Saturday, 21 March 2020

Cancelled or postponed world première performances

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the following world première performances were cancelled or postponed :

- Willem Jeths, Ritratto, Amsterdam, March 13, 2020 ;
- Laurence Jobidon, L'Hiver attend beaucoup de moi, Montréal, March 19, 2020 ;
- Thierry Pécou, Until the Lions, Strasbourg, March 21st, 2020 ;
- Paola Prestini, Edward Tulane, St. Paul (Minnesota Opera), March 21st, 2020 ;
- Tomas Marco, Policias y ladrones, Madrid (Zarzuela), March 26, 2020 ;
- Ben Moore, The House on Kronenstrasse, New York (Chelsea Opera), March 27, 2020 ;
- Christian Jost, Voyage vers l'espoir, Genève, March 30, 2020 ;
- Peter Bruun, The Merchant of Death, Copenhagen, March 31, 2020 ;
- Salvatore Sciarrino, Il canto s'attrista, perché ?, Klagenfurt, April 3, 2020 ;
- Avner Dorman, Die Kinder des Sultans, Dortmund, April 5, 2020 ;
- Ben Frost, Der Mordfall Halit Yozgat, Hannover, April 17, 2020 ;
- Lucia Ronchetti, Inferno, Frankfurt (Bockenheimer Depot), April 18, 2020 (postponed to June 27, 2021) ;
- Mike Svoboda, Die Katze, die ihre eigenen Wege ging, Linz, April 19, 2020 ;
- Johanna Doderer, Schuberts Reise nach Atzenbrugg, München (Gärtnerplatz.), April 23, 2020 ;
- Héctor Armienta, Zorro, Fort Worth, April 26, 2020 ;
- Thierry Escaich, Shirine, Lyon, May 2nd, 2020 (postponed to May 7, 2022) ;
- Christian Favre, Davel, Lausanne, May 3rd, 2020 ;
- Jan Dvorak, Krabat, Gelsenkirchen, May 9, 2020 ;
- Volker Plangg, Katharina Kepler, Pforzheim, May 16, 2020 ;
- Andres Reukauf, Jonas, der Walfisch, Hagen, May 16, 2020 ;
- Gordon Kampe, Spring doch, Munich, May 17, 2020 (postponed to December 4, 2020) ;
- Ole Hübner, Revenants and Revolution, Munich, May 17, 2020 ;
- Stefan Wirth : Girl with a Pearl Earring, Zurich, May 24, 2020.

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Today : world première of 'Genia' by Tscho Theissing in Vienna

Today, the Theater an der Wien in Vienna presents the world première of Genia, an opera composed by Tscho Theissing, with a libretto by Kristine Tornquist.

(c) Christoph Hellhake
It is the composer's first opera.
Ludwig van Beethoven is attending a rehearsal of one of his symphonies. His secretary Anton Schindler bustles around him tirelessly and subserviently. Beethoven is very unhappy with the rehearsal; his ideas about how fast an allegro should be are totally different from those of the orchestra. He is annoyed. But the solution to the  tempo problem appears in the persons of the inventors Johann and Leonhard  Maelzel. Whereas Beethoven believes in art, the Maelzels believe in technology. Their latest invention concerns both worlds: a timekeeping device called  “metronome”. This should make an end to quarrels between orchestras and composers. Beethoven, though, is more interested in the Maelzels’ talented assistant Elise. She is fascinated by the gruff genius, too. But Leonhard  Maelzel gets jealous because he wants to marry Elise himself. Despite this, the Maelzels develop a  mechanical orchestra for Beethoven with 259 instruments, the Panharmonicon. But  the composer and the inventor start arguing while Elise is trying to unite technology  and art. (reproduced from the Theater an der Wien website)
The cast includes baritone Kristjan Johannesson (Beethoven), soprano Jenna Siladie (Elise), bass Ivan Zinoviev (Johann Nepomuk Mälzel), tenor Quentin Desgeorges (Leonhard Mälzel), tenor Johannes Bamberger (Anton Schindler) and soprano Ilona Revolskaya (Genia). George Jackson conducts the Wiener KammerOrchester. Kateryna Sokolova directs.

The venue is the Kammeroper.

(The première was postponed from March 5 to March 10, because the director was ill).

Monday, 9 March 2020

Three new programme books in my collection

I have recently acquired three new programme books for contemporary operas :

 - Hans Werner Henze : L'Upupa und der Triumph der Sohnesliebe, Madrid, December 7th, 2004 ;
- Vittorio Montalti : Un romano a Marte, Roma, November 22, 2019 ;
- Jüri Reinvere : Minona, Regensburg, January 25, 2020.

The first one is 191 pages book, the second a 138 pages book, the third a 32 pages brochure.

I have catalogued all my 1492 programme books on Librarything.

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Today : world première of 'The Papess Joanne' by Yiorgos Vassilandonakis in Athens

Today, the Greek National Opera presents the world première of The Papess Joanne, an opera composed by Yiorgos Vassilandonakis, with a libretto by Vangelis Hadjiyannidis after Emmanuel Roidis' novel.

It is the composer's second opera after Dance with Me (Athens, 2008).
My goal was to portray a restless and unconventional spirit, a tragic and at the same time romantic figure, that is constantly transforming itself, destroying and reorienting itself against everything, to the very end. (reproduced from the Greek National Opera website)
The cast includes soprano Chrissa Maliamani (Papess Joanne), mezzo Margarita Syngeniotou (Santa Liova), baritone Dionysios Sourbis (Frumentius / Floros), baritone Kostis Rasidakis (Corvinus), tenor Yannis Christopoulos (Nikitas) and countertenor Nikos Spanatis (Pope Leo IV). Stathis Soulis conducts the GNO Orchestra and Chorus. Dimitris Karantzas directs.

The venue is the Stavros Niarchos Hall.

Friday, 6 March 2020

Today : world première of 'L'Européenne' by Richard van Schoor in Lübeck

Today, the Theater Lübeck presents the world première of L'Européenne, an opera composed by Richard van Schoor, with a libretto by Thomas Goerge.

It is the composer's second opera after Alp Arslan (Gießen, May 4, 2019).
The European development worker Lena gets to know Boubakar at an electrical waste disposal site in a large African city. He follows her to Germany. But Lena is sick, on a date with Boubakar she kills herself with tablets. Boubakar flees the apartment, is arrested and charged with murder. In kaleidoscopic images, the opera based on the short film »The Wrong Side« by Lionel Poutiaire Somé shows the story of the relationship between an African migrant and a European. As a cinema opera, "L’Européenne" combines cinematic means in different ways with the performance of the performers on stage. (freely adapted from the Theater Lübeck website)
The cast includes soprano Emma McNairy (Lena), soprano Caroline Nkwe (several parts), tenor Owen Metsileng (Bouba), baritone Steffen Kubach (several parts) and bass Youngkug Jin (Féticheur). Andreas Wolf conducts the Philharmonisches Orchester der Hansestadt Lübeck and the Lübeck Theater Chorus. Lionel Poutiaire Somé directs.

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Today : world première of Roland Fister's 'Die Prinzessin auf dem Kürbis' in Coburg.

Today, the Landestheater Coburg presents the world première of Die Prinzessin auf dem Kürbis (The Princess and the Pumpkin), a children opera composed by Roland Fister with a libretto by Heinz Janisch based on the children story.

(c) Nicolas Kroeger

It is the composer's third opera after Dorian Gray and Die Schatzinsel (Coburg, 2016).
A sign on the castle wall reads "Princess wanted ! Pea princess, no thanks !”. After the prince met the famous princess on the pea at the wedding of the neighboring prince, one thing is certain for him : such a squeamish princess will never come to his castle ! Encouraged by the sign, two princesses try their luck, but the prince is so rude that despite the efforts of his servant Dragonbane, they quickly run away. Until one night a princess shows up who can even sleep on a pumpkin... (freely adapted from the Landestheater Coburg website)
The cat includes soprano Laura Incko (The Princess on the Pumpkin), mezzo Kora Pavelic (Miranda), soprano Dimitra Kotidou (The Princess on the Pea), tenor Peter Aisher (The Prince) and baritone Marvin Zobel (Leupold Dragonbane). The composer conducts the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Landestheater Coburg. Ilaria Lanzino directs.

Monday, 17 February 2020

Today : three new short operas in Stockholm

Today, the Royal Opera in Stockholm presents the world première of three short operas composed by three Swedich composers with libretti based on real events :

Viktor Åslund's Value Creation, with a libretto by Hermann Schneider, is a bizarre story, inspired by film noir, that looks deeply into the moral mire of the world of finance.
The cast includes soprano Kristina Hansson Unander (Nora), mezzo Louise Reitberger (Christina), tenor Michael Stenbaek (Charles) and baritone Peter Haeggström (Ed). Natalie Ringler directs.
Malin Hülphers' comedy Jag kommer hem (I’m Coming Home), with a libretto by Lotta Olsson, goes straight into a comical conversation with a marriage counsellor.
The cast includes bass Thorvald Bergström (Mannen), mezzo Therese Badman Stenius (Kvinnan) and tenor Anders Blom (Terapeuten). Ola Eliasson directs.
Andrea Tarrodi's Sigrid H. is inspired by Sigrid Hjertén, a much-loved artist whose paintings never cease to inspire.
The cast includes alto (Katarina Böhm (Sigrid), tenor Simon Petersson (Isaac), bass Thorvald Bergström (Einar) and bass Peter Achrén (Läkaren). Natalie Ringler directs.

For all three operas, James Grossmith conducts musicians of the Royal Swedish Orchestra. The venue is the Rotundan. The performance should last about 90 minutes, with one intermission.

Today : world première of 'Egmont' by Christian Jost in Vienna

Today, the Theater an der Wien presents the world première of Egmont, an opera in 15 scenes composed by Christian Jost, with a libretto by Christoph Klimke and the composer using works of Goethe.

It is the composer's 10th opera. His previous operas include Hamlet (Komische Oper Berlin, June 21st, 2009), Mikropolis (Komische Oper Berlin, October 30, 2011) and Rote Laterne (Zürich, March 8, 2015).
The Spanish Netherlands rise up against the rule of Philip II. They are demanding freedom of religion and greater autonomy for their country. Spain’s governor, Philip’s half-sister Margarete of Parma, repeatedly  tries to find compromises. The Dutch nobility hope that she will act as their ally in search for a diplomatic solution. In  particular, Prince Egmont of Gaure is one of those wishing to negotiate a satisfactory  and fair peace with her help. Philip II, however, sends the Duke of Alba, who has a reputation for ruthlessness, to his sister with the task of putting an end to all discussion through armed force. Egmont refuses to believe that Philip is so inflexible. But it quickly becomes clear how hopeless this all is: Alba secretly has Margarete  murdered. Now he has the imprudent Egmont arrested and the only hope the  prisoner and his beloved Clara have is Alba’s son Ferdinand who seems fascinated  by Egmont’s ideas of freedom: will he break the cycle of oppression and exploitation or will he only perpetuate it ? (reproduced from the Theater an der Wien website)
The cast includes tenor Edgars Montvidas (Egmont), soprano Maria Bengtsson (Clara), mezzo Angelika Kirchschlager (Margarete von Parma), bass baritone Karoly Szemeredy (Macchiavelli) and baritone Bo Skovhus (Herzog Alba). Michael Boder conducts the ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien and the Arnold Schoenberg Chor. Keit Warner directs.

The score is published by Schott.

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Today : world première of 'Freedom Ride' by Dan Shore in Chicago

Today, the Chicago Opera Theater presents the world première of Freedom Ride, an opera composed by Dan Shore on his own libretto.

It is the composer's fourth opera, after The Beautiful Bridegroom (2009), An Embarrassing Position (2013) and Anne Hutchinson (2014).
When the Congress of Racial Equality comes to New Orleans in the sweltering summer of 1961, Sylvie Davenport is torn. Handed a pamphlet and asked to board a Greyhound bus, Sylvie is forced to choose between her academic future and the future of the nation in a story that highlights how far we’ve come and how far we still have left to go. (reproduced from the Chicago Opera Theater website)
The cast includes soprano Dara Rahming (Sylvie Davenport), soprano Whitney Morrison (Leonie Baker), mezzo Zoie Reams (Georgia Davenport), tenor Tyrone Chambers (Russell Davenport), tenor Cornelius Johnson (Rev. Jerome Mitchell) and baritone Robert Sims (Clayton). Lidiya Yankovskaya conducts the Chicago Sinfonietta. Tazewell Thompson directs.

The venue is the Studebaker Theater.

The performance should last about 2 hours, including one intermission.

Today : world première of 'Dschungel' by Manuel Renggli in Luzern

Today, the Luzerner Theater presents the world première of Dschungel (Jungle), a brass-opera composed by Manuel Renggli with a libretto by Michael Fehr based on Rudyard Kipling's book.

It is the composer's first opera.
Brahma, a young girl escaping her weak mother, flees in the jungle. There, she discovers an world inhabited by animals who might help or hinder her : Atlanta the yellow snake, which might not be as wise as it would like to be, the wild gray monkeys and the dazzling birds. At the end of her adventurous trip between reality, fantasy and hallucination, Brahma has learned that of she can't choose her own life, she can take it with her own hands. (freely adapted from the Luzerner Theater website)
The cast includes soprano Nina Schnürpel (Atlanta), soprano Rebecca Krynski Cox (Raja), mezzo Sarah Alexandra Hudarew (Samreh), baritone Jason Cox (Red Baron's Son), bass Vuyani Mlinde (Red Baron) and actress Nina Langensand (Brahma). Michael Bach or William Kelley conducts the Brassband Bürgermusik Luzern and the Chorus of the Luzerner Theater. Tom Ryser directs.

Friday, 7 February 2020

Today : world première of 'Monument' by Marko Ivanovic in Brno

Today, the National Theatre in Brno presents the world première of Monument, an opera composed by Marko Ivanovic, with a libretto by David Radok.

It is at least the composer's second opera, after Enchantia (Prague, January 14, 2012).
The authors were inspired by the life story of Otakar Švec, who was forced by the powers that be to compete with many other artists in a contest to create a monument for J.V. Stalin. Not even his effort to solve the situation by designing a monument which was impossible to realize prevented Švec from winning the contest, and he took his life shortly before the uncovering of the completed work. (reproduced from the Brno Theatre website).
The cast includes baritone Svatopluk Sem (Sochar), mezzo Markéta Cukrova (Manzelka), baritone Roman Hoza (Kolega) and tenor Ondrej Koplik (Ministr kultury). The composer conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Brno National Theatre. David Radok directs.

The venue is the Janacek Theatre.

Saturday, 1 February 2020

Today : world première of 'Eurydice' by Matthew Aucoin in Los Angeles

Today, the Los Angeles Opera presents the world première of Eurydice, an opera in three acts composed by Matthew Aucoin, with a libretto by Sarah Ruhl.

It is the composer's third opera after Crossing (Boston, MA, May 29, 2015) and Second Nature (Chicago, August 19, 2015).
Tragically killed on her wedding day, a young bride descends into the underworld, where she reconnects with her adoring father. Presented with the opportunity to return to her husband in the world of the living, she must now choose between the two men she loves. (reproduced from the Los Angeles Opera website)
The score is published by AMP (Associated Music Publishers). According the the Music Sales Classical website, the required orchestra is the following :

- 3 flutes (doubling 2 piccolos), 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 1 bass clarinet, 2 bassoons (doubling 2 contrabassoons) ;
- 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, 1 bass trombone, 1 tuba ;
- timpani and 4 percussion players ;
- piano and 2 harps ;
- strings.

The vocal score is available on their website.

The cast includes soprano Danielle de Niese (Eurydice), baritone Rod Gilfry (Eurydice's Father), baritone Joshua Hopkins (Orpheus), countertenor John Holiday (Orpheus Double) and tenor Barry Banks (Hades). The composer conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Los Angeles Opera. Mary Zimmerman directs.