Guardian–Der Rosenkavalier review

– glittering 50s update cleverly separates love and lust

Garsington Opera, Wormsley Estate, Stokenchurch
Bruno Ravella’s production has a glamorous staging that allows Miah Persson’s understated refinement to register.

… In order to enable the Philharmonia to observe social distancing in the pit, a reduced orchestration by Eberhard Kloke is used. You miss some of the sensuality of Strauss’s original, but it’s handsomely conducted by Jordan de Souza and quite superbly played.

Gramophone Review: WEINBERGER Frühlingsstürme (de Souza)

GRAMOPHONE DVD OF THE MONTH

Jaromír Weinberger, Composer
Alma Sadé, Tatjana, Soprano
Berlin Komische Opera Orchestra
Dominik Köninger, Roderich Zirbitz, Baritone
Jordan de Souza, Conductor
Luca Schaub, Grand Duke Michailowitsch, Singer
Stefan Kurt, General Wladimir Katschalow, Speaker
Tansel Akzeybek, Ito, Tenor
Tino Lindenberg, Colonel Baltischew, Singer
Vera-Lotte Boecker, Lydia Pawlowska, Soprano

‘All that will be left of life will be the memory of spring storms’, muses the widow Lydia Pawlowska in Jaromír Weinberger’s Frühlingsstürme, and the publicity for Barrie Kosky’s staging at the Komische Oper Berlin described this ravishing work as ‘the last operetta of the Weimar Republic’. The first production was forcibly shut down, mid-run, within weeks of the Nazis taking power in 1933, and this latest rediscovery in Kosky’s ongoing revival of Berlin’s operetta tradition comes with weighty historical baggage. It’s also a funny, gloriously theatrical entertainment, complete with showgirls, pyrotechnics and sizzling saxophones. No living director walks that stylistic tightrope with more intelligence and verve than Kosky.

Gothic Network: Festival di Bregenz. La Carmen acquatica di Holten

Carmen poster

Il Festival della cittadina medievale austriaca di Bregenz, o Bregenzer Festspiele, in originale teutonico, è un importante festival che ha come fantastico palco la Seebühne, ovvero il palcoscenico sull’acqua del Lago di Costanza. Per circa un mese la Carmen di Bizet, dal 19 luglio al 20 agosto, si è mossa fra le carte giganti volute dal danese Kasper Holten alla regia ed ideate dalla britannica Es Devlin alla scenografia, sospesa sull’acqua, e spesso inabissandosi nel Bodensee (la parte austriaca del lago) tra balletti e tuffi spettacolari.

Opernmagazin Sie laesst sich in die karten schauen- Bizet’s Carmen/ Bregenzer Festspielen 2018

Carmen poster

„Ich hörte gestern – werden Sie es glauben? Zum zwanzigsten Male Bizets Meisterstück. (…) Diese Musik scheint mir vollkommen. Sie kommt leicht, biegsam, mit Höflichkeit daher. Sie ist liebenswürdig, sie ‚schwitzt‘ nicht. (….) – Ohne Grimasse! Ohne Falschmünzerei! Ohne die Lüge des großen Stils! (…) Sie ist so unaffektiert und aufrichtig, dass ich sie praktisch ganz auswendig gelernt habe, von Anfang an.“1

Was damals schon Friedrich Nietzsche begeisterte hat auch heute nichts von seiner Faszination verloren. Bei der Uraufführung 1875 zunächst von den Kritikern verschmäht, wurde das Werk nach Bizets Tod zu einem Klassiker.

Bachtrack–Pelléas et Mélisande: Kosky’s sleep-talking, nightmare at Komische Oper

Pelleas and Melisande production photo 1

Bachtrack 16 July 2018: There’s no doubt that Mélisande endeavours to escape past troubles when she first appears in Barrie Kosky’s production of Debussy’s opera, yet Nadja Mchantaf is no reticent, wispy maiden. Every vocal and physical gesture – always precise and penetrating – displays an atypically forthright quest for vitality, something that Arkel’s chauvinistic world does not readily offer.

Canadian conductor Jordan de Souza (installed this season as the company’s main conductor) teases out individual instrumental lines to powerful effect, and encourages impactful emotional swells.