Not much happens, but Georg Friedrich Haas’s new opera is a mesmerising evocation of the great hereafter. (Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian, 22 November 2015)
Although little or no change in dynamic happens throughout, the soundscapes are spectacularly eerie, casting quite a mood in the vast hall and filling the space with atmospheric emotion. It is incredible to see such a huge orchestra employed in such a way, each instrument being used in a more creative and unusual way to create these unfamiliar sounds. (Lydia Lakemoore, A Younger Theatre, 15 November 2015)
Brandauer has called the opera a Gesamtkunstwerk, a fitting description for its unified artistic vision, even if comparisons with Wagner (or any other opera composer) are beside the point. (Gavin Dixon, bachtrack, 14 November 2015)
But if you are susceptible to Haas's musical language it will creep under your skin as it did mine. (Mark Valencia, WhatsOnStage, 14 November 2015)
Interested in the audience’s reactions? Find them here: Your Reaction: Morgen und Abend.
In tribute to Pierre Boulez, this special evening brings together three great moments of musical and choreographic modernity and reunites two other major creative forces of the 20th century whose works Boulez has often conducted: György Ligeti and Igor Stravinsky.
Set to Boulez’ Anthèmes II, British choreographer Wayne McGregor’s ballet Alea Sands will première on 3 December at the Opéra national de Paris and be performed together with Polyphonie and Le Sacre du printemps.
Listen to a podcast produced by the Opéra national de Paris:
“I don't know to what extent it is Janáček's calculated intention and to what extent it is his instinctive feel for drama, feel for theatre, but I believe there are actually no mistakes in this opera. It is remarkable.” (Marko Ivanović on The Makropulos Case)
Marko Ivanović is conducting The Makropulos Case by Leoš Janáček at the Göteborg Opera. David Radok’s production opened on 21 November, further performances take place on 25 and 29 November, 3, 6, 9 and 12 December and 16 and 24 January.
Watch an interview with the conductor:
The version performed is the revised edition by Jirí Zahrádka, which will also be performed this December at the Vienna State Opera.
Sarah Wegener, Christoph Pohl, Helena Rasker, Georg Friedrich Haas and Will Hartmann.
Composer Georg Friedrich Haas surrounded by happy cast after yesterday’s successful general rehearsal of his opera Morgen und Abend at the Royal Opera House in London. Fingers crossed for the world première on Friday.
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)
On 9 November Alfred Brendel will hold a keynote speech about Franz Liszt at the Auditorium in Arezzo.
Afterwards Mauricio Sotelo will introduce his Ancora un segreto before pianist Juan Carlos Garvayo performs the work, which is dedicated to Alfred Brendel and was inspired by conversations with the pianist about Liszt’s Sonata in B minor.
None of the dreams we indulged as adolescents at Oberlin would have even entered our minds without the intrepidity and the audacity of Pierre Boulez. […] In the words of Boulez himself, “Music is a labyrinth with no beginning and no end, full of new paths to discover, where mystery remains eternal.” (Claire Chase & Joshua Rubin, ICE co-artistic directors)
Honouring Pierre Boulez’ 90th birthday, conductor and bassoonist Pascal Gallois and the International Contemporary Ensemble present their Boulez 90 – New Dialogues programme at the National Sawdust – a new performance venue for contemporary music in Brooklyn – on 17, 18, 19 and 21 November. A selection of Boulez’ oeuvre will be performed alongside works of his contemporaries and those of young composers.
ICE is performing together with bassoonist Pascal Gallois on this project that was recently on tour in Paris and Brittany in France. A highlight of the concert series will be performances of Le Marteau sans maître with mezzosoprano Katalin Károlyi and Éclat.
“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.
Georg Friedrich Haas’ concerto grosso No. 2 will see its German première at this year’s NOW! Prismen festival, which opened on 22 October and runs until 8 November. Peter Rundel conducts the Essener Philharmoniker and the Ensemble Musikfabrik at the German première on 5 November and the follow-up-performance on 6 November.
On the day after, Haas’ Sayaka for percussion and accordion will be played by Jaime Moraya and Slavi Grigorov.
The composer will also be present at the NOW! Prismen Symposium, where he’ll be in conversation with Robert Henke, Rozalie Hirs, Mauro Lanza and host Günter Steinke.
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.
“I don’t love those high mountains […] they steal the light; they are dangerous and cold.” (Georg Friedrich Haas, The Guardian, 30 October 2015)
Preceding the world première of Georg Friedrich Haas’ newest opera Morgen und Abend, Gavin Plumley interviewed the composer about the opera, his newfound home in New York and Franz Schreker’s Der ferne Klang.
Morgen und Abend premières at the Royal Opera House on 13 November. Michael Boder conducts Graham Vick’s production, which stars world renowned actor Klaus Maria Brandauer, and soprano Sarah Wegener and baritone Christoph Pohl in their Royal Opera debuts.
Here’s a snapshot from Friday’s festivities of the 60th anniversary of the Internationale Gustav Mahler Gesellschaft (IGMG) at the Glass Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna – the society was founded in 1955 at the suggestion of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, with honorary president Bruno Walter and honorary member Alma Mahler.
The reception and a commemorative speech were followed by a book presentation and a performance by Thomas Hampson and the Wiener Virtuosen.
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.
You get a piece that is always in climax. […] It’s a piece about obsession. Or maybe it is actually just obsessive. (David Fennessy, Herald Scotland, 28 October 2015)
The Herald Scotland recently interviewed David Fennessy, who will be performing his 20-minute piece Caruso (Gold is the sweat of the sun) at the Sonica festival in Glasgow on 7 November.
In the interview, Fennessy talks about the Werner Herzog diaries Conquest of the Useless, which inspired him for composing the piece, and his beginnings as composer.