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Love conquers blindness in Tchaikovsky's Iolanta in BerlinZenaida des Aubris
There are few story lines more magical than that of a beautiful young but blind princess who gains sight through the power of love to a young knight. Peter Tchaikovsky's last opera Iolanta is just that - magical, luminous, poetic and with a rare happy ending. The story is set in 15th century Provence. The daughter of King René is blind, but does not know it because her entourage cares for her in such a way that she does not perceive her missing sense as a deficit. Her...
A Fresh Feeling Revival of David McVicar’s The Marriage of Fig...Sam Smith
The Marriage of Figaro of 1786 is one of three operas on which Mozart collaborated with the librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte (the others being Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte). It is based on the second of Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais’ trilogy of Figaro plays, while the first was later to be immortalised by Rossini in The Barber of Seville. It centres on the day on which Figaro, valet to Count Almaviva, tries to wed Susanna, maid to the...
Aloha, love! Hawaii on the stage of the Komische OperZenaida des Aubris
Since 2013, the artistic and general director of the Komische Oper Berlin, Barrie Kosky, has dedicated the last production of the year to a work by Paul Abraham. This year it is Die Blume von Hawaii or The Flower of Hawaii, which, in 1931, helped the composer to achieve final recognition as a master of the operetta genre. After its world premiere in Leipzig, this jazz operetta began its tour de force, and not only in Germany. Abraham incorporated many musical elements of the new jazz...
Second Revival of Daniele Abbado’s Nabucco at the Royal Opera ...Sam Smith
Written in 1841, Nabucco is considered to be the opera that established Giuseppe Verdi’s reputation as a composer. The Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera is based on the biblical books of 2 Kings, Jeremiah, Lamentations and Daniel and the 1836 play by Auguste Anicet-Bourgeois and Francis Come, although Antonio Cortese’s 1836 ballet adaptation of the latter was a more important source for Solera than the play itself. The opera originally bore the title of Nabucodonosor,...
Cleverness and Magic in Abundance in Wolf Witch Giant Fairy at...Sam Smith
Fairy tale ‘mash-ups’, whereby many of our favourite magical stories are rolled into one, are not unknown in theatre. Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods constitutes one, as does arguably Act III of Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty, in which a plethora of well loved characters dance. If, however, these works have already ensured that musical theatre and ballet are in on the act, Wolf Witch Giant Fairy now guarantees that opera is present at the party. Wolf...
Jacques Offenbach's "Orphée aux Enfers" at the Komische Oper B...Zenaida des Aubris
After the great success at the Salzburg Festival in summer 2019, the co-production with Komische Oper of Orpheus in the Underworld was finally able to take place in front of a 100% full house in Berlin. 2G+ (vaccinated or recovered, wearing a mask at all times) regulations makes it possible. For his first full-length opera, Jacques Offenbach based his inspiration on the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, but shifted it to the France of the 2nd Republic and used it as an opera buffa...