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Tchaikovsky's Iolanta - Gärtnerplatztheater, Munich

Helmut Pitsch

"What a wonderful music" was the reaction of most of the audience after this concert performance of Tchaikovsky´s last opera Iolanta. This seldom performed opera returned recently successful to concert halls thanks to Anna Netrebko in the title role of the blind princess. The story is touching, based on a tale by Hans Christian Andersen. The composer's brother Modest Tchaikovsky created the libretto and Piotr IllitchTchaikovsky a wonderful sensible and...

Die Walküre - De Nederlandse Opera

Helmut Pitsch

Everything is dark, light is dimmed, the Wanderer creeps around checking Notung in the trunk, Siegmund settles down exhausted and Sieglinde roams lost around. Suddenly a metal noise disrupts the mystical music of the prelude, Notung fell off the trunk and lies well placed on stage,  just in front of the shocked eyes of the audience. But this misfortune does not really harm the intense evening to come. Christopher Ventris conquers with his powerful warm tenor the love of his...

Benedikt von Peter's La Boheme - Theater Bremen

Achim Dombrowski

And it finally happened : I always had some kind of absurd, if not obscene perception in light of ever more expensive scenery and costumes in any new La Boheme production where ever the opera had been performed. How much money can an opera company possibly afford to spend faking the atmosphere of poverty and misery ? And what remains from a perfectly sung performance today ? A little bit of kitsch and a group of immaculately singing stars, possibly a sensitive orchestra sound ?...

La Clemenza di Tito - Bayerische Staatsoper, München

Helmut Pitsch

Emperor Titus was quite an impressive historical figure. During the reign of his father Emperor Vespasian, he occupied several position in the Roman administration and army. He won the Jewish war, conquered and destroyed Jerusalem and the big Temple. With the proceeds of this crusade, he built the Coliseum in Rome and acquired a frightening reputation within roman society : people were insecured with the total change, once he followed his father as Emperor at the age of forty. He...

Wozzeck - Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Berlin

Achim Dombrowski

 With merciless sequence is the audience drawn into Wozzeck’s circles of suffering in Büchner’s play. Berg’s music creates passion and compassion of and for the characters and victims of this inescapable orbit. The precision of Andrea Breth’s unstoppable clockwork in light of Wozzeck’s fate is a supreme staging and interpretation completely based on strict reserve and subordination to plot, text, and subtext. The purism of the approach...

Das Rheingold - De Nederlandse Opera

Helmut Pitsch

Eighteen years ago, the first complete direction of Richard Wagner's Ring des Nibelungen in the Netherlands took place. It was then a highly regarded and rewarded project by the Libanese director Pierre Audi - and his stage designer George Tsypin - for the Netherlands Opera House (Nederlanse Opera) in Amsterdam. The direction relies on the concept of bringing the story close to the audience. It is the last time that the cycle is performed, and more than 165 000 people have seen...

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