Saturday, 10 October 2020

New programme book in my collection : 'Dark Spring' by Hans Thomalla in Mannheim

 Yesterday, I have received the programme book published by the Nationaltheater Mannheim for the world première performance of Dark Spring, a new opera composed by Hans Thomalla with a libretto by the composer after Frank Wedekind's play Frühlings Erwachen.


It is a 72 pages book, entirely in German. It contains :

- the complete cast for the world première performance ;
- plot summary ;
- a conversation between composer Hans Thomalla, stage director Barbora Horakova and Cordula Dermattio ;
- Das Gehabe, an excerpt of Édouard Louis' novel Das Ender von Eddy ;
- 16 pages of colour photos from the rehearsals ;
- the complete libretto in the original English, with a German translation ;
- short biographies of composer, conductor, stage director and sets and costumes designer.

I have catalogued all my programme books on LibraryThing.

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Today : world première of 'Ritratto' by Willem Jeths in Amsterdam

Today, the Dutch National Opera and Ballet presents the world première of Ritratto, an opera composed by Willem Jeths with a libretto by Frank Siera.

(c) Friso Keuris

It is the composer's second opera after Hôtel de Pékin - dreams for a dragon queen (Enschede, 2008).
Luisa Casati Stampa di Soncino (1881–1957) led a life of wealth and extravagance in high-society Paris, Venice and Rome, where she surrounded herself with prominent artists, following her motto: ‘I want to be a living work of art’. She had a turbulent relationship with Gabriele d’Annunzio, Léon Bakst designed exotic dresses for her, and she commissioned countless portraits of herself by artists including Kees van Dongen, Filippo Marinetti, Man Ray, Romaine Brooks and Giovanni Boldini. (reproduced from the Dutch National Opera website)

The cast includes soprano Verity Wingate (Luisa Casati), mezzo Polly Leech (Romaine Brooks), tenor Paride Cataldo (Gabriele d'Annunzio), baritone Martin Mkhize (Garbi), tenor Gerben van der Werf (Sergei Diaghilev), countertenor Lucas van Lierop (Man Ray) and baritone Dominic Kraemer (Kees van Dongen). Geoffrey Paterson conducts the Residentie Orkest Den Haag. Marcel Sijm directs.

The performance should last about 90 minutes (no interval). It was supposed to take place on March 13 but was postponed because of the Covid pandemic.