Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Today : world première of 'The Frost Flower Forest' by Jörn Arnecke in Weimar


Today, the Deutsches National Theater in Weimar presents the world première of Der Eisblumenwald (The Frost Flower Forest), a children opera composed by Jörn Arnecke, with a libretto by the composer after Jörg Steiner's book.


Jörn Arnecke has already composed several works for the stage, including Das Fest im Meer (Hamburg, June 17, 2003), Kryos (Bremen, May 14, 2011), Ronja Räubertochter (Duisburg, February 27, 2015)

Princess Salicha is sad because all the plants in the desert have withered. But then a boy named Samir suggests bringing an iceberg into the desert to make the land fertile again. The two of them board a ship to the South Pole, and the exciting journey begins. It is a magical story of friendship, of the death of nature in the context of climate change, and of the courage to actively seek solutions to help the environment - as crazy as they may be. (reproduced from the DNT website)
The cast includes actor Julius Kuhn (Märchenerzähler), soprano Giulia Montanari (Salicha), mezzo Julian Bookhagen (Samir) and bass Andreas Koch (König von Amun). Niuniu Miao Liu conducts members of the Orchestra of the DNT. Clara Kalus directs.

The opera is published by Sikorski.

The performance should last about 65 minutes. The venue is the Studiobühne.

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Three new programme books in my collection


I have recently acquired the following programme books for contemporary operas :

- David T. Little, JFK, Augsburg, March 24, 2019 (European première) :
- Richard van Schoor, Alp Arslan, Giessen, May 4, 2019 (world première) ;
- Ludger Vollmer, The Circle, Weimar, May 4, 2019 (world première).


 The first one is a 28 pages booklet. It contains :

- complete cast and crew ;
- introduction by David T. Little and Royce Vavrek ;
- synopsis ;
- Sophie Walz : Inzenierter Mythos ;
- several color photos of the production by Jan-Pieter Fuhr (March 18) ;
Familie & Politik ;
- biographies of authors and production team with black and white headshots.

The second one is a 24 pages booklet. It contains :

- complete cast and crew ;
- Zum Inhalt (synopsis) ;
- Willem Bruls : Zur Entstehung einer Oper - Vom historischen Hintergrund zur Idee, with biography of librettist Willem Bruls ;
- Richard van Schoor : Eine Komposition entsteht - Vom Text zur Musik, with biography of composer Richard van Schoor ;
- Amin Maalouf : Historische Schlaglichter ;
- Die historischen Figuren ;
- Der Granatapfel, Powerfrucht aus dem Orient ;
- biographies of singers, with black and white headshots ;
- color photos of rehearsals by Rolf K. Wegst.

The third one is a 52 pages booklet. It contains :

- complete cast and crew ;
- synopsis ;
- Hans-Georg Wegner : Die Macht, die sie haben, ist die Macht, die wir Ihnen geben, interview with Dave Eggers, author of the original novel ;
- Ludger Vollmer : Ausbeutung durch Verführung ;
- Tiina Hartmann : Literatur.Oper ;
- Hans-Georg Wegner : Mercer muss nicht sterben ;
- Kate Knibbs : 'The Circle' ist eine krude Warnung ;
- color photos of rehearsals by Candy Welz.

The three programmes are entirely in German.

I now have 678 programme books for contemporary operas. I have scanned all the covers and uploaded the images to this flickr folder.

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Today : world première of 'Schlagt sie tot!' by Bo Holten in Malmö


Today, the Malmö Opera presents the world première of Schlagt sie tot!, an opera in two acts with a libretto in German by Eva Sommestad Holten.


(c) Agnete Schlichtkrull

Bo Holten has already composed several operas, including Livlægens Besøg (The Visit of the Royal Physician, Copenhagen, March 28, 2009) and Gesualdo Shadows (Copenhagen, November 9, 2014).
The libretto depicts a world of violent change. Our present day, where religion, apocalyptic moods and hard plays are high on the agenda, has clear parallels with Europe 500 years ago. The opera focuses on the dramatic events of the time and puts Luther's theological uprisings in both a human and political perspective. (freely adapted from the Malmö Opera website)
The cast includes baritone Dietrich Henschel (Martin Luther), tenor Thomas Volle (Philip Melanchthon), baritone Jakob Högström (Georg Spalatin / Martin Bucer), bass Reinhard Hagen (Lucas Cranach) and soprano Inger Dam Jensen (Barbara Cranach). Patrik Ringborg conducts the Orchestra, Chorus and Children Chorus of the Malmö Opera. Peter Oskarson directs.

The score is published by Wilhelm Hansen. The libretto and the full score of the 1st act are available for viewing on the Music Sales website.

The required orchestra is the following :

- 3 flutes, 2 oboes, English horn, 4 clarinets, 3 bassoons ;
- 4 horns in F, 3 trumpets in C, 3 trombones ;
- percussion (2 players), harp ;
- strings.

The performance should last about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

23 new programme books in my collection


I have recently acquired 23 new programme books for performances of contemporary operas.

Among them are 4 new programme books published this year :


- John Adams, Doctor Atomic, Koblenz, March 9, 2019 ;
- John Adams, Nixon in China, Stuttgart, April 7, 2019 ;
- George Benjamin, Lessons in Love and Violence, Hamburg, April 7, 2019 (first in Germany) ;
- William Bolcom, McTeague, Bremerhaven, March 23, 2019 (first in Germany).

The 19 others are from older performances :


- John Adams, The Gospel According to the Other Mary, London (ENO), November 21, 2014 (World stage première) ;
- John Adams, Nixon in China, Amsterdam, June 2, 1988 (first in the Netherlands) ;
- Gerald Barry, The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, London (ENO), September 16, 2005 (World stage première) ;


- Harrison Birtwistle, Gawain, London (Royal Opera House), May 30, 1991 (World première of original version) ;
- Harrison Birtwistle, Gawain, London (Royal Opera House), April 14, 1994 (World première of revised version) ;
- Harrison Birtwistle, Punch & Judy, London (ENO at Young Vic), April 19, 2008 ;


- David Blake, Toussaint, London (ENO), September 6, 1983 ;
- Iain Hamilton, Anna Karenina, London (ENO), May 7, 1981 (World première) ;
- Iain Hamilton, Anna Karenina, London (ENO), February 8, 1985 ;


- Jonathan Harvey, Inquest of Love, London (ENO), June 5, 1993 (World première) ;
- Hans Werner Henze, Elegy for Young Lovers, London (ENO at Young Vic), April 24, 2010 ;
- Robin Holloway, Clarissa, London (ENO), May 18, 1990 (World première) ;


- György Ligeti, Le Grand Macabre, London (ENO), December 2, 1982 ;
- Olivier Messiaen, Saint François d'Assise, Amsterdam, June 1, 2008 ;
- Alexander Raskatov, A Dog's Heart, London (ENO), November 20, 2010 ;

 
- Aribert Reimann, Lear, London (ENO), January 24, 1989 (National première) ;
- Aribert Reimann, Lear, Amsterdam, November 4, 2001 ;

 
- Tan Dun, Tea, Amsterdam, January 7, 2003 (European première) ;
- Michael Tippett, King Priam, London (ENO), February 3, 1995 (first at ENO).

I now have 675 programme books for contemporary operas in my collection. I have scanned all the covers and uploaded the images to this flickr folder.

Monday, 6 May 2019

New programme book in my collection : 'Thérèse' by Philipp Maintz in Salzburg


This morning, I have received the programme book published by the Easter Festival in Salzburg for the world première performance of Thérèse, a chamber opera composed by Philipp Maintz.


It is a 92 pages book. It contains :

- complete cast and crew ;
- Johannes Blum : I Never Wanted to Write this Libretto, interview with Otto Katzameier ;
- Johannes Blum : What You Place Under the Surface, interview with Philipp Maintz ;
- Johannes Blum : Dead Ends - Émile Zola and his Novel 'Thérèse Raquin' ;
- synopsis ;
- complete libretto ;
- biographies of the artists, with colour headshots ;
- several colour photos of rehearsals.

The entire book is bilingual (German and English).

I now have 652 programme books for contemporary operas. I have scanned all the covers and uploaded the images to this flickr folder.

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Today : world première of 'M' by Moritz Eggert in Berlin


Today, the Komische Oper in Berlin presents the world première of M - Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder (M - A City searches for a Murderer), an opera in one act composed by Moritz Eggert with a libretto by Barrie Kosky and Ulrich Lenz based on Fritz Lang's film and using poems by Walter Mehring.


Moritz Eggert has already composed several works the stage, including All diese Tage (Bremen, April 28, 2012), Terra Nova (Linz, May 26, 2016) and Caliban (Amsterdam, March 25, 2017).
The city is up in arms! A serial murderer is on the loose. Several girls have already been found dead. Under great pressure and using all the means at their disposal, the police search for the culprit. And the city’s criminals are also keeping busy, as the increased police activities – which involve raids and house-to-house searches – is bad for business in every sense. And so the murderer, ultimately a victim of his own sick urges, is pursued, hunted and driven to madness by all the city’s thieves, burglars, whores, fences, beggars and con artists. (reproduced from the Komische Oper website)
The cast includes baritone Scott Hendricks (M. the Murderer), soprano Alma Sadé and tenor Tansel Akzeybek. Ainars Rubikis conducts the Orchestra and the Children Chorus of the Komische Oper. Barrie Kosky directs.

The score is published by Sikorski. The required orchestra is the following :

- 1 flute, 1 oboe, 1 clarinet, 1 tenor saxophone, 1 bassoon ;
- 1 horn, 1 trumpet, 2 trombones, 1 tuba ;
- timpani, percussion (2 players), electric guitar, electric bass guitar, 3 keyboards, accordion, celesta (doubling organ and harpsichord) ;
- strings (6.6.4.3.2).

(reproduced from the Sikorski website)

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Today : world première of 'The Circle' by Ludger Vollmer in Weimar


Today, the National Theater Weimar presents the world première of The Circle, an opera composed by Ludger Vollmer, with a libretto by Tina Hartmann based on the novel by Dave Eggers.


It is the composer's 8th opera after Gegen die Wand (Bremen, November 28, 2008), Lola rennt (Regensburg, February 28, 2013), Crusades (Freiburg, January 21, 2017) and Tschick (Hagen, March 18, 2017).
A young woman named Mae is climbing the career ladder at the company 'The Circle'. She devotes herself wholeheartedly and with great moral cognizance to the new possibilities and the power these give her over other people. But not only does this entail destroying the notion of the 'individual', but also the relationship to one's friends and acquaintances in favour of a community which regulates itself through total transparency. The question is, who profits from this totality ? (reproduced from the Theater website)
The cast includes mezzo Sayaka Shigeshima (Mae), soprano Heike Porstein (Annie), baritone Oleksandr Pushniak (Mercer), tenor Jörn Eichler (Francis), bass Daeyoung Kim (Earnon Bailey) and bass baritone Sebastian Kowski (Tom Stenton). Kirill Karabits conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Deutsches National Theater. Andrea Moses directs.

The work is published by Schott Music. The required orchestra is the following :

- 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 1 bass clarinet, 2 bassoons ;
- 2 horns, 2 trombones, 2 trumpets, 1 bass tuba ;
- percussion (3 players), including glockenspiel, xylophone and vibraphone ;
- piano (doubling organ and harpsichord), guitar ;
- strings.

The performance should last about 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Today : world première of 'Alp Arslan' by Richard van Schoor in Giessen


Today, the Stadttheater Giessen presents the world première of Alp Arslan, an opera composed by Richard van Schoor, with a libretto by Willem Bruls.


It is the composer's first opera.
Aleppo in 1113. In the middle of the war, a 16-year-old sultan comes to power. During bloody battles between Christians, Turks, Kurds and Arabs he has to find ways to himself. Alienated from his mother, he is driven into the arms of the person he hates the most : Loulou, the eunuch and powerful adviser to his father. An emotional confusion fundamentally shatters the political and personal life of the youth. (freely adapted from the Stadttheater Giessen website)
The cast includes tenor Daniel Arnaldos (Alp Arslan), countertenor Denis Lakey (Loulou), mezzo Marie Seidler (Bent Yaghisiyan) and baritone Tomi Wendt (Tughtakin). Jan Hoffmann conducts the Philharmonic Orchestra Giessen and the Theater Chorus. Cathérine Miville directs.

Friday, 3 May 2019

Received this morning : programme book for 'Oceane' by Detlev Glanert


This Friday morning, I have received the programme book published by the Deutsche Oper Berlin for the world première of Oceane by Detlev Glanert.

The opera was first performed in Berlin on April 28, 2019.


It is a 56 pages book. It contains :

- synopsis ;
- Kerstin Schüssler-Bach : Sommerliche Abgründe - Zur Musik von Detlev Glanerts 'Oceane' ;
- Jörg Königsdorf : Gefangen in der Unfähigkeit zu lieben, dialogue with the composer ;
- several colour photos of the piano dress rehearsal on April 17, by Bernd Uhlig ;
- Katharina Duda : Der Dichter und seine Nixe - Theodor und Martha Fontane ;
- Robert Carsen : Gedanken zu 'Oceane' ;
- Ian Burton : Ein altes Thema in neuem Gewand.

The entire book is in German. There is an English translation of the synopsis at the end of the book.

There is a separate 8 pages leaflet with the complete cast for the first performance, with biographies of the artists.

I now have 651 programme books for contemporary operas in my collection. I have scanned all the covers and uploaded the images to this flickr folder.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Today : world première of 'Oceane' by Detlev Glanert in Berlin


Today, the Deutsche Oper in Berlin presents the world première of Oceane, an opera in two acts composed by Detlev Glanert, with a libretto in German by Hans-Ulrich Treichel based on Theodor Fontane's Oceane von Parceval. 

(c) Bettina Stoess

Detlev Glanert has already composed several operas, including Joseph Süß (Bremen, 1999), Caligula (Frankfurt, 2006) and Solaris (Bregenz, 2012).
Oceane von Parceval is an attempt to encapsulate in the form of Melusine the sense of menace and fascination felt by a bourgeois, male-dominated society faced with femininity coupled with an archaic, erotically permissive artlessness. Oceane’s inability to sympathise with human destinies serves to amplify her alien nature. She is indifferent to death and love alike, and as such her attempt to have a relationship with a young landowner, Martin von Dircksen, is doomed to failure. (reproduced from the Boosey & Hawkes website)
The cast includes soprano Maria Bengtsson (Oceane von Parceval), tenor Nikolai Schukoff (Martin von Dircksen), baritone Christoph Pohl (Dr Albert Felgentreu), soprano Nicole Haslett (Kristina), bass Albert Pesendorfer (Pastor Baltzer) and mezzo Doris Soffel (Madame Louise). Donald Runnicles conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Robert Carsen directs.

The required orchestra is the following (reproduced from the publisher's website):

- 3 flutes, 2 oboes, 1 English horn, 3 clarinets, 3 bassoons ;
- 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, 1 tuba ;
- percussions (3) ;
- 2 harps, celesta and strings.

The performance should last 2 hours and 30 minutes, including one interval.

The score is published by Boosey & Hawkes.

Friday, 26 April 2019

Today : world première of 'The Tot Family' by Péter Toth in Budapest


Today, the Hungarian State Opera in Budapest presents the world première of The Tot Family, an opera in one act composed by Péter Toth, with a libretto by Varady Szabolcs, Andras Schlanger and Robert Bognar based on Istvan Örkény's play.


It is the composer's second opera, after Prince Aryélus (Szeged, 2016).
Mátraszentanna is a place where only penniless officials and pensioners spend their holidays. For the locals, it seems like a miracle when they get the chance to host a real army major. Yet, one day, Major Varró – at the urging of Gyula Tót, who is serving as an ensign on the Eastern Front – comes on a visit to spend his two-week sick leave with the boy’s parents. The Tót couple do everything humanly possible for the sake of their son, and the deeply touched Major gives them his promise : when the cold weather arrives, he will assign the boy to the well-heated battalion office, where his life will not be in danger. The parents do not yet know that all this is in vain : Ensign Gyula Tót has been killed in action. (reproduced from the Hungarian State Opera website)
The cast includes bass László Szvétek (Lajos Tot), soprano Júlia Vajda (Mariska), soprano Helga Nánási (Agika), tenor Boldizsár László (Major) and bass baritone András Hábetler (Postman). Janko Zsolt conducts and Csaba Kael directs.

The venue is the Eiffel Art Studio. This opera is the second part of a performance also presenting Jenö Kennessey's The Gold and the Woman.

Today : world première of 'The Phoenix' by Tarik O'Regan in Houston (TX)


Today, the Houston Grand Opera presents the world première of The Phoenix or The Operatic Adventures of Lorenzo Da Ponte on Two Continents in Two Acts, by Tarik O'Regan, with a libretto by John Caird.

 (c) Peter Greig
 
It is the composer's third opera, after Heart of Darkness (London, Royal Opera House, Linbury Studio, November 1, 2011) and The Wanton Sublime (New York, April 22, 2014).
Lorenzo da Ponte led a scandalous life that rivalled the stories he committed to paper. After becoming a priest and poet in Venice, he was banished when it was discovered that he had connections to many brothels and a secret family with two children. Luckily, he was introduced to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Austria and flourished as a librettist. His new-found fame gained him access to the upper echelons of European society. Yet after much success, Da Ponte found himself bankrupt and needing to flee once more. He sought refuge in America where he made a modest living as a grocer before rising again to establish the New York City’s first opera company in 1833. (reproduced from the HGO website).
The cast includes baritone Thomas Hampson (Lorenzo Da ¨Ponte, Sr.), bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni (Lorenzo Da Ponte, Jr.), mezzo Rihab Chaieb (Maria Malibran / Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart), tenor Joseph Kaiser (Patrick Kelly / Giacomo Casanova / Emperor Joseph II), soprano Lauren Snouffer (Giulietta) and soprano Elizabeth Sutphen (Faustina). Patrick Summers conducts the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra and Chorus. John Caird directs.

The performance should last about 2 hours and 25 minutes, including one intermission.

The score is published by Novello.