Ottawa, May 1, 1996
(from the Siglo Archives)
Miguel Siglo, who assisted the composer as copyist in the year of Berg's death (1936),
also worked on the film projection which accompanied the
first performance of the still incomplete opera at Zurich in 1937.
About this performance, Reich, Berg's confidant and biographer, wrote:
"... it was clear that the ostinato runs too quickly to permit a clearly
comprehensible film sequence. It is now generally replaced by projected still images."
Reich's authoritative judgment has prevailed to this day, but perhaps should be
reconsidered now based on materials found in the rubble of Siglo's family home in
Sarajevo, destroyed during Serbian shelling in 1995.
There we find that Reich detested the young Siglo, and used his influence as a prominent
Vienna critic to have Siglo fired from the job after the opening night. Siglo was not
only devasted by the blow, he also appears to have become temporarily deranged.