The world premiere was presented in Frankfurt am Main by the Frankfurt Opera on June 8, 1937, with Bertil Wetzelsberger conducting. The premiere was a big hit and spread to other opera houses. After the second World War it developed into an international triumph.
Generally, the work is performed in the concert hall and the 'total theatre' used in the first performance (music words and movement) may not have been duplicated entirely, however there have been many staged performances worldwide. Refer to Grove's to see the staging used in the original performance (as well as on Mehta's Teldec CD).