Today, the Carinthian Summer Festival presents the world première of Bruno Strobl's church opera Hemma eine Weibspassion in the Stiftskirche Ossiach.
It is the composer's second church opera after Sara und ihre Männer (Ossiach, 2012). The libretto has been conceived by Franzobel (aka Franz Stefan Griebl).
Hemma is the patron saint of Carinthia, and a woman in the loaded field between the demands of her family, her husband and the church on the one hand, and her own wishes for fulfilment and a fair and peaceful life on the other. Intelligence and unyieldingness are her tools as she puts up resistance to the violent and strict hierarchies of her times, embodied by her husband, the Count, and by the Archbishop. Although, unlike the hedonistic Count, she is politically far-sighted, she is unable to prevent the fateful miners’ riot… (reproduced from the Festival website)The cast include mezzo Juliette Mars (Hemma), soprano Julia Koci (Kathi), baritone Andreas Jankowitsch (Graf Wilhelm), tenor Sven Hjörleifsson (Wilhelm Hartwig) and bass Jens Waldig (Matschacher). Simeon Pironkoff conducts the Kärntner Sinfonieorchester and the Festival Choir. Kristine Tornquist directs.