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Music conquers all in the Met’s Dutchman

Ilana Walder-Biesanz

All Wagner should sound this glorious. Der Fliegende Holländer is the work of a young Wagner still finding his distinctive voice and style. But it has the (rare) merit of brevity, which allows the best performers to attack it with unstinting energy. At the Metropolitan Opera, under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, it is taut and thrilling music drama. From the first moments, the brass section played with an energy that swept me away. Nézet-Séguin...


Der fliegende Holländer at the Liceu: Senta's traditional hall...

Xavier Pujol

Philipp Stolzl, the stage director of the Der fliegende Holländer’s version that is being performed at Liceu, states in the programme (quoted by Brigitte Heusinger): “We tell it (the story of the Dutchman)from the perspective of Senta… and we draw the psychograma of a woman that escaped into the world of legend and fantasy and does not manage to come back from it. Now, years later, Senta is a disoriented girl in the body of an adult woman”. The idea of...


Salvatore Sciarrino "Lohengrin" at Salzburg Easter Festival 2017

Helmut Pitsch

Italian contemporary composer Salvatore Sciarrino, born in 1947, defined his monodrama Lohengrin as "azione invisibile per solista, strumenti e voci". He expected his work to be an invisible action so to say not to be staged and only presented by a small orchestra dominated by winds, a soprano and three male singers. The new installation of this work by the Salzburg Easter Festival is enriched as a Prelude by two other compositions of Salvatore Sciarrino. La Spazia Inversa,...


The Exterminating Angel at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Sam Smith

Thomas Adès’ The Exterminating Angel, which premiered at the Salzburg Festival in 2016, is based on Luis Buñuel’s classic 1962 Surrealist film. In it a group of bourgeois guests dine at the house of Edmundo, Marqués de Nobile, and his wife Lucia, only to discover that at the end of the evening that they are unable to leave the house. An undefined force is holding them in one room, and as the days wear on the people stuck there grow increasingly bestial as...


Richard Wagner Walküre Osterfestspiele 2017

Helmut Pitsch

March 19th 1967 is the birthday of the Salzburg Easter Festival, a creation of classical superstar Herbert von Karajan in his search of optimized conditions for the performing arts. Walkuere and the Ring der Nibelungen were his first projects to be realized together with the Berlin Philharmonic and a world class cast. Since then, the Easter Festival has gained a top position in the international festival calendar and a reputation for outstanding production for a small and exclusive circle...


Claus Guth's Die Frau ohne Schatten finally at Staatsoper Berlin

Achim Dombrowski

Claus Guth created this production of Strauss/Hofmannsthal’s The Woman without Shadow (Die Frau ohne Schatten) 2013 for La Scala. After later shown at Covent Garden, London it is now being staged at the Berlin State Opera as part of the Easter Festival 2017, scenic rehearsal by Julia Burbach. Contrary to other concepts with directors elevating the over-mystified, ferry-tale like plot into full abstraction (Loy for Salzburg or Ponnelle for Cologne many years ago), Guth and...


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