State Theater

The Orchestra of the Darmstadt State Theater

stage: Conrad Moritz Reinhardt

costumes: Ursula Kudrna

Stage Director:
Christian von Götz