Schnittke’s Gesualdo at the Wiener Staatsoper

Gesualdo Vienna State Opera
By Larry L Lash
Published: December 27 2004 02:00 | Last updated: December 27 2004 02:00
In a house where world premieres are rare and successful ones even rarer, I suspect the Vienna State Opera feels it must produce at least one recently composed, audience-alienating work each season, so as to say “we tried”, with respect to promoting contemporary music.
To this end, George Enescu’s Oedipe was revived last winter in a brilliant production, magnificently sung (it returns in April 2005). This year, we have the first reprise of Alfred Schnittke’s Gesualdo since its world premiere in 1995, three years before the composer’s death.
Many of the audience exercised a proclivity denied to critics: simply to leave the theatre at the interval and go and do something productive or pleasant, such as change the cat litter box.
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