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Paris Opera, Lissner Season 2: the 2016/2017 Season

At the Opéra de Paris, Stéphane Lissner, like any new director making his ambitions known, was met by sceptics and naysayers lying in wait for him, along with all those who wished him less than well: the success of his first performances quickly swept away all the reservations and banana peels strewn in his path. His success was obvious, hailed by national and international critics and corroborated by the enthusiasm of the audiences filling the halls.This success is of course...


Leaders’ vision: New digital platforms for the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Just over a year into his new job, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’s managing director, Harald Krumpöck, feels that he could not have chosen a better time to step up from the ranks of the orchestra’s players to take on the post. ‘‘From a cultural perspective, we are living in an incredibly interesting time,’’ Krumpöck says. ‘‘Change is too small a word. It’s a time of upheaval. An extraordinary number of things are...


Why Cecilia Bartoli Chose West Side Story for Salzburg

Cecilia Bartoli became the artistic director for the Salzburg Pentecost Festival in 2012, and every year since then the Italian mezzo soprano has put together a programme that puts the spotlight on women, whether strong or sacrificial, harrowing or modest, each year presenting “a new facet of femininity” – whether in the role of Cleopatra in Handel’s Julius Caesar, Norma in Bellini, Angelina Rossini’s La Cenerentola or more recently Iphigenia in Gluck’s...


La Damnation de Faust : genesis of a production with Stéphane Lissner

Early this December, the Opéra de Paris will present La Damnation de Faust, by Hector Berlioz, featuring Sophie Koch (in the role of Marguerite), Jonas Kaufmann (playing Faust) and Bryn Terfel (as Mephistopheles), in a new production designed by Alvis Hermanis. A much-anticipated production because of its prestigious casting, of course, but also because it is intended to be emblematic of the work of the newly appointed Stéphane Lissner, officially at the head of the Paris...


La Damnation de Faust by Alvis Hermanis : A Fairy Tale and a Voyage of the Mind

Alvis Hermanis is a busy man. With 10 projects running concurrently, and knowing exactly what he will be doing until 2019, the Latvian director is very much in demand. On the operatic stage, he has already worked with the world’s top conductors and singers, and his new production of Hector Berlioz’s ‘‘La Damnation de Faust’’ (as both director and designer) at the Paris Opera, starting Dec, 8, is no different, with the house’s musical director,...


La Damnation de Faust: A Romantic Legend

  Originally subtitled “concert opera” and later “legend-opera”.La Damnation de Faust was subsequently dubbed by Berlioz a “dramatic legend in four parts”.This indecision reflects the unclassifiable and protean nature of a work that is a succession of independent tableaus each belonging to a different genre.Fascinated by Goethe’s Faust, which he discovered in the translation by Gérard de Nerval, Hector Berlioz...