Ever since the première of the reduced version of Don Quijote, opera lovers in Kiel have had a new favourite among the composers of our time: Cristóbal Halffter. The enthusiasm has resulted in a commission for a further opera, Lázaro, which had its eagerly awaited première on 4 May, conducted by Georg Fritzsch.
Halffter has divided the Biblical material into five scenes and filled it with life in a manner typical of his musical language. The opera revolves around life and death and tells of the (life) force which overcomes death. Despite its expansive scoring, in many places Lázaro has a chamber music character. The very lyrically written vocal parts are contrasted – as so often in Halffter’s case – with distorted quotations from ‘early’ music. The stage direction is by Alexander Schulin, as with Don Quijote.