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Viel wurde über eines der bekanntesten Werke Christa Wolfs geschrieben, sehr wenig dagegen über ihre erfolgreiche und mehrmal aufgeführte Vertonung. Der Aufsatz versucht, den Text der Schriftstellerin mit Michael Jarrells Sprechoper zu vergleichen. Der Transfer vom literarischen Medium zum musikalischen steht im Mittelpunkt: Welche Themen spielen eine bedeutende Rolle bei Wolf, welche bei Jarrell? Hat der Komponist eine treue Vertonung realisiert? Welche sind die Neuheiten des Stückes? Damit zeigt der Aufsatz, wie ein sehr alter Mythos noch kommunizieren und unerwartete Interpretationsperspektiven eröffnen kann.
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