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The opening scene of the Royal Opera House’s Król Roger

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 04 December 2015

“We rehearsed the opening chord a million times.”

Find out more about Kasper Holten’s production of King Roger on the website of the Royal Opera House.

Watch King Roger

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 18 May 2015

Watch the live recording of King Roger (with English subtitles) now on the website of The Opera Platform.

The highly acclaimed production by Kasper Holten was recorded on 16 May at the Royal Opera House.

UE newsletter May 2015: Robert Wilson and Arvo Pärt collaborate; a masterpiece at the ROH

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 12 May 2015

Universal Edition NewsletterOur latest newsletter is out now:

- Adam’s Passion by Arvo Pärt and Robert Wilson is premièred in Tallinn

- Kasper Holten’s production of King Roger receives rave reviews at the ROH and will be streamed live

View the newsletter online: German | English

Subscribe to our newsletter: German | English

Reviews of King Roger

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 04 May 2015

Krol Roger (c) Royal Opera House, photo by Bill Cooper

What a joy it is to see staged here a work, which, like Janáček’s bizarrely ignored operas, is no longer than it need be, and so handsomely repays attention in every minute of its mere ninety. (Mark Berry, Boulezian, 2 May 2015)

But now, after this rapturously acclaimed performance, Król Roger’s power and stature are decisively vindicated, lifting it alongside Bluebeard’s Castle and the later works of Janacek as a masterpiece of the early twentieth-century European sensibility. (Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 2 May 2015)

It's a production that honours the score to a level that lifts the spirits. […] And what a score it is – and how searingly Antonio Pappano and the Royal Opera forces deliver it. In one of the great opening nights at Covent Garden everyone gave a red-hot performance … (Mark Valencia, WhatsOnStage, 2 Mai 2015)

It’s easy to be seduced by the beauty of Szymanowski’s orchestral writing, to wallow in its iridescent colours and rich harmonic palette, and forgive the work’s dramatic thinness and the lack of substance in all of the characters but Roger. […] What the performance confirms, however, is the beauty of much of the music. (Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 3 May 2015)

So this Covent Garden staging, which runs until May 19, was a must-see. […] But what the staging lacked, the score delivered in the hands of a conductor who brought the sensuousness of this music into being. The orchestral sound was ravishing, the chorus strong but supple. (Michael White, The New York Times, 4 May 2015)

Reviews for Kasper Holten’s production of Karol Szymanowski’s King Roger are out. The opera will be running at the Royal Opera House until 19 May.

Furthermore you can now listen to an episode of Music Matters on King Roger, in which Tom Service and the musicologist and broadcaster Gavin Plumley review the production.

Listen on BBC Radio 3

Szymanowski’s King Roger, a Nietzschean hero

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 29 April 2015

[King Roger] turns on the exact emotional axis which divided the composer himself, the tension between intellect and instinct, control and chaos, mind and body – the age-old opposition of Apollo and Dionysus. (John Lloyd Davies)

Kasper Holten presents a new production of Karol Szymanowski’s opera King Roger, a meditation on identity and desire. Antonio Pappano conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.

The première is sold out, tickets for further performances on 6, 9, 12, 16 and 19 May are still available.

Watch the Royal Opera House’s trailer:

The ROH has published a number of interesting articles on King Roger, find them here:

Creator and Destroyer: Chaos vs control in Szymanowski’s Król Roger

Opera in the Real World Part 2: The historical figures behind some of opera's greatest characters

Eastern Promises: The allure of the Orient in opera and ballet

Opera Essentials: Król Roger

Gergiev and the LSO: Szymanowski SACD of Symphonies Nos 1 and 2

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 04 June 2013

Gergiev, LSO: Szymanowski, Symphonies Nos 1 & 2Valery Gergiev’s and the London Symphony Orchestra’s SACD recording of Karol Szymanowski’s Symphonies Nos 1 and 2 will be released this week. The symphonies were recorded in September and October 2012 at the Barbican in London. According to the LSO, a recording of Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater and Symphonies Nos 3 and 4 is to follow in September.

In September 2012, the Philharmonie Luxembourg released a video in which you can experience Valery Gergiev talk about the composer:

Listen to excerpts and/or buy the recording.


Furthermore, we had a focus on Szymanowski in our Musikblätter 5:

Szymanowski’s Hagith in Buenos Aires

Posted on 24 July 2012

Hagith - Teatro Colón

Baldur Brönnimann conducts Karol Szymanowski’s opera Hagith and Schönberg’s Erwartung at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.

Read Jorge Aráoz Badí’s review in La Nacion – fascinating to read that the Argentine première of Erwartung 53 years ago was coupled with Luigi Dallapiccola’s Volo di notte.

Here is an interview with Baldur Brönnimann on the Clarín website.

Szymanowski 2nd String Quartet

Posted on 15 December 2011

Minetti Quartett

The Minetti Quartet performs Szymanowski’s 2nd String Quartet at the Musikverein in Vienna tonight.