Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Today : world première of 'La Princesse légère' by Violeta Cruz in Lille

Today, the Opéra de Lille presents the world première of La Princesse légère (The Light Princess), a children opera composed by Violeta Cruz, with a libretto by Gilles Rico based on George MacDonald's fairy tale.

It is the composer's first opera.
Once upon a time there was a princess, a long awaited only daughter condemned from birth by a witch to complete weightlessness : of the body, preventing her from touching the ground and of the spirit, causing her to laugh about everything. What can we do with a daughter who knows nothing of the seriousness of the world wondered the king and the queen ? Fortunately the princess liked adventures…  (reproduced from the Court-Circuit Ensemble website)
The cast includes soprano Jeanne Crousaud (The Princess), mezzo Majdouline Zerari (The Queen), baritone Jean-Jacques L'Anthöen (The King) and baritone Nicholas Merryweather (The Prince). Jean Deroyer conducts the Court-Circuit Ensemble. Jos Houben and Emily Wilson direct.

The performance should last about 75 minutes.

The opera will also be performed in Paris at the Opéra Comique, from March 9 to March 12, 2018.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Today : world première of 'Kunst muss (zu weit gehen) oder der Engel schwieg' bu Helmut Oehring in Köln

Today, the Köln Oper presents the world première of Kunst muss (zu weit gehen) oder der Engel schwieg (Art must go too far or the Angel was silent), a 'docupoetical instrumental theater' composed by Helmut Oehring. The libretto is based on Heinrich Böll's speech The Freedom of Art (Wuppertal, 1966) and recollections of other participants.

(c) Daniel Naupold

Since 1996 (Dokumentation, Spoleto), Helmut Oehring has composed several works for the stage including Effi Briest (Bonn, 2001), Die Brüder Löwenherz (Dresden, 2015) and Agota (Wiesbaden, 2016).
Under the postulate 'Art has to go too far' he expressed the relationship between art, politics and society. In doing so, he spoke out firmly against the idea of ​​an art that has to please society and the power in place. (freely adapted from the Köln Oper website)
The cast includes soprano emily Hindrichs (Engel 1), mezzo Adriana Bastidas-Gamboa (Engel 2), mezzo Dalia Schaechter (Engel 3), Mia Oehring (Das junge Mädchen) and Joscha Oehring (Der Junge). Bas Wiegers conducts the Ensemble Musikfabrik, Helmut Oehring and Stefanie Wördemann direct.

The performance takes place at the Staatenhaus (Saal 3) and should last about 90 minutes.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Today : world première of 'Geisterritter' by James Reynolds in Bonn

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...
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 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.

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 ( ;
- 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.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Today : world première of Xavier Dayer's 'Alzheim' in Bern

Today, the Konzert Theater Bern presents the world première of Xavier Dayer's Alzheim, a musical theatre piece in 50 scenes, with a libretto by Jürgen Berger based on interviews with patients of Baan Kamlangchay, a home for demented patients from German-speaking countries in Faham, near Chiang Mai, Thailand.

It is Dayer's 6th opera, after Le Marin (Geneva, 1999), Les Aveugles (Saint-Denis, 2006) and Contes de la lune vague après la pluie (Rouen, 2015).
The work gives an insight into the world of patients and guests, telling stories about destinies of relatives. Here, authenticity becomes fiction. (freely adapted from the Theater Bern website).
The cast includes soprano Marielle Murphy (Pflegerin), soprano Evgenia Grekova (Margret), mezzo soprano Claude Eichenberg (Magda) and baritone Robin Adams (Buddha). Jochem Hochstenbach conducts the Berner Symphonieorchester. Ludger Engels directs.

The required orchestra is the following :

- 1 flute (doubling piccolo and bass flute), 1 oboe (doubling English horn), 1 clarinet (doubling bass clarinet) ;
- 1 horn, 1 trumpet, 1 trombone ;
- 1 percussionist, 1 piano ;
- String quintet.

The performance takes place at Vidmar 1 and should last about 85 minutes.