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.