Tuesday, 21 September 2021

New programme book in my collection : Copeland's 'Electric Saint' in Weimar

Yesterday, I have received the programme book published by the Deutsches Nationaltheater in Weimar for the world première of Stewart Copeland's Electric Saint.


It is a 4 pages brochure. It contains :

- synopsis ;
- biographies of composer Stewart Copeland and librettist Jonathan Moore ;
- complete cast and crew.

Attached was a special issue of Die deutsche Bühne, 24 pages entirely dedicated to this new opera.

I have catalogued all my 2185 programme books on LibraryThing.

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Today : world première of Kris Defoort's 'The Time of Our Singing' in Brussels

Today, the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels presents the world première of The Time of Our Singing, an opera composed by Kris Defoort with a libretto in English by Peter van Kraaij, after Richard Powers' novel.


It is the composer's third opera after The Woman Who Walked Into Doors (Brussels, November 23rd, 2001) and House of the Sleeping Beauties (Brussels, May 8th, 2009).

Black Lives Matter, police brutality, rigged elections : these are themes that have remained at the forefront of current affairs over the past year. The work depicts the life of a mixed-race family that is both united and divided by music, against the backdrop of segregation in the post-war United States. The composer conjures an imaginary space in which official history and personal histories intertwine, in which people come together to weave a narrative, and in which jazz and classical music are enriched by one another. (reproduced from the Monnaie website)

The cast includes soprano Claron McFadden (Delia Daley), bas baritone Mark S. Doss (William Daley), bass baritone Simon Bailey (David Strom), tenor Levy Sekgapane (Jonah), baritone Peter Brathwaite (Joey) and jazz singer Abigail Abraham (Ruth). Kwamé Ryan conducts the La Monnaie Chamber orchestra, a jazz quartet and La Monnaie's Children's and Youth Choir.

A recording of the performances will be broadcast by Klara and Musiq3 on November 6.

Saturday, 11 September 2021

Today : world première of 'Évariste Galois' by Fabien Barcelo in Saint-Léger-du-Ventoux

Today, the Festival Soirées Lyriques du Ventoux presents the world première of Évariste Galois, la nuit tragique, an opera composed by Fabien Barcelo with a libretto by Bruno Alberto.

It is the composer's second opera after Ixibab, le dessein des dieux (Aix-en-Provence, May 20, 2017). 

Évariste Galois was a romantic genius, a mathematician who died in a duel for love at the age of 20, in 1832. The night before his death he hastily wrote his mathematical testament, which took 15 years to demonstrate his first hypotheses. He is also one of the thinkers of the Revolution of 1830 and 1848. (freely adapted from the website of the Orchestre d'Avignon)

The cast includes baritone Mikhael Piccone (Évariste), soprano Chrystelle Di Marco (Stéphanie), mezzo Lucie Roche (Berthe), tenor Valentin Thill (Antoine), baritone Matthis Jacquot (Pescheux) and baritone François Harismendy (Coachman / Judge). Quentin Hindley conducts the Orchestre National Avignon-Provence and the Opera Grand Avignon Chorus.

The concert performance should last about 90 minutes. The venue is Le jardin Singulier in Saint-Léger-du-Ventoux.

Sunday, 5 September 2021

Today : world première of Stewart Copeland's opera 'Electric Saint' in Weimar


 Today, the Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar presents the world première of Electric Saint, an opera composed by Stewart Copeland with a libretto by Jonathan Moore.

It is the composer's fourth opera after Tell Tale Heart (London, April 8th, 2011), The Invention of Morel (Chicago, February 18th, 2017) and Satan's Fall (Pittsburgh, February 7th, 2020).

The opera highlights the rivalry between him and his fellow inventor and competitor Thomas Edison, both pioneers of electrical engineering with diametrically opposed life philosophies. These two central figures were like the Bill Gates or Steve Jobs of our times — the one, a radical genius with an eye for details, and the other, a brilliant inventor, clever businessman and self-marketer. Tesla wanted to make his electrical inventions available to everyone for the benefit of humanity, while Edison was more interested in accumulating wealth. (reproduced from the Deutsches Nationaltheater website)

The cast includes baritone Richard Morrison (Tesla), tenor Jasper Sung (Robert), soprano Emma Moore (Katharine), baritone Oleksandr Pushniak (JP Morgan), baritone Uwe Schenker-Primus (Edison) and tenor Alexander Günther (Westinghouse). Gregor Bühl conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Deutsches Nationaltheater. Jonathan Moore directs.

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

New programme book in my collection : 'Paradiese' by Gerd Kühr in Leipzig


Yesterday, I have received the programme book published by the Oper Leipzig for the world première performance of Gerd Kühr's Paradiese.


It is a 40 pages booklet. It contains :

- synopsis ;
- biography of the composer, Gerd Kühr ;
- biography of the librettist, Hans-Ulrich Treichel ;
- Der Sehnsuchtsmotor rattert, discussion with composer Gerd Kühr, librettist Hans-Ulrich Treichel and director Barbora Horakova ;
- Wolfgang Kraushaar : 1968 ;
- Gabriele Gillen : Das Wunder der Liebe, eine kleine Geschichte der sexuellen Revolution ;
- Charles Baudelaire : Die künstlichen Paradiese ;
- Apollodor : Der Mythos von Agaue und Pentheus ;
- Hans-Ulrich Treichel : Berlin - Terra incognita ;

It contains also 16 pages of colour photos of the production. It is entirely in German.

I now have 1996 programme books in my collection, including 664 for contemporary operas. I have catalogued my entire collection on LibraryThing.

Friday, 9 July 2021

Today : world première of Gerd Kühr's 'Paradiese' in Leipzig


Today, the Oper Leipzig presents the world première of Paradiese, an opera in four acts composed by Gerd Kühr with a libretto by Hans-Ulrich Treichel.

It is the composer's fourth opera after Stallerhof (Munich, June 3, 1988), Tod und Teufel (Graz, September 17, 1999) and Agleia Federweiß (Deutschlandsberg, October 24, 2001).

 This opera tells the initiation story of a young man named Albert, set against the backdrop of a divided Germany. The setting is the city of Berlin. We’re taken on a journey: to West Berlin in the 1970s, to a mythological time on the No-man’s land of the Peacock Island, to the pre-unification theater scene in West Berlin, and to the years after the fall of the Wall. Four female figures represent four the different stages of our jouney: Lise, a political science student; Friederike, a dental student; Marie, an actress; and Anna, a young woman from East Berlin. (reproduced from the Oper Leipzig website)

The cast includes soprano Alina Adamski (Lise), soprano Julia Sophie Wagner (Friederike), mezzo Christiane Döcker (Marie), soprano Magdalena Hinterdobler (Anna) and baritone Mathias Hausmann (Albert). Ulf Schirmer conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Oper Leipzig. Barbora Horakova Joly directs.

The performance should last about 2 hours. The venue if the Opera House.

Saturday, 3 July 2021

Today : world première of Kaija Saariaho's 'Innocence' in Aix-en-Provence


Today, the Festival International d'Art Lyrique in Aix-en-Provence presents the world première of Innocence, an opera in five acts composed by Kaija Saariaho with an original Finnish libretto by Sofi Oksanen and a multilingual libretto by Aleksi Barrière (Finnish, Czech, Romanian, French and English).


It is the composer's fifth opera after L'Amour de loin (Salzburg, August 15, 2000), Adriana Mater (Paris, April 3, 2006), Émilie (Lyon, March 1, 2010) and Only the Sound Remains (Amsterdam, March 15, 2016).

It is a typical wedding for a cosmopolitan city, in present-day Finland. The fiancé is Finnish, the bride Romanian, and the mother-in-law French. But suddenly, during the wedding banquet, the Czech waitress feels ill… Ten years earlier, these characters were struck by a tragic event. Ghosts revive their memories of the trauma, which occurred in a school; there is a guilty haze, a lost innocence. (reproduced from the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence website)

The cast includes mezzo Magdalena Kozena (The Waitress Tereza), soprano Lilian Farahani (The Bride Stela), soprano Sandrine Piau (The Mothe-in-Law Patricia), tenor Markus Nykänen (The Bridegroom Tuomas), baritone Tuomas Pursio (The Father-in-Law Henrik) and bass baritone Jukka Rasilainen (The Priest). Susanna Mälkki conducts the London Symphony Orchestra and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. Simon Stone directs.

The score is published by Chester Music. The required orchestra is the following :

- 3 flutes, 3 oboes, 3 clarinets, 3 bassoons ;
- 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, 1 tuba ;
- timpani and 4 percussions ;
- harp, piano and celesta ;
- strings (

The performance should last 1 hour and 45 minutes.The venue is the Grand Théâtre de Provence.


Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Today : world première of 'Aliénor' by Alain Voirpy in Limoges


Today, the Opéra de Limoges presents the world première of Aliénor, Allah i Nour, Queens of Light, an opera composed by Alain Voirpy.


It is the composer's first opera.

The action takes place at the crossroads of multiple temporal fractures, illustrating the permanence of the fight led by women to defend their legitimate rights: Eleanor, in the Middle Ages, recluse in a castle in England, alone, facing her past, her demons, her guilt, but also the frustrations of the queen, the mother and the Christian, Eleanor still, today a prisoner of a museum in the Middle East, a Western mirage in a world fanaticized by the obscurantism, Eleanor, finally, contemplating in New York the result of 8 centuries of incessant struggles: a freedom which remains to be conquered in the face of a humanity which has forgotten its past to convince us, today, of his sincerity. (freely adapted from the Opéra de Limoges website)

The cast includes soprano Catherine Hunold (Aiénor), baritone Jérôme Boutillier (Richard) and actress Marie Vanhonnacker (Norah). Daniel Kawka conducts the chorus and orchestra of the Opéra de Limoges. Kristian Frédric directs.

The performance should last 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Sunday, 27 June 2021

Today : world première of Lucia Ronchetti's 'Inferno' in Frankfurt


Today, the Oper Frankfurt presents the world première of Lucia Ronchetti's Inferno, an opera with a libretto by the composer based on Dante Alighieri's Divina Commedia with an epilogue by Tiziano Scarpa.

 Lucia Ronchetti has already composed several works of music theatre, including Neumond (Mannheim, 2012), Mise en abyme (Dresden, 2015), Esame di mezzanotte (Mannheim, 2015), Rivale (Berlin, 2017) and Les aventures de Pinocchio (Rennes, 2019).

A man at rock bottom decides to search for the next world, journeying through Hell. (reproduced from the Oper Frankfurt website)

The cast includes actor Sebastian Kuschmann (Dante), mezzo Karolina Makula (Francesca), tenor Alexander Kravets (Ulisse) and bass Alfred Reiter (Lucifero). Tito Ceccherini conducts the Schumann String Quartet, the Opern- und Museumsorchester Frankfurt and a Vocal ensemble. Marcus Lobbes directs.

The performance should last about 1 hour and 45 minutes with no interval. The venue is the Bockenheimer Depot.

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Today : world première of 'Les Sauvages' by Guillaume Hazebrouck in Nantes


Today, the Angers Nantes Opéra presents the world première of Les Sauvages, an opéra composed by Guillaume Hazebrouck with a libretto by Guillaume Lavenant.


It is the composer's first opéra.

A mysterious young woman settles in a park on the outskirts of the "neighbourhood". The "neighbourhood" is where they all live : the children and their gangs, the adults. They all surround the young woman and ask her what she came to do there. Soon, police, town planners, politicians join in : in this place between city and forest, it is necessary to keep control of the territory. But the intruder will shatter habits. (freely adapted from the Angers Nantes Opéra website)

The cast includes singer Laurène Pierre-Magnani (The Savage),  soprano Marie-Bénédicte Souquet (Leïla), beatboxer Julien Stella (Zéphyr), slammer Nina Kibuanda (The Mayor) and bass Agustin Perez Escalante (Donato). Rémi Durupt conducts the children choirs of Rosa Parks and Dervallières Chézine school, the Angers Nantes Opéra Chorus and the Frasques Ensemble. Guillaume Gatteau directs.

The venue is the Théâtre Graslin in Nantes. The performance should last 90 minutes.

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

New programme book in my collection : Singularity by Miroslav Srnka in Munich


Yesterday, I have received the programme book published by the Bavarian State Opera for the world première performance of Miroslav Srnka's Singularity.


It is a 112 pages book, It contains :

- complete cast and crew ;
- synopsis ;
- Ray Kurzweil : Mit dem Nanoroboter unterwegsin die Singularität ;
- Malte Krasting : Auf der Suche nach der beständigen Zeit ;
- discussion with stage director Nicolas Brieger ;
- Sören Sarbeck : Die Scham der Singularität ;
- the complete bilingual libretto (English and German) ;
- color photos of rehearsals ;
- biographies of the artists.

I have catalogued all my 1950 opera programme books on LibraryThing.

Saturday, 5 June 2021

Today : world première of 'Singularity' by Miroslav Srnka in Munich


Today, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich presents the world première of Singularity, a Space Opera for Young Voices, composed by Miroslav Srnka with a libretto in English by Tom Holloway.

It is the composer's fourth opera after Wall (Berlin, 2005), Make No Noise (Munich, 2011) and South Pole (Munich, 2015).

It is a musical comedy about technical progress and its consequences for human cohabitation. Implantable microchips and nanotechnology open up new communication possibilities, but they make humanity prone to faults in the networked system. So what happens when an update gets out of control ? And what if artificial intelligence becomes superior to human intelligence ? The opera follows the traces of a not-so-improbable science fiction between earth and space, and also brings the comic sides of this theme to the stage. (reproduced from the Bavarian State Opera website)

The cast includes sopranos Eliza Bloom and Juliana Zara, mezzos Daria Proszek and Yajie Zhang, tenors George Virban and Andres Agudelo, baritones Andrew Hamilton and Theodore Platt. Patrick Hahn conducts the Klangforum Wien Orchestra. Nicholas Brieger directs.

The venue is the Cuvilliés-Theater. The performance should last about 80 mintues. The work is published by Bärenreiter.

Saturday, 29 May 2021

Today : world première of 'Transito' by Jesus Torres in Madrid


Today, the Teatro Real presents the world première of Transito, a chamber opera composed by Jesus Torres, with a libretto by the composer based on Max Aub's play.


 It is the composer's first opera.

When there were still many ex-combatants and exiled Republicans who held out hope that the allied forces in the Second World War would put an end to the Franco regime, Max Aub pre-empted the total standstill of time with which history would condemn all of these people in a labyrinth of political and personal divided loyalties, uncertainty and disappointments. (reproduced from the Teatro Real website)

The cast includes soprano Maria Miro (Cruz), mezzo Anna Brull (Transito), baritone Issac Galan (Emilio), baritone Javier Franco (Alfredo) and tenor Pablo Garcia-Lopez (Pedro). Jordi Frances conducts the Orquesta Sinfonica de Madrid. Eduardo Vasco directs.

The performance should last 80 minutes. The venue is Naves Matadero.

Friday, 21 May 2021

Today : world première of 'Le Soulier de Satin' by Marc-André Dalbavie in Paris


Today, the Opéra national de Paris presents the world première of Marc-André Dalbavie's opera Le Soulier de Satin (The Satin Slipper) with a libretto by Raphaèle Fleury after Paul Claudel's play.

 It is the composer's third opera after Gesualdo (Zurich, October 9, 2010) and Charlotte Salomon (Salzburg, July 28, 2014).

The subject comes from a Chinese legend about two celestial stars in love who, each year, having travelled far, manage to come within reach of each other without ever being able to come together from the disparate sides of the Milky Way. It is an immense parable which alternates between the sublime, the comic and the disturbing. It is set in a specific era (the Spanish Golden Age) during which humanity experiences its first bout of 'globalization'. Confronting a passionate desire for individual happiness, external imperatives and an aspiration for the universal, the work leads the spectator into a ongoing state hovering between hypnosis and joy. (reproduced from the Opéra national de Paris website)

The cast includes mezzo Eve-Maud Hubeaux (Dona Prouhèze), bass baritonr Luca Pisaroni (Don Rodrigue de Manacor), baritone Marc Labonnette (Le père Jésuite, Le roi d'Espagne, Saint Denys), tenor Yann Beuron (Don Pélage), bass baritone Nicolas Cavallier (Don Balthazar, Saint Nicolas, Frère Léon), baritone Jean-Sébastien Bou (Don Camille), mezzo Béatrice Uria-Monzon (Dona Isabel, Dona Honoria), tenor Éric Huchet (Saint Boniface, Don Rodilard) and countertenor Max Emanuel Cencic (Saint Jacques, Saint Adlibitum). The composer conducts the Orchestre de l'Opéra national de Paris. Stanislas Nordey directs.

All performances begin at 2:00 PM and should last about 6 hours, including 2 intermissions. The venue is the Palais Garnier.