Sunday, 14 September 2014

Today : World première of Rolf Riehm's 'Sirenen' in Frankfurt

Today, Rolf Riehm's new opera, Sirenen - Scenes of Desire and Destruction will receive its world première performance in Frankfurt. 

It is the composer's second opera, twenty years after Das Schweigen der Sirenen, with a libretto after Franz Kafka. This time, the composer wrote his own libretto based on Homer's Odyssey.

The orchestra consists of 16 woodwinds, 12 brass, 4 percussionists, piano, accordion, keyboard and 32 strings. There will be no interval and the opera should last about 95 minutes.

Here is how the opera house presents the work, quoting the composer :
A passionate twist to the Odyssey, something which could happen to anyone at some point in their life. When nothing promises safety, nothing can be trusted any more, but is real. Circe, knowing she must let her beloved Odysseus leave, devises a plan. She sends his ship past the sirens, knowing all too well that his survival will inevitably mean their death. "The main theme in the opera," said the composer, "is Odysseus, his encounter with the goddess Circe and the mesmerising, lethal, song of the sirens. I would be delighted if my music could make it clear that we, like Circe, the sirens and Odysseus, could also find ourselves in danger when caught up in conflicts of love, betrayal, leave taking and desire." (reproduced from the website)
The cast is the following : Tanja Ariane Baumgartner (Kirke), Lawrence Zazzo (young Odysseus), Michael Mendel (old Odysseus), Dominic Betz (Telegonos) and 8 sirens. Martyn Brabbins conducts and Tobias Heyder directs.

Radio HR2 dedicated part of its breakfast program to the composer yesterday, but there seems to be no broadcast of the opera planned yet.

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