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Das Rheingold at the Ruhrtriennale

Helmut Pitsch

The Ruhrtriennale has its reputation for extraordinary performances at special locations, as a revival of the devastated industrial infrastructure of the area. The festival offers a mix of opera, drama, dance and concerts. Further installations, DJ sessions and Johan's saloon, set together by Johan Simons, the artistic director of the festival, sum up the schedule lasting 6 weeks. This year the performance of Richard Wagner's Das Rheingold, the overture of the tetralogy of...

Orphée et Eurydice at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Sam Smith

Based on the myth of Orpheus, Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice is a seminal work in the evolution of opera. With its focus on an underground rescue mission in which the hero must conceal his true feelings, it was to be a major influence on German opera and specifically the plots of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Beethoven’s Fidelio and Wagner’s Das Rheingold. It was also highly innovative musically with its preceding of the three verses of the...

Luigi Nono's Prometeo at the Ruhrtriennale

Helmut Pitsch

Tragedia dell' ascolto was the classification of his opera by Luigi Nono. He was born 1924 in Venice and he had a strong relation to his home town. His composition style was formed by the sound and the special hearing environment of the laguna city with its echoing waters, greenless brick architecture of stairs, arcades and narrow streets. Even if he was a music revolutionary and the creator of contemporary Italian music, he was still very close to the traditional composing education...

Ernani at the Salzburg Festival

Helmut Pitsch

The final days of the prestigious Salzburg Festival still offer highlights, hosting highly regarded international classic stars and reknown orchestras, as Maestro Riccardo Muti and his Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini, founded in 2004, who appear with a concert version of Giuseppe Verdi's early opera, Ernani. It is the touching lovestory of Ernani and Elvira and the heroic honorship of Ernani, fulfilling his deadly oath once he has succeeded in life. It is the puzzling...

Fidelio with Jonas Kaufmann at the Salzburg Festival

Helmut Pitsch

Lot of open questions, the audience remains clueless, some show their disappointment and incomprehension after a new interpretation of Ludwig van Beethoven's only and beloved opera Fidelio. It is this year's main new opera production of the acclaimed Salzburg Festival. This piece is for most music lovers the incarnation of a freedom drama and the triumph of love. The German director Claus Guth has put his hands on this drama of his compatriote to convert it to a revolutionary new...

The Tales of Hoffmann at the Bregenz Festival

Helmut Pitsch

It is an artistic concept of the Norwegian director Stefan Herheim which converts the traditional perceptions of a play. It is his way of a very intelligent nearly limitless presentation of the reconstruction of a piece. He shows in Hoffmann a man, who deconstructs himself, looking for his identity in his tales, which we all thought to know so far. Stefan Herheim further develops his radical concept by analysing the composer and the time of creation. Having said so, it is easier to...

Opera Online columnists