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The Fiery Angel at the Komische Oper, Berlin

Helmut Pitsch

When Sergej Prokofjew’s opera „Fiery Angel“ was first performed in 1955 Russian or better Soviet music was still governed by the strict rules of socialist realism. Subsequently Prokofjew’s piece exposes  both strong anticlerical and antibourgeois sentiments : A woman, Renate, has fallen in love with an angel when she was  a girl and since then she is trying to find this angel again. In her quest she is accompanied by Rupprecht, a young man who is as...

Wiener Staatsoper : Rusalka

Helmut Pitsch

Antonin Dvoraks major opera Rusalka has a weak performance history at the Wiener Staatsoper. Finally last Sunday we had the Premiere and first performance of the opera in the original complete version, 113 years after the world premiere in 1901. For director Sven Eric Bechtolf  the story of the mermaid Rusalka, the water goblin's daughter, is not a lyric fairytale. It is much more the thriller of a young virgin experiencing her sexual gender and first love affair loosing her...

Valetta International Baroque Festival

Helmut Pitsch

There is a lot to discover on these little islands 70 km south of Sicily. Next to the oldest existing stone structures at the temples of Taxien or Hagar Qim we find the most stunning baroque architecture of the period of the Johannite knights ruling over the islands for more than 3 centuries. More churches than Rome, precious masterpieces of Caravaggio and Duerer, palaces and the first city designed on a general plan, Valetta, creates an extraordinary environment and puts the visitor back...

Forza del Destino, Bavarian State Opera, Munich 28.12.2013

Helmut Pitsch

Just before the end of the Verdi year 2013 the Bavarian State Opera presents another new production  of one of his major works - La Forza del Destino - and new edition of the German dream team Anja Hateros and Jonas Kaufmann. The Austrian Martin Kusej, currently head of the Munich Residenztheatre next to the opera, is the director..He is famous for brilliant profound interpretations but not always easy to digest. It is impressive how he approaches this very complicated...


Don Giovanni, Tiroler Festspiele Erl 27.12.2013

Helmut Pitsch

The Tyrolean winter festival has found a new home last year with the opening ceremony of its new festival house, an architectual and acoustic jewel in the idyllic village of Erl, close to the German border. The Tyrolean Summer festival taking place in the world famous Passionsspielhaus of Erl has established its reputation for outstanding Wagner performances in simple and traditional stage design. The winter festival is presenting a broad programme of chorus and orchestral concerts from...

Frau ohne Schatten (Richard Strauss) Munich State Opera

Helmut Pitsch

There was a lot of tension before this new production of Richard Strauss's Frau ohne Schatten in Munich. It is the celebration of the50th jubiliee of the re opening of the Bavarian State Opera Theater (the so called Nationaltheater) after the second world war with the same masterpiece of Munich born Richard Strauss and it is the first Premier of Kyrill Petrenko as new Music Director. After his huge success in Bayreuth expectations were high – and fulfilled. Like a...

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