Saturday, 28 April 2018

Today : world première of 'San Paolo' by Sidney Corbett in Osnabrück

Today, the Theater Osnabrück presents the world première of San Paolo, an opera composed by Sidney Corbett, with a libretto by Ralf Waldschmidt, inspired by Pier Paolo Pasolini's project of a film on Saint Paul.

It is the composer's fifth opera, following X und Y (Stuttgart, 2002), Noach (Bremen, 2001) and Das Große Heft (Osnabrück, 2013).
Pasolini's Paul is a tattered man, a fascinating mystic, an inspiring teacher of his disciples, and at the same time a dogmatist consumed with doubts and fears, founder of the institution of the church, which already carries the betrayal of itself. 'San Paolo' will ask questions to the city of peace in Osnabrück, in which tolerance and lived ecumenism will be tested again and again. (freely adapted from the Theater Osnabrück website)
The cast includes baritone Jan Friedrich Eggers (Paolo), tenor Daniel Wagner (Stefano / Timoteo), bass baritone Genadijus Bergorulko (Anania / Barnaba), baritone Rhys Jenkins (Pietro) and soprano Susann Vent-Wunderlich (Giovanni detto Marco). Daniel Inbal conducts the orchestra, chorus and children chorus of the Theater Osnabrück. Alexander May directs.

According to the full score shared onlie by Edition Peters, the required orchestra is the following :
- 2 flutes (doubling piccolo and alto flute), 2 oboes (doubling English horn and oboe d'amore), 3 clarinets in A (doubling bass clarinet in B and clarinet in E flat), 2 bassoons (doubling contrabassoon) ;
- 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, 1 bass trombone, 1 tuba ;
- harp, accordion ;
- percussion (3 players) ;
- strings.

The libretto is in Italian. The performance should last 90 minutes, no intermission.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Today : world première of 'Mein Staat als Freund und Geliebte' by Johannes Kreidler in Halle

Today, the Oper Halle presents the world première of the opera Mein Staat als Freund und Geliebte (My State as Friend and Beloved), composed by Johannes Kreidler.

(c) Esther Kochte

Kreidler has already composed several works of music theater, but this is the first one to be advertised as an 'opera'.
This new work brings a reflection on community, mass movements, theories of the state and protest in a stage form in the face of growing global nationalism. He puts his finger in the wound of a desire for cohesion, belonging and social meaning. The dynamics of mass and individual, revolt and integration are dissected, aestheticized and thus made perceptible so that they can be experienced in their present potential for violence. (freely adapted from the Oper Halle website)
The cast includes tenor Christian Voigt and pianist-performer stefanpaul, accompanied by the Chorus of the Oper Halle and the Staatskapelle Halle, conducted by Christopher Sprenger. Johannes Kreidler directs.

The performance should last about 90 minutes, with no intermission.

Today : world première of 'Krieg' by Marius Felix Lange in Stuttgart

Today, the Oper Stuttgart presents the world première of Krieg, stell dir vor, er wäre hier, a chamber opera for everyone from 14 years onward, composed by Marius Felix Lange, with a libretto by the composed based on the book by Janne Teller and with poem islands by Nora Gomringer.

It is the composer's sixth opera for young audience, after Schneewittchen (2011), Das Gespenst von Canterville (2013) and Die Schneekönigin (2016), among others.
If there was war in our country, where would you go to ? Maybe you would flee to Egypt where it seems safe for you and your family. Maybe you would sell cakes as a street vendor and would try to fit in. But you still would think of your country and your home every single day and you would wonder where home exactly is ? Is it that country, ravaged by war, to which you cannot return to ? Or is it that new place, where you have found friends but will always remain a stranger ? (reproduced from the Oper Stuttgart website)
The cast includes soprano Aïsha Tümmler, baritone Ipca Ramanovic and actor Matthias Jahrmärker. The composer conducts a string quartet from the Stuttgart State Orchestra. Elena Tzavara directs.

Today : world première of 'Argo' by José Maria Sanchez-Verdu in Schwetzingen

Today, the Schwetzinger Festspiele presents the world première of Argo, a dramma in musica composed by José Maria Sanchez-Verdu, with a libretto by Gerhard Falkner.

It is the composer's second opera after El viaje a Simorgh (Madrid, May 4, 2007).
The book “Butès” by Pascal Quignard inspired me to a renewed examination of this topic. Butes’ encounter with the sirens is a picture of the search for the unknown; Butes’ leap into the water is considered a symbolic and poetic gesture opening up to various interpretations. This leap in search of the sirens’ monstrous Ur-sound is a symbol of an inner decision, an adventure in the direction of the new (comparable to the creative process in art). This is the theme of ARGO in all its symbolic and iconographic dimensions. (reproduced from the Breitkopf & Härtel website)
The cast includes bass baritone Jonathan de la Paz Zaens (Butes), countertenor Alin Deleanu (Orpheus), baritone Brett Carter (Odysseus), bass Martin Busen (Jason) and soprano Maren Schwier (Aphrodite / Medea). The composer conducts the SWR Symphonieorchester and the Chorus of the State Theater Mainz. Mirella Weingarten directs. The venue is the Rokokotheater.

The required orchestra is the following :

- 2 flutes (doubling 2 piccolos), 2 oboes (1 doubling English horn), 2 clarinets (doubling bass clarinet and double bass clarinet), 2 bassoons (doubling contrabassoon) ;
- 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, 1 contrabass tuba ;
- timpani and percussion (2 players) ;
- strings ;
- live electronic.

The opera will then be performed in Mainz (première on May 20, 2018).

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

New program books from Germany and the USA in my collection

I have recently received the following program books for recent performances of contemporary operas :

1) John Adams : Girls of the Golden West, San Francisco, November 21, 2017.
It is a 92 pages brochure. It contains :
- Richard Scheinin, Striking Gold ;
- synopsis ;
- cast and crew ;
- Alice Miller Cotter, Homeward ;
- Gary Kamiya, The Dark Side of the Gold Rush ;
- Marlene Smith-Baranzini, Louise Clappe and "Dame Shirley" in the Golden West ;
- JoAnn Levy, Inventing Lola ;
- artist profiles, with black and white headshots.
The brochure is entirely in English.

2) Jesse Broekman and Irene Galindo Quero : immer weiter, Hamburg, July 7, 2017.
It is a 24 pages booklet. It contains :
- Jana Beckmann : Bilanz im Voraus ;
- Jana Beckmann and Janina Zell : Dem Zuhören einen Freiraum schaffen, dialogue with composers Irene Galindo Quero and Jesse Broekman ;
- complete libretto ;
- complete cast and crew ;
- color photos of production.
It is entirely in German.

3) Laura Kaminsky : As One, New Orleans, June 2nd, 2017.
The opera was first performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York on September 4, 2014.
It is a 8 pages booklet. It contains :
- complete cast and crew ;
- synopsis ;
- biographies of artists with color headshots.
It is entirely in English.

4) Thomas Kürstner and Sebastian Vogel : Wahlverwandtschaften, Bremen, February 24, 2018.
It is a 64 pages booklet. It contains :
- complete cast and crew ;
- Isabelle Becker (dramaturge), Vor allem ungelöst, dialogue with director Stephan Kimmig and conductor Aki Schmitt ;
- Deborah Ziegler, Vom Aufbrechen, on Kürstner's and Vogel's theatrical works ;
- Erich Fromm : Egoismus zu zweit ;
- Robert Harrison : Paradies ;
- Gilles Clément : Sekundäre Natur ;
- Dort ist Freiheit (excerpt of Armin Petras' libretto) ;
- Simon Strauss : Planen und Träumen ;
- Hannah Fry : Mathematik der Liebe ;
- biographies of director Armin Petras and composers Thomas Kürstner and Sebastian Vogel ;
- color photos of production.
The booklet in entirely in German.

5) Ella Milch-Sheriff : Die Banalität der Liebe, Regensburg, January 27, 2018.
It is a 36 pages booklet. It contains :
- complete cast and crew ;
- synopsis ;
- Ruth Zapf (dramaturge), Ein Pakt mit dem Teufel, dialogue with composer Ella Milch-Sheriff and director Itay Tiran ;
- Martin Legros : Zwischen zwei Menschen entsteht eine Welt ;
- Catherine Newmark : Die Banalität des Bösen, dialogue with Susan Neiman ;
- Georges Bataille : Erotik und Gewalt ;
- Judith Butler : Unterwerfung des Subjekts ;
- biographies of composer Ella Milch-Sheriff, director Itay Tiran and set and costume designer Florian Etti, with color headshots ;
- color photos of production.
The booklet is entirely in German.

6) Samuel Penderbayne :, Hamburg, April 6, 2018.
It is a 24 pages booklet. It contains :
- synopsis ;
- Johannes Blum : Nichts ist wahr, alles ist erlaubt (Nietzsche) ;
- Samuel Penderbayne : Beyoncé und Oper ;
- Es gibt keinen Raum, nur Richtungen : dialogue with director Paul-Georg Dittrich and dramaturge Johannes Blum ;
- biographies of composer Samuel Penderbayne and librettist Helmut Krausser ;
- complete cast and crew ;
- color photos of production.
It is entirely in German.

7) Salvatore Sciarrino : La porta della legge, Braunschweig, January 12, 2018.
The opera was first performed in Wuppertal on April 25, 2009. In Braunschweig it is the first part of a double bill performance, followed by Kurt Weill's Die sieben Todsünden.
It is a 32 pages booklet. It contains :
- complete cast and crew ;
- synopsis ;
- Sarah Grahneis (dramaturge) : dialogue with director Aniara Amos and conductors Alexis Agrafiotis and Ivan Lopez Reynoso ;
- Salvatore Sciarrino, Notizen zu "La Porta" ;
- storyboard zu "La porta della legge" ;
- Sarah Grahneis, Die Illusion von Freiheit ;
- biographies of artists ;
- color photos of the production.
The entire booklet is in German.

8) Michael Wertmüller : Weine nicht, singe, Hamburg, September 20, 2015.
It is a 24 pages booklet. It contains :
- synopsis ;
- Johannes Blum and Emilia Linda Heinrich : Den Splitter im Kopf, den Feind im Herzen - das bin ich nicht ;
- Alles muss in eine tobende Ordnung gebracht werden (Antonin Artaud), interview with conductor Titus Engel, director Jette Steckel, set designer Florian Lösche and costume designer Pauline Hüners ;
- complete cast and crew ;
- color photos of production.
It is entirely in German.

I now have 533 program books for contemporary operas. I have scanned all covers and uploaded them to this flickr folder.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Today : world première of '' by Samuel Penderbayne in Hamburg

Today, the Staatsoper Hamburg presents the world première of, an opera by Australian composer Samuel Penderbayne, with a libretto by Helmut Krausser.

It is the composer's first opera.
Ulysses in search of his island. Crossing the border between sea and land and setting foot on Ithaka is to restore his freedom, to liberate him from chaos, murder and lies. Ulysses is a clever navigator between the world of ghosts, lemurs and nightmarish creatures. Just like Juli, the main protagonist of this opera (as in “Ulysses”, pronounced in English and abbreviated), who is incarcerated in a correctional facility and has access to a computer because she administers the archives. Juli searches for a way out on the internet. She encounters cyber-creatures, humanoid artefacts, automated apps. They claim an “identity,” apparently willing to help Juli, but she cannot be sure. Cyber-bodies communicate, suggesting skin contact. Finally, the dark net opens, there is hope of crossing the border. Ithaka seems to be an underground organisation. (reproduced from the Staatsoper Hamburg website).
The cast includes soprano Lini Gong (Juli), tenor Peter Galliard (Cyclops / Borgo), mezzo Renate Spingler (Circe), and bass Bruno Vargas (Dark). Barbara Kler conducts the Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg. Paul-Georg Dittrich directs.

The opera is performed at the 'Opera stabile' and the performance should last about 90 minutes.