Sunday, 19 February 2017

Today : world première of Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini's 'Edward II.' in Berlin

Today, the Deutsche Oper in Berlin presents the world première of Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini's
Edward II., with a libretto by Thomas Jonigk.

(c) Janis Huber

It is the composer's third opera after Wut (Erfurt, 2006) and Der Sandmann (Basel, 2012). Thomas Jonigk's libretto is based on Christopher Marlowe's homonymous play and Ralph Holinshed's Chronicles of England.
Edward II keeps bad company, and the friend he needs least is Piers de Gaveston. The king’s childhood playmate and favourite pal, Gaveston is showered with power and fiefdoms, to the annoyance of the peers of England. So it is that Edward’s regency is overshadowed by assorted conflicts revolving around this resented friendship. When the nobles finally take their revenge, the battle lines are drawn between peers and loyalists and a period of violence and bloodshed ensues. The protégé is murdered; the king is deposed and, according to folklore, killed in a particularly gory manner. (reproduced from the Deutsche Oper Berlin's website)
The cast includes baritone Michael Nagy (Edward II.), soprano Agneta Eichenholz (Isabella), tenor Ladislav Elgr (Piers de Gaveston), bass baritone Andrew Harris (Roger Mortimer), tenor Burkhard Ulrich (Walter Langton) and tenor James Kryshak (Lightborn). Thomas Søndergard conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Christof Loy directs.

The full score of the opera is available on the Bärenreiter Verlag website. According to the score, the required orchestra is the following :

- 3 flutes (3. also piccolo and bass flute), 3 oboes, 3 clarinets (1. and 2. also basset horns, 3. also bass clarinet), 3 bassoons (3. also contraforte) ;
- 4 horns in F, 3 trumpets, 3 tenorbass trombones (3. also bass trombone), 1 contrabass tuba ;
- synthesizer, 2 harps, percussion (5 players) ;
- strings (12-12-10-8-6) ;
- tape.

The performance should last about 90 minutes, with no interval. It seems there is no broadcast planned yet.

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