Thursday, 20 February 2020

Today : world première of Roland Fister's 'Die Prinzessin auf dem Kürbis' in Coburg.

Today, the Landestheater Coburg presents the world première of Die Prinzessin auf dem Kürbis (The Princess and the Pumpkin), a children opera composed by Roland Fister with a libretto by Heinz Janisch based on the children story.

(c) Nicolas Kroeger

It is the composer's third opera after Dorian Gray and Die Schatzinsel (Coburg, 2016).
A sign on the castle wall reads "Princess wanted ! Pea princess, no thanks !”. After the prince met the famous princess on the pea at the wedding of the neighboring prince, one thing is certain for him : such a squeamish princess will never come to his castle ! Encouraged by the sign, two princesses try their luck, but the prince is so rude that despite the efforts of his servant Dragonbane, they quickly run away. Until one night a princess shows up who can even sleep on a pumpkin... (freely adapted from the Landestheater Coburg website)
The cat includes soprano Laura Incko (The Princess on the Pumpkin), mezzo Kora Pavelic (Miranda), soprano Dimitra Kotidou (The Princess on the Pea), tenor Peter Aisher (The Prince) and baritone Marvin Zobel (Leupold Dragonbane). The composer conducts the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Landestheater Coburg. Ilaria Lanzino directs.

Monday, 17 February 2020

Today : three new short operas in Stockholm

Today, the Royal Opera in Stockholm presents the world première of three short operas composed by three Swedich composers with libretti based on real events :

Viktor Åslund's Value Creation, with a libretto by Hermann Schneider, is a bizarre story, inspired by film noir, that looks deeply into the moral mire of the world of finance.
The cast includes soprano Kristina Hansson Unander (Nora), mezzo Louise Reitberger (Christina), tenor Michael Stenbaek (Charles) and baritone Peter Haeggström (Ed). Natalie Ringler directs.
Malin Hülphers' comedy Jag kommer hem (I’m Coming Home), with a libretto by Lotta Olsson, goes straight into a comical conversation with a marriage counsellor.
The cast includes bass Thorvald Bergström (Mannen), mezzo Therese Badman Stenius (Kvinnan) and tenor Anders Blom (Terapeuten). Ola Eliasson directs.
Andrea Tarrodi's Sigrid H. is inspired by Sigrid Hjertén, a much-loved artist whose paintings never cease to inspire.
The cast includes alto (Katarina Böhm (Sigrid), tenor Simon Petersson (Isaac), bass Thorvald Bergström (Einar) and bass Peter Achrén (Läkaren). Natalie Ringler directs.

For all three operas, James Grossmith conducts musicians of the Royal Swedish Orchestra. The venue is the Rotundan. The performance should last about 90 minutes, with one intermission.

Today : world première of 'Egmont' by Christian Jost in Vienna

Today, the Theater an der Wien presents the world première of Egmont, an opera in 15 scenes composed by Christian Jost, with a libretto by Christoph Klimke and the composer using works of Goethe.

It is the composer's 10th opera. His previous operas include Hamlet (Komische Oper Berlin, June 21st, 2009), Mikropolis (Komische Oper Berlin, October 30, 2011) and Rote Laterne (Zürich, March 8, 2015).
The Spanish Netherlands rise up against the rule of Philip II. They are demanding freedom of religion and greater autonomy for their country. Spain’s governor, Philip’s half-sister Margarete of Parma, repeatedly  tries to find compromises. The Dutch nobility hope that she will act as their ally in search for a diplomatic solution. In  particular, Prince Egmont of Gaure is one of those wishing to negotiate a satisfactory  and fair peace with her help. Philip II, however, sends the Duke of Alba, who has a reputation for ruthlessness, to his sister with the task of putting an end to all discussion through armed force. Egmont refuses to believe that Philip is so inflexible. But it quickly becomes clear how hopeless this all is: Alba secretly has Margarete  murdered. Now he has the imprudent Egmont arrested and the only hope the  prisoner and his beloved Clara have is Alba’s son Ferdinand who seems fascinated  by Egmont’s ideas of freedom: will he break the cycle of oppression and exploitation or will he only perpetuate it ? (reproduced from the Theater an der Wien website)
The cast includes tenor Edgars Montvidas (Egmont), soprano Maria Bengtsson (Clara), mezzo Angelika Kirchschlager (Margarete von Parma), bass baritone Karoly Szemeredy (Macchiavelli) and baritone Bo Skovhus (Herzog Alba). Michael Boder conducts the ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien and the Arnold Schoenberg Chor. Keit Warner directs.

The score is published by Schott.

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Today : world première of 'Freedom Ride' by Dan Shore in Chicago

Today, the Chicago Opera Theater presents the world première of Freedom Ride, an opera composed by Dan Shore on his own libretto.

It is the composer's fourth opera, after The Beautiful Bridegroom (2009), An Embarrassing Position (2013) and Anne Hutchinson (2014).
When the Congress of Racial Equality comes to New Orleans in the sweltering summer of 1961, Sylvie Davenport is torn. Handed a pamphlet and asked to board a Greyhound bus, Sylvie is forced to choose between her academic future and the future of the nation in a story that highlights how far we’ve come and how far we still have left to go. (reproduced from the Chicago Opera Theater website)
The cast includes soprano Dara Rahming (Sylvie Davenport), soprano Whitney Morrison (Leonie Baker), mezzo Zoie Reams (Georgia Davenport), tenor Tyrone Chambers (Russell Davenport), tenor Cornelius Johnson (Rev. Jerome Mitchell) and baritone Robert Sims (Clayton). Lidiya Yankovskaya conducts the Chicago Sinfonietta. Tazewell Thompson directs.

The venue is the Studebaker Theater.

The performance should last about 2 hours, including one intermission.

Today : world première of 'Dschungel' by Manuel Renggli in Luzern

Today, the Luzerner Theater presents the world première of Dschungel (Jungle), a brass-opera composed by Manuel Renggli with a libretto by Michael Fehr based on Rudyard Kipling's book.

It is the composer's first opera.
Brahma, a young girl escaping her weak mother, flees in the jungle. There, she discovers an world inhabited by animals who might help or hinder her : Atlanta the yellow snake, which might not be as wise as it would like to be, the wild gray monkeys and the dazzling birds. At the end of her adventurous trip between reality, fantasy and hallucination, Brahma has learned that of she can't choose her own life, she can take it with her own hands. (freely adapted from the Luzerner Theater website)
The cast includes soprano Nina Schnürpel (Atlanta), soprano Rebecca Krynski Cox (Raja), mezzo Sarah Alexandra Hudarew (Samreh), baritone Jason Cox (Red Baron's Son), bass Vuyani Mlinde (Red Baron) and actress Nina Langensand (Brahma). Michael Bach or William Kelley conducts the Brassband Bürgermusik Luzern and the Chorus of the Luzerner Theater. Tom Ryser directs.

Friday, 7 February 2020

Today : world première of 'Monument' by Marko Ivanovic in Brno

Today, the National Theatre in Brno presents the world première of Monument, an opera composed by Marko Ivanovic, with a libretto by David Radok.

It is at least the composer's second opera, after Enchantia (Prague, January 14, 2012).
The authors were inspired by the life story of Otakar Švec, who was forced by the powers that be to compete with many other artists in a contest to create a monument for J.V. Stalin. Not even his effort to solve the situation by designing a monument which was impossible to realize prevented Švec from winning the contest, and he took his life shortly before the uncovering of the completed work. (reproduced from the Brno Theatre website).
The cast includes baritone Svatopluk Sem (Sochar), mezzo Markéta Cukrova (Manzelka), baritone Roman Hoza (Kolega) and tenor Ondrej Koplik (Ministr kultury). The composer conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Brno National Theatre. David Radok directs.

The venue is the Janacek Theatre.

Saturday, 1 February 2020

Today : world première of 'Eurydice' by Matthew Aucoin in Los Angeles

Today, the Los Angeles Opera presents the world première of Eurydice, an opera in three acts composed by Matthew Aucoin, with a libretto by Sarah Ruhl.

It is the composer's third opera after Crossing (Boston, MA, May 29, 2015) and Second Nature (Chicago, August 19, 2015).
Tragically killed on her wedding day, a young bride descends into the underworld, where she reconnects with her adoring father. Presented with the opportunity to return to her husband in the world of the living, she must now choose between the two men she loves. (reproduced from the Los Angeles Opera website)
The score is published by AMP (Associated Music Publishers). According the the Music Sales Classical website, the required orchestra is the following :

- 3 flutes (doubling 2 piccolos), 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 1 bass clarinet, 2 bassoons (doubling 2 contrabassoons) ;
- 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, 1 bass trombone, 1 tuba ;
- timpani and 4 percussion players ;
- piano and 2 harps ;
- strings.

The vocal score is available on their website.

The cast includes soprano Danielle de Niese (Eurydice), baritone Rod Gilfry (Eurydice's Father), baritone Joshua Hopkins (Orpheus), countertenor John Holiday (Orpheus Double) and tenor Barry Banks (Hades). The composer conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Los Angeles Opera. Mary Zimmerman directs.