August 2010

The 2010-2011 Berlin opera season

What's on at the three Berlin operas in 2010-2011 - a preview

Leserbrief/readers comment Druckversion/printversion

The 2010-2011 Berlin opera season

What's on at the three Berlin operas in 2010-2011 - a preview

By Heiko Schon, translated by Nancy Chapple

Komische Oper

Everything stays different

Unlike the vociferous goings-on on stage, what happens behind the scenes at the Komische Oper is always on the sly, quiet and hush hush. In the same way that replacing the artistic director for 2012 was communicated (Barrie Kosky will follow Andreas Homoki), the music head is suddenly someone else. Plainly said: Carl St. Clair is packing it all in and Patrick Lange is being promoted from Kapellmeister to principal conductor. Whether Lange will be General Music Director as well from 2012 on is possible, but has not yet been decided. St. Clair's departure has the following effects on the upcoming premiere plan:

Patrick Lange will first take over the musical preparation for Richard Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Andreas Homoki is staging it with Frank Philipp Schlößmann's sets. The premiere will take place on Sept. 26, 2010.

***
There will be a world premiere in the children's opera category starting on Oct. 24, 2010: Pierangelo Valtinoni has composed a two-act opera based on the fairy tale The Snow Queen; the libretto is by Paolo Madron. Anisha Bondy (not related to Luc Bondy) will direct; she has thus far been working at the KOB as assistant director (Armida, Requiem). Aurélien Bello conducts.
***
Sebastian Baumgarten is giving his directing début in the operetta category with Ralph Benatzky's Im Weißen Rößl. And while Dagmar Manzel enters the stage as the innkeeper, Koen Schoots will be conducting in the orchestra pit. The whole thing starts on Nov. 28, 2010.
***
The rhinestone starlet Barrie Kosky will stage Antonín Dvořák's Rusalka (set: Klaus Grünberg, costumes: Klaus Bruns). Musical direction is in Patrick Lange's hands. Barbara Schneider-Hofstetter and Ursula Hesse von den Steinen were won over for the part of the foreign princess. The premiere is on Feb. 20, 2011.
***
Thilo Reinhardt (Hoffmanns Erzählungen, Pique Dame) directs for the third time at the KOB, presenting Salome on Apr. 10, 2011. The title role will be interpreted by Morenike Fadayomi (guest from the Rheinoper-Ensemble), Andreas Conrad returns as Herodes and Christiane Oertel and Homoki-Gattin Aurelia Hajek will sing Herodias. Conducting: Alexander Vedernikov.
***
Patrick Lange will also conduct Mozart's Idomeneo. Benedikt von Peter's version of the Mozart opera will be playing starting on May 14, 2011. And three ladies are participating: Stella Doufexis as Idamantes, Brigitte Geller as Ilia and Erika Roos as Elektra.
***
The KOB are concluding the series with a modern French work. The team of Stefan Blunier (musical director) and Calixto Bieito (director) is taking on a major dramatic work by Francis Poulenc. You can find out on June 26, 2011 whether Les dialogues des Carmélites will be performed naked.
***
The repertoire performances include Fidelio (1805), Don Pasquale, Armida, Orlando, Der Vetter aus Dingsda, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Die Hochzeit des Figaro, Don Giovanni, Die rote Zora, La Périchole, Kiss me, Kate (with Dagmar Manzel of course), Die Liebe zu drei Orangen, La Bohème, Pique Dame, La Traviata and Rigoletto. In addition, the productions Das Land des Lächelns, Die verkaufte Braut and Lady Macbeth von Mzensk (for which Hans Neuenfels was elected Director of the Year 2005)—all of which have not been seen in a long time—will be revived.
***
And it's also worthwhile taking a closer look at the orchestra concert program: two former General Music Directors of the Komische Oper will be dropping by: Kurt Masur (Nov. 4 and 5, 2010 with Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt) and Kirill Petrenko (Feb. 4, 2011 with Scriabin and Beethoven).



Deutsche Oper

From a summing up to a revolution

Kirsten Harms is summing up her time at the Deutsche Oper: while the directorship was in her hands the Bornemann tanker was set afloat once again, the Wagner and Strauss repertoire revived and expanded, many forgotten works were dug up and more money was earned at the box office. The 2010-11 preview thus serves at least two purposes: not only for Harms to present her last season, but also to take stock. Just as this—well—book is presented in the form of a summary, full of photos of the productions that originated in her era or constituted glorious high points as repertoire works. But the new plans are also impressive ...

As last year, Harms opens the season with a festival of singers in concert: Angela Gheorghiu and Jonas Kaufmann will be on stage in Francesco Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur on October 2 and 5, 2010. Marco Armiliato conducts the orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

***
On Oct. 16, 2010 the most active ladykiller in the opera world, Mozart's Don Giovanni, is given a new production (Roland Schwab). For the premiere series, Ildebrando d'Arcangelo has been engaged as the eponymous hero (in June 2011: Michael Volle); Roberto Abbado is the musical director.
***
Works of Hector Berlioz, which have been woefully neglected in Berlin, are now being presented at the DOB as a cycle. The start is on Dec. 5, 2010 with Die Trojaner, which will be developed by the team of David Poutney (director) and Donald Runnicles (conductor).
***
Kirsten Harms will be staging Die Liebe der Danae as re-discovery and also to enrich the Richard Strauss repertoire. The premiere is on Jan. 23, 2011; Andrew Litton conducts.
***
And for fans of Richard Wagner they're going one better when Graham Vick stages Tristan und Isolde on Mar. 3, 2011. Peter Seiffert and Petra Maria Schnitzer have been engaged as the couple; General Musical Director Donald Runnicles will take on musical direction.
***
After his impressive directing debut at the Cologne Opera (Madama Butterfly), Patrick Kinmonth will be directing in Berlin for the first time. The premiere of Samson et Dalila (Camille Saint-Saëns) will be conducted by Alain Altinoglu, and will take place on May 15, 2011.
***
The last new production (starting on June 12, 2011) has been taken over from the Cologne Opera. Robert Carsen directed Verdi's Macbeth there in 1998. The DOB cast list includes Carlos Alvarez (Macbeth), Anna Smirnova (Lady Macbeth) and Pavol Breslik (Macduff). Conducting: Maurizio Benini.
***
Other high points: Germania, Die Hochzeit des Figaro, Tosca, Andrea Chenier, Marie Victoire and Dialoge der Karmeliterinnen will be staged during the Revolution Weeks (Jan. 30 to Feb. 25, 2011). Johan Bohta sings Otello, Soile Isokoski and Adrianne Pieczonka Desdemona (March / April 2011), Simon Keenlyside Giorgio Germont (La Traviata on Feb. 6, 2011) and Erwin Schrott Leporello (Don Giovanni / June 2011). Diana Damrau will sing a Liederabend on July 4, 2011 and Matti Salminen is celebrating his 40th stage anniversary on Nov. 1, 2010 with a concert.



Staatsoper Unter den Linden

The Schiller Season

Who can say to what extent people were griping in Berlin (and not just in Berlin): What did you say? Jürgen Flimm? What new impulses could possible emanate from the old couple Flimm / Barenboim? The new theater manager of the Staatsoper has now plonked his first season on the table—and all the grousers have fallen silent out of pure astonishment. If just half of what is displayed in Flimm's unconventional book becomes reality (just the conversation between him and Barenboim is hilarious), then a novelty could be arriving on the opera landscape. Flimm is trying nothing less than to completely re-align an art form—a brave endeavor, and one can only wish him all the best.

The opening premiere on Oct. 3, 2010 shows what new horizons the Staatsoper would like to head for in the Schillertheater: Jens Joneleit (composition), René Pollesch (text) and Christoph Schlingensief (director) are presenting Metanoia, an opera intended to "go beyond thinking". Musical direction of the world premiere is in Daniel Barenboim's hands.

***
Keeping a firm eye on the Wagner Year, a new Ring des Nibelungen is being forged (in co-production with La Scala in Milano); it will be staged by the Flemish director Guy Cassiers. Das Rheingold will kick it off on Oct. 17, 2010; the next stage in the cycle is reached on Apr. 4, 2011 with Die Walküre. Who knows whether with a baton or a spear: in any case, father of the gods Barenboim will rule the orchestra.
***
From Dec. 10, 2010 Ingo Metzmacher (conductor) and Krzysztof Warlikowski (staging) will present their view of Igor Strawinsky's The Rake's Progress.
***
René Jacobs will drop by once again as of Jan. 30, 2011, this time with Tommaso Traetta's Antigona in his pocket. The production will be directed by Vera Nemirova.
***
The congenial Andrea Breth is preparing to work at a Berlin opera house for the first time. And, kicking things off in style, she'll start with a double feature from Alban Berg: Wozzeck will premiere on Apr. 16, 2011; Breth will follow with Lulu in the following season. Musically, the productions will be supervised by Maestro Barenboim.
***
For Leonard Bernstein's Candide the artistic trio of Vincent Boussard (production), Vincent Lemaire (scenery) and Christian Lacroix (costumes) will return to the Staatsoper. The singers include Leonard Capalbo (Candide), Maria Bengtsson (Cunegonde) and Anja Silja (The Old Lady). Wayne Marshall will conduct the Berliner Staatskapelle. The premiere is on June 24, 2011.
***
Peter Eötvös' opera version of the Drei Schwestern (Tri Sestri) will enrich the calendar starting on July 3, 2011. The production is being taken over from the Munich Prinzregententheater (director: Rosamund Gilmore); Julien Salemkour is to conduct.
***
Last but not least: Sasha Waltz is staging and choreographing Toshio Hosokawa's Matsukaze. Pablo Heras-Casado will conduct the three performances (July 15-17, 2011).
***
But that's far from everything. In the Werkstatt [workshop], you can experience Miss Donnithorne's Maggot by Peter Maxwell Davies and Infinito Nero by Salvatore Sciarrino (musical direction (MD): Arno Waschik / director (D): Michael von zur Mühlen / premiere (P): Oct. 4, 2010), Exercices du Silence by Brice Pauset (D: Reinhild Hoffmann / P: Jan. 15, 2011), El Cimarrón by Hans Werner Henze (D: 18.02.2011), Wissen Sie, wie man Töne reinigt? by Erik Satie (D: Jürgen Flimm / P: Mar. 25, 2011) and Der Tribun by Mauricio Kagel (D: May 2011). In the category Young Staatsoper, they're trying to lure younger generations with Schnittstelle Figaro (P: 17.10.2010), César Cuis Der gestiefelte Kater (MD: Boris Anifantakis, Vinzenz Weissenburger / D: Isabel Ostermann / P: Nov. 19, 2010) and Eisenhans! (D: Andreas Bode / P: May 2, 2011). There are events in the foyer like "Schlaflos in Charlottenburg", "Wunderhorn", and "Mein Schiller". Besides the established Festtage new opera will have a festival of its own with Infektion! And in addition to various symphony and chamber concerts, Barbara Sukowa will appear on stage with the X-Patsys on Oct. 25, 2010; Edita Gruberova will sing arias on May 7, 2011 and Angela Denoke jazz on Jan. 28, 2011.
***
If anyone would like to attend some of the repertoire productions that have survived the move to Bismarckstraße Der Barbier von Sevilla, Cosi fan tutte, Don Carlo, Elektra (title role: Evelyn Herlitzius), Der Liebestrank, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Die Fledermaus (with Zubin Mehta conducting), Phaedra, Tosca, La Traviata (with Marina Poplavskaya as Violetta), Der Türke in Italien and of course Everding's oldie, Mozart's Magic Flute, we'd like to point out that Jürgen Flimm is currently not offering Bed & Breakfast. That doesn't mean it won't happen in the future.



©www.klassik-in-berlin.de