In Germany’s national historic museum, the DHM I will be giving a talk introducing the screening of Beethovens Fidelio in a version arranged by Walter Felsenstein in collaboration with Hanns Eisler from the year 1956. This will be the conclusion of a series of opera films in the Zeughauskino which screens films and cinematographic approaches to music-theatre including the 1915 C.B.DeMilles version of Carmen and the 2007 portrait of the Staatsoper’s Generalmusikdirektor Otmar Suitner. This series of films was scheduled to coincide with the re-opening of the Staatsoper, now postponed. Fidelio will be shown on the 30th September at 20:30.
Together with the conductor Elio Boncompagni, Italo Grassi set designer and Stefan Dietrich costume designer I am currently working on a production of Don Carlo for the National Theatre in Zagreb. This production is based on the original 5 act version written for the Paris Opéra (1867) and includes the ballet as well as all the pieces Verdi was forced to cut before the opening night, making it the longest opera Verdi ever wrote. The show will open on April the 10th with further shows on the 12th,15th,18th, and 22nd of April with two alternating casts. The italian conductor Elio Boncompagni has rightly earned his reputation as a Don Carlo expert. It was he who conducted the world premiere in 1976 in Brussels incorporating the lost material which had recently been discovered only years before in the archives of the Paris Opéra.
You can read my programme notes in English or German here.
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
As revival director and choreographer I am taking care of Richard Wagner’s “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg” in Harry Kupfer’s production at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. Amongst topics this opera deals with is the belief, that art is not merely a privat business but has its foundation in society through which it receives its entitlement. This is the first time in thirty years that the longest of all Wagner operas returns to this exceptional stage in a beautifully detailed production with an extraodinary talented cast. For me it is the sixth time I am returning to work on a production to La Scala. The show will open on March 16th with 8 further performances into the middle of the following month.
Fidelio / Lady Macbeth von Mzensk
Together with Harry Kupfer I have the pleasure of working on two shows this season: Beethovens “Fidelio” at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin with Daniel Barenboïm and Shostakovich’s brilliant masterpiece “Lady Macbeth of Mzensk” at the Bayrische Staatsoper with Kirill Petrenko. Both operas explore the boundaries of music theatre in their own unique ways. Shostakovich’s “Lady Macbeth from Mzensk” needs the tragic-comical elements in the music at times to break the harsh realistic brutaliy of the plot; Beethoven consciously moves through a variety of styles both musically and dramatically in order to reveal love as a universal, all-encompassing force for peace and freedom at the heart of the opera. I would also like to draw your attention to two articles I have written for the programme books for the respective houses. Here is a link to an article about the dramaturgical implications of the music in Fidelo and if you want to find out more about the way the legendary Harry Kupfer works, you might be interested in a short rehearsal log (both in German).