Tuesday, 31 October 2017
I have recently acquired the following programme books for contemporary operas :
- Isaac Albéniz : Merlin, Madrid (Teatro Real), May 28th, 2003 (first staged performance), 232 p. ;
- José Ramon Encinar : Figaro, Madrid (Sala Olimpia), February 21st, 1988 (world première), 45 p. ;
- Anton Garcia Abril : Divinas palabras, Madrid (Teatro Real), October 18th, 1997 (world première),
143 p. ;
- Cristobal Halffter : Don Quijote, Madrid (Teatro Real), February 23rd, 2000 (world première), 142 p. ;
- Philippe Manoury : Kein Licht, Paris (Opéra Comique), October 18th, 2017 (world première on August 25th, 2017 in Duisburg), 84 p. ;
- Tomas Marco : Selene, Madrid (Teatro de la Zarzuela), February 24th, 1996 (world première in the same theater on May 14th, 1974), 88 pages ;
- Xavier Montsalvatge : Babel 46, Madrid (Teatro Real), March 25th, 2002 (world première on July 30th, 1994 at the Cadaqués Festival), 35 p. ;
- Luis de Pablo : La senorita Cristina, Madrid (Teatro Real), February 10th, 2001 (world première),
145 p. ;
- José Maria Sanchez-Verdu : El viaje a Simorgh, Madrid (Teatro Real), May 4th, 2007, world première, 175 p.
I have now 500 programme books for contemporary operas in my collection. I have uploaded all the scanned covers to this flickr folder.
Saturday, 28 October 2017
Today, the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm presents the world première of Dracula, an opera in two acts composed in 2013 by Victoria Borisova-Ollas with a libretto by Claes Peter Hellwig and Kristian Benkö.
It is the composer's first opera.
How long can love survive ? What would you do if a stranger shows up from nowhere and says he has been looking for you for 400 years ? A stranger who challenges your dreams, your self-image and your future. Love is surprising. Is eternity a blessing or death a liberator ? And what scares you most, light or dark ? (freely translated from the Royal Swedish Opera website)The cast includes soprano Elisabeth Meyer (Mina), tenor Joel Annmo (Jonathan), baritone Ola Eliasson (Dracula), mezzo-soprano Katarina Leoson (Elizabetha), soprano Sanna Gibbs (Lucy), mezzo-soprano Susann Végh (Mrs Westenra), tenor Jon Nilsson (Quincey), baritone Kristian Flor (Holmwood), bass baritone Johan Edholm (Dr. Seward) and and bass Lars Arvidson (Dr. Van Helsing). Karen Kamensek conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Swedish Opera. Linus Fellbom directs.
The required orchestra is the following (reproduced from the Universal Edition website) :
- 3 flutes (3rd doubling piccolo), 3 oboes (3rd doubling English horn), 3 clarinets (3rd doubling bass clarinet), 3 bassoons (3rd doubling contrabassoon) ;
- 4 horns in F, 3 trumpets in C, 3 trombones, tuba ;
- timpani and 3 percussionists ;
- harp, 2 keyboards ;
The first performance will be broadcast live by Sveriges Radio P2. It should last about 2 hours.
Friday, 20 October 2017
Today, the Wexford Festival Opera presents the world première of Dubliners, two one-act operas composed by Andrew Synnott, with librettos by Arthur Riordan after James Joyce's Dubliners.
(c) Ros Kavanagh
It is the composer' second opera after Breakdown (Dublin, 2015). The two parts are Counterparts and The Boarding House.
In this dark tale, we follow the growing frustration of Farrington, a lumbering alcoholic copyist, over the course of one afternoon and evening. His mind-numbing work is made intolerable by an overbearing boss who demeans him in front of colleagues. Washing away his misery in several of Dublin’s pubs Farrington is humiliated once more when he physically tries to measure up to a visiting English acrobat. Worse still, an actress that Farrington eyes up is uninterested in him. Frustrated, he returns home where his mood worsens, and he violently takes out his anger on his son Tom.The cast includes soprano Emma Nash (Polly / Mrs Delacour), mezzo Anna Jeffers (Mother / Weathers), tenor Andrew Gavin (Bob / Alleyne / O'Halloran), baritone David Howes (Jack / Flynn), tenor Peter O'Donohue (Higgins) and bass-baritone Cormac Lawlor (Farrington). They are accompanied by piano and a string quartet. The composer conducts. Annabelle Comyn directs.
Jack Mooney introduces The Boarding House, run by his mother. It caters both for clerks and visiting music-hall entertainers. The scheming proprietor, Mrs Mooney, allows her daughter Polly to spend time with the men who stay there. She knows that young men like it when a pretty girl is not too far away. A relationship blossoms between Polly and the successful clerk Bob Doran. Mrs Mooney carefully observes and tracks it until the most profitable moment. When she is sure the relationship has been observed by others, she knows that Mr Doran has no choice but to propose to Polly out of social propriety. (reproduced from the Wexford Festival Opera website)
The performance should last about 64 minutes, including a 6 minute pause.
Tuesday, 17 October 2017
This Tuesday morning, I have received in the the mail the programme book published by the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin for the world première of Lucia Ronchetti's Rivale.
It is a 28 pages book. It contains :
- complete cast and crew ;
- Über Rivale, by compoer Lucia Ronchetti ;
- Die Musik der Gegenwart, die in den Spiegel der Vergangenheit blickt - Eine Künstlerbiografie der Komponistin Lucia Ronchetti, by Stefano Nardelli ;
- Das abwesende Gegenüber, dialogue with stage director Isabel Ostermann.
I now have 491 programme books for contemporary operas. I have uploaded scans of the covers to this flickr folder.
Last Friday, I received in the mail the programme book published by the Deutsche Oper Berlin for the world première performance of Aribert Reimann's 'trilogie lyrique' L'Invisible.
It is a 48 pages book. It contains :
- the synopsis ;
- Ein Kreislauf des Schrecklichen, the composer in dialogue with dramaturge Jörg Königsdorf ;
- Der musikalische Kern einer theatralischen Frucht, by Belgian writer Jacques De Decker ;
- several colour photos of the production, by Bernd Uhlig (16 pages) ;
- Todesakkord und Vokalpolyfonie, by dramaturge Sebastian Hanusa ;
- Ein Stück über Leben und Tod, by director Vasily Barkhatov ;
- Aribert Reimann und die Deutsche Oper Berlin ;
- Synopsis, in English.
The programme is entirely in German, with the exception of the English synopsis. There is also a separate 8 pages leaflet with the complete cast and crew and biographies.
I now have 490 programme books for contemporary operas. I have uploaded scans of the covers to this flickr folder.
Wednesday, 11 October 2017
I have recently received the programme book published by the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden for the world première performance of Søren Nils Eichberg's Schönerland.
It is a 24 pages brochure, entirely in German. It contains :
- production team ;
- synopsis ;
- color photos of rehearsals ;
- interview of the composer by Katja Leclerc ;
- Was ist 'Schönerland', by director Johanna Wehner ;
- Wir Flüchtlinge by Hannah Arendt ;
- Eine neue Oper entsteht, by Katja Leclerc.
It is the 489th programme book for contemporary opera I have in my collection. I have uploaded all the scanned covers to this flickr folder.
Sunday, 8 October 2017
Today, the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin presents the world première of Lucia Ronchetti's chamber opera Rivale, with a libretto in French by the composer based on Antoine Danchet's Tancrède.
It is the composer's 13th work of musical theatre since L'Ape apatica (Venezia, 2002). Other stage works include Mise en abyme (Dresden, 2014) and Esame di mezzanotte (Mannheim, 2015).
Clorinda becomes the narrator and witness of her own tragedy – an irreconcilable conflict between rivalry and desire. (reproduced from the Staatsoper Unter den Linden website)The cast includes mezzo-soprano Amira Elmadfa (Clorinde). she is accompanied by female voices, solo viola, brass ensemble and metallic percussion ensemble. Max Renne conducts. Isabel Ostermann directs. The performance should last about 1 hour.
Today, the Deutsche Oper in Berlin presents the world première of L'Invisible, composed by Aribert Reimann, with a libretto in French by the composer after three short plays by Maurice Maeterlinck : Intruder, Interior and The Death of Tintagiles.
It is the composer's ninth opera, since Ein Traumspiel (Kiel, 1965). His operatic output includes Lear (Munich, 1978), Die Gespenstersonate (Berlin, 1984), Das Schloss (Berlin, 1992) and Medea (Vienna, 2010).
The three plays provided variations on the themes of the inescapable fact of death and people’s helplessness when faced with it. Spaces are created that are, at once, bourgeois salon and folk-tale castle, dream and nightmare vision. And the work features characters who, in their everyday conversations, try to distract people from the unutterability of their sorrow, cruelty, helplessness and fears. (reproduced from the Deutsche Oper Berlin website)The cast includes soprano Rachel Harnisch, mezzo soprano Annika Schlicht, mezzo soprano Ronnita Miller, bass baritone Seth Carico, bass baritone Stephen Bronk and tenor Thomas Blondelle. Donald Runnicles conducts the Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper. Vasily Barkhatov directs.
A perusal score is available on the Schott music publisher website. The required orchestra is the following :
- Piccolo, 2 Flutes, Alto Flute, Bass Flute, Oboe, English Horn, Heckelphone, Clarinet in E flat, Clarinet in B flat, Bass Clarinet in B flat, Double Bass Clarinet in B flat, 2 Bassoons, Contrabassoon ;
- 4 Horns in F, 3 Trumpets in C, 3 Trombones, Tuba ;
- Timpani, 6 Gongs, 2 Harps
- Strings (12-12-10-8-6).