Thursday, 23 July 2015

July 23rd : world première of Seppo Pohjola's 'The Maiden of Harrbåda' in Kokkola

Today, Seppo Pohjola's opera, Harrbådan Neito (The Maiden of Harrbåda), with a libretto by Jusa Peltoniemi, will be performed in Kokkola.

Photo © Maarit Kytöharju / Music Finland

It is Pohjola's fourth opera, after Arabian Jänis (The Arabian Rabbit, children opera, 2004), Kaappi (chamber opera, 2004) and Rakkaimpani (My Dearest one, chamber opera, 2005). The libretto is based on an old ghost legend from the Kokkola area.

The double-bill performance also feature's Sibelius' opera Maiden in the Tower.

Sakari Oramo and Erkki Lasonpalo conduct the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, with singers Annu Komsi, Annami Hylkilä, Annika Mylläri and Riku Pelo. Aku-Petteri Pahkamäki directs.

Friday, 17 July 2015

July 17th : world première of Moto Osada's 'Son of Heaven' in Vadstena

Today, Moto Osada's new chamber opera, Son of Heaven, with a libretto in English by Kerstin Perski, will be performed in Vadstena, Sweden.

It is the composer's second opera after Four Nights of Dream (2008), also composed for the International Vadstena Academy.

The opera is in 3 acts and 17 scenes. The cast includes baritone Jakob Högström (The First Emperor), tenor Wiktor Sundqvist (Huhai), Countertenor Daniel Carlsson (Zhao Gao), baritone Richard Hamrin (Li Si), Mezzo Johanna Rudström (The Fool), and mezzo Karin Osbeck (The Warrior). David Björkman conducts and Nils Spangenberg directs.
The opera deals with the first Emperor of China, the creator of the Terracotta Army and the Great Wall of China. In the opera, he pursues eternal life in vain and is forced to simultaneously engage in a bitter power struggle with his sons. (reproduced from the Vadstena Academy website)
The orchestra is the following :

- flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, bass trombone ;
- percussion (2 musicians) ;
- keyboard, electric guitar ;
- string quintet : 2 violins, viola, violoncello, double bass.

The performance should last 2 hours and 15 minutes, including one pause. The opera will be broadcast live by Swedish Radio P2 on August 2nd.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Received in the mail this morning : program book for Alessandro Solbiati's 'Il suono giallo' in Bologna

this thursday morning, I have received in the mail the program book published by the Teatro Comunale di Bologna for the world première performance of Alessandro Solbiati's opera Il suono giallo (The Yellow Sound), with a libretto freely adapted from Wassily Kandinsky's experimental theater piece, that took place on June 13th.

It is a 104 pages book. It contains :

- complete vocal and orchestral setting ;
- structure of the opera ;
- complete libretto (bilingual, German and Italian) ;
- sketches for the sets and costumes, by Gianni Dessi ;
- the graphic score of the opera (8 pages) ;
- Visione scenica, by Alessandro Solbiati, on his libretto (Scenic vision, bilingual Italian and English) ;
- Attorno a 'Il suono giallo', by Alessandro Solbiati ;
- L'Alfabeto del 'Suono giallo', by stage director Franco Ripa di Meana ;
- Kandinskij, nostro contemporaneo, by Marco Gnaccolini ;
- Da Kandinskij a Solbiati : una drammaturgia della creazione artistica, by Gianluigi Mattietti ;
- detailed biography of the composer ;
- cast and crew ;
- biographies.

All covers of program books for contemporary operas I have are in this flickr folder.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

July 15th : world première of Marco Tutino's 'LeBraci' in Martina Franca

Today, the new version of Marco Tutino's opera, Le Braci, with a libretto by the composer after Hungarian Sándor Márai's novel, will be performed for the first time, at the Festival della Valle d'Itria in Martina Franca.

Marco Tutino has already composed several operas since Pinocchio (1985). His last stage works are The Servant (2008), Senso (2011) and Two Women (2015).
The libretto tells the meeting in 1940 of two old childhood friends who first met each other at the Military Academy of Vienna: Henrik (the son of a Hungarian prince) and Konrad (belonging to a Polish lower middle class family). They loved the same woman, Krisztina, but she married Henrik. Konrad suddenly left for the tropics and the colonies, after a hunt that threatened to turn into a murder and, forty years later, the two men see each other again one last time to evoke the past and talk again of Krisztina, dead many years ago.(reproduced from the Opera di Firenze website)
The cast includes soprano Angela Nisi (Kristina), mezzo Romina Tomasoni (Nini), tenor Davide Giusti (Young Konrad), baritone Pavol Kuban (Young Henrik), baritone Alfonso Antoniozzi (Konrad) and bass Roberto Scandiuzzi (Henrik). Francesco Cilluffo conducts the Orchestra Internazionale d'Italia and Leo Muscato directs.

Friday, 10 July 2015

July 10th : world première of Jeremy Howard Beck's 'The Long Walk' in Saratoga (NY)

Today, Jeremy Howard Beck's first opera, The Long Walk, with a libretto by Stephanie Fleischmann, based on Brian Castner's book The Long Walk : A Story of War and the Life that Follows, commissioned by American Lyric Theater, will be performed for the first time at the Spa Little Theater in Saratoga Springs (NY), as part of the Opera Saratoga 2015 Summer Season.

Castner's book is the intertwined story of two journeys: an outward struggle of surviving the urban combat of modern war in order to return home at all costs, and the inward journey to find the new person that emerges after undertaking such a task (reproduced from Brian Castner's website).
The opera is a deeply personal exploration of a soldier’s return from Iraq where he served as an officer in an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit and his battle with what he calls “the Crazy” as he tries to reintegrate into his family life upon returning from the war. (reproduced from Opera Saratoga website).
The cast includes baritone Daniel Belcher (Brian), mezzo-soprano Heather Johnson (Jessie), tenor David Blalock (Ricky), tenor Javier Abreu (Castleman), and bass-baritone Justin Hopkins (Jeff). Steven Osgood conducts and David Schweizer directs.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Received in the mail this morning : program books from Mannheim and Cincinnati

This Thursday morning, I have received two program books for contemporary operas :

- Ricky Ian Gordon : Morning Star, Cincinnati, June 30 ;
- Lucia Ronchetti : Esame di mezzanotte, Mannheim, May 29.

The first one is a 96 pages book. It contains the complete program for the 2015 season at the Cincinnati Opera. 5 pages are dedicated to Gordon's opera. It is entirely in English. It contains :

- complete cast and crew ;
- synopsis, written by stage director Ron Daniels ;
- Ricky Ian Gordon : The Birth of 'Morning Star' ;
- biographies of all season artists, with black and white headshot.

The second is a 104 pages book. It is entirely in German. It contains :

- complete cast and crew ;
- color photos of the piano dress rehearsal (May 19) ;
- an article by composer Lucia Ronchetti on libretto source and librettist Ermanno Cavazzoni ;
- Le tentazioni di Girolamo, by librettist Ermanno Cavazzoni ;
- detailed synopsis ;
- Helga de la Motte-Haber : Nachtmahre ;
- director Achim Freyer : Gedanken zur Uraufführung ;
- Bibliotheksmusik, a dialogue with composer Lucia Ronchetti and dramaturge Elena Garcia Fernandez ;
- Stefano Nardelli : Lucia Ronchetti : zeitgenössisches Empfinden mit barocken Wurzeln ;
- complete bilingual (Italian and German) libretto.

There are no biographies.
The covers of all the program book for contemporary operas I have can be seen in this flickr folder.

Monday, 6 July 2015

July 6th : world première of two new operas by Haim Permont and Yoni Rechter in Tel Aviv

Today, two new operas will have their first performance in Tel Aviv, by the Israeli Opera : The Lady and the Peddler, by Haim Permont, with a libretto by Tzruya Lahav based on the story of Shmuel Yosef Agnon and Schitz by Yoni Rechter, with a libretto by Muli Meltzer, after Hanoch Levin.

The fable depicts a Christian woman, living in isolation in the woods, who buys a knife from an itinerant Jewish peddler who stumbles upon her house and takes shelter there from a storm. He is ensnared by her charm and hospitality, moves in and has sex with her, only to learn that she has devoured her previous lovers. (reproduced from the Jonathan Slaff & Associates website)
The cast includes soprano Edit Zamir (The Lady) and tenor Guy Mannhiem (The Peddler).
The story portrays a family: a father, a mother, a daughter and a son-in-law. The ugly daughter wants a man, the mother wants a professor in America and the future son-in-law wants the father’s money. The piece can be described in one line: nothing has any value anymore – but everything has a price. (reproduced from the Brussels City Theater website)
The cast includes baritone Noah Briger (Fefechts), soprano Ira Bertman (Tsesha), soprano Yael Levita (Shprechzi) and baritone Oded Riech (Tcharchess).

Both works are conducted by Eithan Schmeisser and directed by Ido Ricklin.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

July 4th : world première of Michael Langemann's 'Persona' in Hamburg

Today, Michael Langemann's new opera, Persona, with a libretto inspired by Ingmar Bergman's script, will be performed in Hamburg, at the Opera stabile of the State Opera House.

This new opera is the second part of the performance beginning with Huw Watkins' In the Locked Room, which was first performed on August 30th, 2012 at the Edinburgh Festival.
The nurse Alma is entrusted with the care of Elisabeth, an artist who suddenly fell silent. Discovering more and more similarities with her patient, Alma becomes obsessed with Elisabeth. (translated from the Hamburgische Staatsoper website)
The cast includes soprano Anat Edri (Elisabet Vogler), mezzo Ida Aldrian (Alma), tenor Daniel Todd (Herr Vogler), and bass Stanislav Sergeev (Der Arzt). Daniel Carter conducts and Petra Müller directs.