Singers who normally do this role have bigger voices than I have. But then I decided that it’s a role that doesn’t match any voice perfectly. Some parts are so low that they should be sung by a bass-baritone, others so high that they should be sung by a tenoral baritone. I thought, if Zurich Opera really wants me then they know my abilities, and they will match their ambitions with them. (Christian Gerhaher on Wozzeck)
This grotesque is more real than reality. (Susanne Kübler, Die Welt, 15.09.2015)
A success that gets under your skin. (blick.ch, 14.09.2015)
Congratulations to the Opernhaus Zürich and the whole team behind their critically acclaimed production of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck for receiving a BBC Music Magazine Award. The production features Christian Gerhaher in the title role.
View an excerpt of the DVD here:
25 years ago today, on 9 February 1992, Wolfgang Rihm’s opera Die Eroberung von Mexico was first heard at the Hamburg State Opera – Ingo Metzmacher conducted.
On the same day in 1992, Arvo Pärt’s And One of the Pharisees ... was given its world première by Paul Hillier and the Theatre of Voices.
In 1949, the orchestral suite of Gottfried von Einem’s Dantons Tod was premièred in Baden Baden by the Radio Orchestra.
… and on this day in 1945, Frank Martin’s Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke was performed for the very first time in Basel by the Basel Chamber Orchestra and Paul Sacher.
And Happy Birthday Alban Berg! He was born on 9 February 1885, 132 years ago today.
Bologna Modern runs from 14 to 23 October at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna. Universal Edition is strongly represented, with performances by Georg Friedrich Haas, Wolfgang Rihm, Friedrich Cerha and Alban Berg.
We just sent out our latest newsletter:
– The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra presents Weill’s and Brecht’s The Lindbergh Flight in St. Louis.
– The Zuger Sinfonietta premières Paul Leonard Schäffer’s instrumentation of Alban Berg’s 7 Early Songs for chamber orchestra.
– Belgian première of the new critical edition of The Makropulos Affair at the Opera Vlaanderen.
When listening, one completely forgets that these single movements are in fact interludes and extracts from an opera. The captivating beauty of Berg’s absolute music belies the underlying substance of the opera.(Willi Reich on Lulu-Suite)
Tonight conductor and soprano Barbara Hannigan will sing with and conduct the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in performances of Alban Berg’s Lulu-Suite and works by Debussy, Sibelius, Haydn and Gershwin at the KKL Luzern.
Our latest newsletter – an opera special with features on current productions of The Cunning Little Vixen, Wozzeck and Jenůfa – is out now.
The Alban Berg monument will be unveiled today at 22:00 at the Herbert von Karajan-Platz in front of the Wiener Staatsoper.
phil Blech and the Arnold Schoenberg Chor will perform works by Strauss, Mahler, Schönberg and Berg, Reinhold Mitterlehner, Thomas Drozda, Andreas Mailath-Pokorny, Wolf. D. Prix and Peter Wolf will give speeches.
This lecture-recital, accompanied by projections from the stage, will read between the ledger lines and unlock the secrets behind one of the Second Viennese School’s most passionate scores.
Tickets are still available – or you can watch the live stream from the comfort of your own home.
It’s been 80 years to the day since the world première of Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto “In Memory of an Angel”.
In February 1935 Alban Berg was approached by the American violinist Louis Krasner with a request to write a violin concerto. The resulting concerto – the last work that Berg completed – was first performed on 19 April 1936 by Krasner and the Casals-Orchestra in Barcelona.
The first issue of the Universal Edition listening lab is dedicated to Berg’s Violin Concerto:
On 5 March at 19:05 on Deutschlandradio Kultur: listen to Alban Berg’s Lulu, recorded on 21 November 2015 at the New York Metropolitan Opera.
The programme also features an interview with Friedrich Cerha, in which the composer talks about his realization of the opera’s third act.
William Kentridge’s production of Lulu at the Metropolitan Opera is receiving rave reviews: find a selection below:
What’s most impressive of all, though, is that Lulu has found a worthy partner in the Met’s provocative and visually stunning new staging. If there’s such a thing as a gold standard for opera, this is it. (James Jorden, Observer, 6 November 2015)
Lulu will never be a crowd-pleaser, but what happened on the Met stage on Thursday was an even rarer commodity in many opera houses: serious art, on many levels. (Anne Midgette, The Washington Post, 6 November 2015)
The Met’s terrific cast is headed by the charismatic German soprano Marlis Petersen as Lulu. Having been a sought-after Lulu for nearly two decades, Ms. Petersen will retire the role from her repertory at the end of this run, which makes it all the more imperative to see her now. (Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times, 6 November 2015)
So, we’re agreed: this is a monster show, and everyone needs to know. (Seth Colter Walls and Jason Farago, The Guardian, 6 November 2015)
“One can't imagine a more convincing case for ‘Wozzeck’ as a masterpiece of 20th-century music theater than the highly anticipated new production that opened at Lyric on Sunday afternoon at the Civic Opera House. […] Three words for anyone unsure about whether to catch Lyric’s ‘Wozzeck’: See this show.” (John von Rhein, The Chicago Tribune, 2 November 2015)
The Chicago Tribune on the Lyric Opera’s production of Wozzeck.
Next spring Wolf D. Prix’ Alban Berg monument will be erected at the Herbert-von-Karajan-Platz in front of the Vienna State Opera. The monument will also honour other members of the Second Viennese School as well as Gustav Mahler.
Berg’s opera seems an indisputable candidate for the greatest opera of the 20th century. (Philip Hensher, The Guardian, 1 June 2009)
Lulu is the object of desire of all the men in the opera—but she can’t be the woman the men imagine her to be or project onto her. She can never fulfill all the desires of both being the femme fatale and the faithful, quiet wife, just as the men can never be the people that Lulu hopes they will be. And in each case, this impossibility of desire ends in disaster. (William Kentridge, www.metopera.org, 9 October 2015)
The performance on Saturday 21 November will be broadcast live in more than 2000 theatres.
opernwelt’s annual survey is out:
Congratulations to Georg Nigl, who has been selected “singer of the year 2015” in Andrea Breth’s “performance of the year” of Jakob Lenz at the opera Stuttgart.
Also congratulations to Marlis Petersen who won “singer of the year” for her title role in Berg’s Lulu at the Bayerische Staatsoper.
You can watch the trailer for the production here: