Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Premiere: Staatsoper Berlin - Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

To celebrate the Germany's 25th anniversary of unification, Staatsoper Berlin premieres the (arguably) most German opera of all, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg from Richard Wagner on the 3rd and 4th of October 2015. 
The director is Andrea Moses, who gained much experience doing Wagner operas in Stuttgart. Daniel Barenboim conducts. The singers are Wolfgang Koch, Kwangchul Youn, Siegfried Jerusalem, Markus Werba, Klaus Florian Vogt and Julia Kleiter among others. Here are some of the production photos:


Bayerische Staasoper Munich: complete schedule for 2015/2016 live stream


This week Bayerische Staatsoper/Bavarian State Opera Munich released their confirmed schedule for STAATSOPER.TV live streams this season. Six opera (five are new productions) and one ballet performances are going to be live streamed through their official website.
All six opera events are in my opinion very interesting. Jonas Kaufmann and Anja Harteros would be very delighted - they appear on two new productions (unfortunately) separately. The Munich GMD and future chief conductor of Berlin Philharmonic, Kirill Petrenko, will conduct two productions. Zubin Mehta returns to conduct Verdi's Un ballo in maschera. René Pape makes his role debut in Boito's Mefistofele and Evelyn Herlitizus too in Prokofjew's Der feurige Engel. Kristine Opolais, who since her move to Munich decided to split her time only performing in Munich and New York's Met, could be seen in two new productions. The directors are mostly young new talents or emerging names in German opera houses. As usual, expect non traditional & extreme "Regietheater/euro trash" of the house.

The complete schedule:

23rd Oktober 2015
Richard Strauss
Ariadne auf Naxos 
Conductor: Kirill Petrenko
Inszenierung: Robert Carsen
With Amber Wagner, Brenda Rae, Alice Coote, Peter Seiffert etc.

15th November 2015
Arrigo Boito
Mefistofele (New production)
Conductor: Omer Meir Wellber
Production: Roland Schwab
With René Pape, Joseph Calleja, Kristine Opolais etc.

12th Dezember 2015
Sergej Prokofjew
Der feurige Engel (New production)
Conductor: Vladimir Jurowski
Production: Barrie Kosky
With Evgeny Nikitin, Evelyn Herlitzius, Elena Manistina etc.

19th März 2016
Giuseppe Verdi
Un ballo in maschera (New production)
Conductor: Zubin Mehta
Production: Johannes Erath
With Piotr Beczala, Simon Keenlyside, Anja Harteros etc.

26th Juni 2016
Fromental Halévy
La Juive (New production)
Conductor: Bertrand de Billy
Production: Calixto Bieito
With Kristine Opolais, Roberto Alagna, John Osborn, Aleksandra Kurzak etc.

31st Juli 2016
Richard Wagner
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (New production)
Conductor: Kirill Petrenko
Production: David Bösch
With Wolfgang Koch, Christof Fischesser, Jonas Kaufmann, Sara Jakubiak etc.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Anna Netrebko opens The Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD Season 2015/2016

After its Berlin premiere and 2 summer stations in Salzburg, Netrebko's Leonora in Il Trovatore finally arrives in New York. The production runs with Netrebko from the 25th September to 17th October plus another run in February with different cast members. On the 3rd of October, the David McVicar production will also open the new season of Met's Live in HD. The production is Goya-inspired and quite a classic already, the DVD for the production is available in stores.

Yonghoon Lee is Manrico and Dmitry Hvorostovsky, recently recovered from his brain tumor treatment, is Conte di Luna. Marco Armiliato conducts.

As a little preview, the video below shows Netrebko and Hvorostovsky's Trovatore duet "Udesti? Comme albeggi..." from their Red Square Concert in Moscow 2 summers ago. Its quite LQ, so pardon me.
Check for more information. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

NDR Sinfonieorchester Opening Night: C. M. v. Weber - Der Freischütz

It's the opening night for the future orchestra of Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg: NDR Sinfonieorchester. The chief conductor of the orchestra, Thomas Hengelbrock, has chosen Carl Maria von Weber's groundbreaking opera "Der Freischütz" and replace (almost) all the dialogues with Steffen Kopetzky-written Samiel's monologue. An artistic decision that is actually a downer, because it put the singers and musicals interlude of the opera to the background. The text itself is magnificent, but the presence of Graham Valentine as Samiel overcame the other elements of the performance. Hengelbrock's conducting is fit with less folklore-feel in the music.

NDR Sinfonieorchester played in top form, both chorus WDR Rundfunkchor and NDR Chor as well. Nikolai Schukoff is a convincing Max with his warm and melancholic tenor voice, Dimitry Ivanshchenko sang a smooth sounded Kaspar. Christina Landhamer and Véronique Gens are brilliant in the female roles, displaying a good contrast between the characters of the young Annchen and the bride-to-be Agathe. 

Conclusion: Musically a good one, but the concept was quite a failure. Loud applause with only a few standing ovations.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Andris Nelsons announced as the new Gewandhauskapellmeister

Following the sudden resignation of Riccardo Chailly from Leipzig, just announced last week, Andris Nelsons is announced today as the 21st and the youngest Gewandhauskapellmeister in the history.

Andris Nelsons, in his own words stated, “Being appointed as the next Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester is a completely overwhelming honour. This extraordinary orchestra and its wonderful musicians are unique in so many respects, and particularly in their creation of an exceptional sound world based on outstanding tradition that is, at its heart, inspirational. I feel a great sense of both excitement and responsibility in assuming this role and I am so much looking forward to deepening my relationship with the entire Gewandhaus team and with our audiences in Leipzig and throughout the world; with us all looking together, musically, to the future with the eyes and experiences of the past.”

The appointment of Nelsons also marks a new era for Boston-Leipzig Alliance, involving numerous guest performances and collaborations of the two institutions in both cities. Christoph Wolff, Director of the Bach Archive from 2001 to 2013 in Leipzig will serve as an artistic advisor to the BSO/GWO Alliance.

Nelson's inaugural concert will take place at the beginning of the 2017/2018 season.