Thursday, 22 February 2018

Today : world première of Saed Haddad's 'A Wintery Spring' in Frankfurt

Today, the Oper Frankfurt presents the world première of Saed Haddad's A Wintery Spring, a dramatic lament in 3 scenes, with a libretto (in English and Arabic) based on 3 texts by Gibran Khalil Gibran.

It is the Jordanian-born German composer's first opera
While not trying to tell a story about the Arab Spring, the composer's choice of texts and sound world circle around analysis of geography, history, languages, religions and finding new ways of bringing people together. In his dramatic lamento Haddad takes up motives from the last decade of Middle Eastern history, focusing on generally applicable opinions not linked to any specific recent events. (reproduced from the Oper Frankfurt website)
The cast includes soprano Alison King, contralto Deanna Pauletto and bass baritone Brandon Cedel. Franck Ollu conducts the Ensemble Modern. Corinna Tetzel directs.

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

- 1 flute (doubling piccolo, alto flute and bass flute), 1 oboe (doubling English horn), 1 bass horn (doubling clarinets in A and Bb), 1 contrabass clarinet (doubling bass clarinet), 1 bassoon, 1 horn ;
- 1 trumpet in Eb (doubling flugelhorn and piccolo trumpet in Bb), 1 bass trombone (doubling trombone, alto trombone, euphonium and tuba) ;
- 2 percussionists ;
- harp, celesta (doubling piano and harpsichord) ;
- 2 violins, viola, cello and double bass.

The performance should last bout 50 minutes. The venue is the Bockenheimer Depot. Haddad's opera will be followed by Jan Dismas Zelenka's cantata Il Serpente di bronzo (The bronze snake).

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