Today, the Oper Bonn presents a new children opera composed by James Reynolds, Geisterritter (Ghost Knight), an 'operatic thriller' with a libretto by Christoph Klimke based on Cornelia Funke's novel.
It is the composer's second opera after Tucholskys Spiegel, first performed at Schlosstheater Rheinsberg on July 21, 2017.
Eleven-year-old Jon Whitcroft never expected to enjoy boarding school. Then again, he never expected to be confronted by a pack of vengeful ghosts, either. And then he meets Ella, a quirky new friend with a taste for adventure...The cast includes tenor David Fischer (Jon Whitcroft), soprano Marie Heeschen (Ella Littlejohn), soprano Susanne Blattert (Zelda Littlejohn / Ela Longspee), baritone Giorgos Kanaris (William Longspee), baritone Fabio Lesuisse (Angus), tenor Julian Kokott (Aleister Jindrich) and and countertenor Bernhardt Landauer (Lord Stourton). Daniel Johannes Mayr conducts the Beethoven Orchester Bonn and the Youth Choir of the Theater Bonn. Erik Petersen directs.
Together, Jon and Ella must work to uncover the secrets of a centuries-old murder while being haunted by terrifying spirits, their bloodless faces set on revenge. So when Jon summons the ghost of the late knight Longspee for his protection, there's just one question: Can Longspee truly be trusted ? (reproduced from Cornelia Funke wikia website)
The required orchestra is the following (according to the Boosey & Hawkes website) :
- 2 flutes (I. doubling alto flute), piccolo, 2 oboes (II. doubling English horn), 2 clarinets (I. doubling alto saxophone, II. doubling bass clarinet), 1 bassoon, 1 contrabassoon ;
- 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, 1 bass trombone ;
- timpani, percussions (4 players) ;
- harp, piano (also celesta and electronic keyboard), synthesizer / sampler ;
- strings (10.8.6.4.3) ;
- tape ;
- on stage : electric guitar (optional).
The performance should last about 85 minutes. This new opera is a coproduction with the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf Duisburg and the Theater Dortmund.