Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Five new programme books in my collection

I have recently acquired 5 new programme books for contemporary operas :

1) George Benjamin : Lessons in Love and Violence, London (ROH), May 10, 2018.
It is a 92 pages book. It is entirely in English. It contains :

- complete cast ;
- synopsis, by librettist Martin Crimp ;
- Creating Psychological Sound-Worlds, George Benjamin talks to Oliver Mears, the Director of Opera for the Royal Opera House ;
- colour photographs of rehearsals, by Stephen Cummiskey ;
- A Flair for the Dramatic, by Guy Dammann ;
- Love in a Political Context, Martin Crimp talks to Oliver Mears ;
- Re-imagining Edward II, by Richard Rowland ;
- The Loves of the Powerful, by Melanie Marshall ;
- biographies with black and white headshots.

2) Sidney Corbett : San Paolo, Osnabrück, April 28, 2018.
It is a 32 pages booklet. It is entirely in German. It contains :

- full cast and crew ;
- colour photographs of rehearsals ;
- synopsis ;
- Vom Filmskript zur Oper ;
- Pier Paolo Pasolini : Filmprojekt über den heiligen Paulus ;
- Klaus Englert : Pier Paolo Pasolini - Unkonventionell religiös ;
- biographies of Pier Paolo Pasolini, Paulus von Tarsus and composer Sidney Corbett.

3) Benoît Menut : Fando et Lis, Saint-Etienne, May 2, 2018.
It is a 28 pages brochure. It is entirely in French. It contains :

- complete cast and crew ;
- Une aventure ancrée dans mes veines, by director Kristian Frédric ;
- L'éloge du chant, interview with composer Benoît Menut, by Michèle Tosi ;
- complete libretto by Kristian Frédric, in French ;
- biographies of the artists, with black and white headshots.

4) Alexander Raskatov : GerMANIA, Lyon, May 19, 2018.
It is a 192 pages book. It is entirely in French. It contains :

- technical information : writing of the libretto, composition of the score, characters, orchestral setting, complete cast for the world première ;
- synopsis ;
- the characters ;
- complete original libretto (in German and Russian, with lines in Hebrew and French), with French translation ;
- Alexander Raskatov : À la mémoire de toutes les âmes ruinées ;
- Frank Langlois : GerMANIA, matériaux ;
- several other texts by Bertolt Brecht, Heiner Müller, Paul Celan, Erich Kästner, Vassili Grossman, Ossip Mandelstam, Charles de Gaulle, Vassili Axionov ;
- Laurent Brunner : À propos de Germania 3, des souvenirs dans l'histioire ;
- biographies of Raskatov and Müller.

There is a separate 24 pages booklet with complete cast and biographies.

5) José Maria Sanchez-Verdu : Argo, Schwetzingen, April 27, 2018.
It is a 64 pages book. It contains :

- complete cast and crew ;
- excerpts of : Die Fahrt der Argonauten by Apollonios von Rhodos ; Die Odyssee by Homer ;
- colour photographs of rehearsals ;
- Interview with the composer José Maria Sanchez-Verdu, by Ina Karr ;
- Bewegung als zentrales Element, by director Mirella Weingarten ;
- Die Begegnung mit dem Imaginären, by Maurice Blanchot ;
- Odysseus oder Mythos und Aufklärung, by Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno ;
- complete libretto in German ;
- biographies of artists.

I have also acquired the librettos published by Faber Music of Lessons in Love and Violence and Written on Skin, 2 operas composed by George Benjamin, with librettos by Martin Crimp.

I now have 566 programme books for contemporary. I have scanned and uploaded all the covers to this flickr folder.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Today : world première of Jan Dvorak's 'Frankenstein' in Hamburg

Today, the Staatsoper Hamburg presents the world première of Jan Dvorak's opera Frankenstein, with a libretto in German based on Mary Shelley's novel.

(c) Julia Kneuse

It is the composer's second opera, after 20.000 Meilen unter dem Merr (Eisenach, May 28, 2011, after Jules Verne's novel).
Frankenstein, a young scientist thirsting for knowledge creates a humanoid being which drives him and itself into death. (reproduced from the Staatsoper Hamburg website).
The cast includes actress Catrin Striebeck (Das Monster), baritone Viktor Rud (Viktor Frankenstein), soprano Andromahi Raptis (Elisabeth Delacey), tenor Sascha Emanuel Kramer (Ernst Frankenstein), baritone Alin Anca (Vater Delacay) and bass baritone Stefan Sevenich (Alois Frankenstein). Johannes Harneit conducts the chorus and orchestra of the Staatsoper Hamburg. Philipp Stölzl directs.

The required orchestra is the following :

- 1 clarinet (doubling bass clarinet in B) ; 2 horns in F ;
- 1 piano (doubling Celesta and toy piano) ;
- 1 electric guitar ;
- 2 percussionists ;
- strings :

The full score published by Ricordi Berlin is available online for perusal.

The performance should last about 2 hours and 30 minutes. The venue is Kampnagel. Another opera with the same title, composed by Mark Grey, will have its first performance in Brussels on March 8, 2019.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Today : world première of 'GerMANIA' by Alexander Raskatov in Lyon

Today, the Opéra national de Lyon presents the world première performance of GerMANIA, an opera in 2 acts and 10 scenes composed by Alexander Raskatov, with a libretto by the composer based on Heiner Müller's plays Germania Death in Berlin (1978) and Germania 3 Ghosts at Dead Man (1995).

(c) Renate Schildheuer Bunt

It is the composer's third opera after The Pit and the Pendulum (1991) and A Dog's Heart (first performed in Amsterdam on June 7, 2010, and then produced in Lyon on January 20, 2014.
This dramatic and satirical opera plunges the audience into a turning point era of the 20th century, when two totalitarian regimes, Nazism and Communism, confront each other. In this panorama of Germany, from the World War I to the reunification and the fall of the Berlin Wall, thirty-seven characters will appear on stage, among whom Hitler, Stalin and Goebbels. (freely adapted from the Opéra de Lyon website)
The cast includes tenor James Kryshak (Hitler), bass Genaddy Bezzubenkov (Stalin, Gagarin), baritone Ville Rusanen (Goebbels), soprano Sophie Desmars, countertenor Andrew Watts and baritone Boram Kim. Alejo Pérez conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Opéra de Lyon. John Fulljames directs.

The required orchestra is the following (reproduced from the programme book) :

- 3 flutes (doubling piccolo and alto flute), 2 oboes (doubling English horn), 3 clarinets in B (doubling E-flat clarinet, bass clarinet and contrabass clarinet), 1 tenor saxophone, 1 baritone saxophone, 2 bassoons (doubling contrabassoons) ;
- 4 horns (doubling tenor and bass Wagner tubas) ; 4 trumpets ; 1 bass trumpet, 3 trombones, 1 bass trombone, 1 tuba ;
- 7 percussion players ;
- 1 harp, 1 piano, 1 celesta, 1 electric guitar, 1 bass guitar ;
- 4 horns, 4 trumpets and 4 trombones in the auditorium.

The performance should last about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Today : world première of Pascal Zavaro's 'Manga-Café' in Compiègne

Today, the Théâtre Impérial de Compiègne presents the world première of Manga-Café, a chamber opera composed by Pascal Zavaro, with a libretto he wrote himself, based on the manga Densha otoko.

It is the composer's first opera.
Reality, hope or illusion ? Thomas saves from an aggression Makiko, who disappears ... Social networks help him finding her back. The Internet community comments, encourages, or warns Thomas, who ‘took refuge’ behind his computer. What is real ? What is fiction ? Has the love story between Thomas and Makiko really taken place, or is it fantasized ? Can love be virtual ? (freely adapted from the Theatre's and publisher's websites)
It will be performed as the second part of a double-bill performance, following Leonard Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti.

The cast includes mezzo Eléonore Pancrazi (Thomas), baritone Laurent Deleuil, soprano Morgane Heyse (Makiko), tenor André Gass and baritone Philippe Brocard. Julien Masmondet conducts the Ensemble Les Apaches. Catherine Dune directs.

The score is published by Gérard Billaudot. The required orchestra is the following :

- 1 flute, 1 oboe, 1 clarinet, 1 bassoon ;
- 1 horn, 1 trumpet, 1 trombone ;
- percussion, piano ;
- string quintet.

The opera Manga-Café should last about 45 minutes. After the world première in Compiègne, the opera will be performed in Rochefort (Théâtre de la Coupe d'Or, 23 and 24 May) and in Paris (Athénée Théâtre Louis-Jouvet, 8-14 June).

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Today, world première of 'Mr A's amazing Maze Plays' by Johannes Wulff-Woesten in Dresden

Today, the Semperoper in Dresden presents the world première of Das Rätsel der gestohlenen Stimmen (Mr A's amazing Maze Plays) an music theatre for children composed by Johannes Wulff-Woesten, with a libretto by Manfred Weiß, based on Alan Ayckbourn's play.

(c) Matthias Creutziger

Johannes Wulff-Woesten has already composed several works for the stage, including the chamber opera Die weiße Fürstin (after Rainer Maria Rilke, 1997) and Prinz Bussel (Dresden, 2013).
Susi lives with her mother in a small house in a small town. Her father, an enthusiastic balloonist, disappeared during a hot air balloon competition when she was still very young. As the sole breadwinner, Susi’s mother works in the town’s biscuit shop. One day the girl is given a puppy, which she names Otto. He never leaves her side and accompanies her wherever she goes – for example into the garden of the old abandoned villa lying opposite their house. This is a fantastic adventure playground for Susi and Otto; until Herr Akustikus moves into the property, that is. (reproduced from the Semperoper website)
The cast includes soprano Tania Lorenzo (Susi), actor Mathias Schlung (Otto, her dog), mezzo Angela Liebold (Mutter), bass Martin-Jan Nijhof (Vater), countertenor Hagen Matzeit (Herr Akustikus) and tenor Barry Coleman (Herr Pichler). The composer conducts the Giuseppe-Sinopoli-Akademie of the Staatskapelle Dresden. Tom Quaas directs.

The venue is Semper Zwei.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

New programme book in my collection : 'Krieg' by Marius Felix Lange, in Stuttgart

On Tuesday, I have received the programme book published by the Stuttgart Opera house for the world première performance of Krieg, stell dir vor, er wäre hier, by Marius Felix Lange. The first performance was on April 27, 2018.

It is a 40 pages booklet. It contains :

- complete cast and crew ;
- Verzerrte Erinnerungen, by Rebekka Meyer (dramatuge) ;
- several poems by Nora Gomringer ;
- excerpt of the original book by Janne Teller ;
- Ich bin immer sowohl zu Hause als auch ein Fremde, an interview with Janne Teller.

It is entirely in German.

I now have 561 programme books for contemporary operas. I have scanned all covers and uploaded them to this flickr album.

Today : world première of 'Lessons in Love and Violence' by George Benjamin in London

Today, the Royal Opera House in London presents the world première of George Benjamin's new opera, Lessons in Love and Violence, with a libretto by Martin Crimp.

It is the third opera composed by George Benjamin, after Into the Little Hill (Paris, November 22, 2006) and Written on Skin (Aix-en-Provence, July 7, 2012), both with librettos by Martin Crimp.
A king is forced to choose between love and political expediency. His decisions allow his country to slide into civil war, and turn his wife and son against him. (reproduced from the Royal Opera House website)
The cast includes baritone Stéphane Degout (King), soprano Barbara Hannigan (Isabel) ; baritone Gyula Orendt (Gaveston / Stranger), tenor Peter Hoare (Mortimer) and tenor Samuel Boden (Boy / Young King). The composer conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Katie Mitchell directs.

The performance should last about 1 hour and 40 minutes. No intermission.

There will be 6 performances in London. Then, the production will travel to Amsterdam (June 2018), Hamburg (April 2019, conducted by Kent Nagano) and Lyon (May 2019).

Vocal score and libretto, published by Faber Music, are already available.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Today : world première of 'Fando et Lis' by Benoît Menut in Saint-Etienne

Today, the Opéra de Saint-Etienne presents the world première of Fando et Lis, an opera in 3 acts composed by Benoît Menut, with a libretto by Kristian Frédric based on Fernando Arrabal's play.

It is the composer's second opera after Le Livre de Camille, first performed in Paris in 2003.
The opera follows Fando and his paraplegic girlfriend Lis through a barren, postapocalyptic wasteland in search of the mythical city of Tar, a place where one will know the true nature of eternity, and reach enlightenment. On their journey they see many odd and profoundly disturbing characters and events. (reproduced from Wikipedia)
The cast includes tenor Mathias Vidal (Fando), soprano Maya Villanueva (Lis), baritone Pierre-Yves Pruvot (Mitaro), bass Nicolas Certenais (Namur) and tenor Mark van Arsdale (Toso). Daniel Kawka conducts the Choeur Lyrique and Orchestre Symphonique Saint-Etienne Loire. Kristian Frédric directs.

The performance should last about 1 hour and 40 minutes. No intermission.