Thursday, 18 February 2016

Today : world première of Johannes Kalitzke's 'Pym' in Heidelberg

Today, Johannes Kalitzke's new opera, Pym, with a libretto by Christoph Klimke, based on Edgar Allan Poe's The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, will be performed for the first time in Heidelberg.

© Dominik Weinmann
The libretto in German also includes texts by Walter Benjamin and Fernando Pessoa.
The work relates the tale of the young Arthur Gordon Pym, who stows away aboard a whaling ship. Various adventures and misadventures befall Pym, including shipwreck, mutiny, and cannibalism, before he is saved by the crew of the Jane Guy. Aboard this vessel, Pym and a sailor named Dirk Peters continue their adventures further south. Docking on land, they encounter hostile black-skinned natives before escaping back to the ocean. The novel ends abruptly as Pym and Peters continue toward the South Pole. (reproduced from wikipedia)
The cast includes countertenor Kangmin Justin Kim (Arthur Gordon Pym), tenor Ipča Ramanović (Augustus), baritone Wilfried Staber (Peters), tenor Winfrid Mikus (Kapitän Guy), bass David Daniel Reem (Richard Parker). Elias Grandy conducts the Heidelberg Theater Choir and the Heidelberg Philharmonic Orchestra. Johann Kresnik directs.

The orchestra is the following (according to the Boosey & Hawkes website) :

- 2 flutes (1st doubling piccolo, 2nd doubling bass flute and alto flute), 1 oboe, 1 English horn, 1 clarinet (doubling Eb clarinet and C clarinet), 1 bass clarinet (doubling double bass clarinet), 1 bassoon, 1 contrabassoon ;
- 2 horns, 1 trumpet, 1 trombone, 1 tuba
- 3 percussionists, 2 harps, piano (doubling celesta and harmonium), sampler ;
- strings.

The opera should last about 100 minutes.

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