Henze’s The Bassarids in Paris Without Orchestra

Hans Werner Henze (Photo: Schott Promotion / Christopher Peter)
The Bassarids, Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris
By Richard Fairman [Financial Times, 20 Apr 05]
No other city puts on a welcome quite like Paris. When the Olympic committee came to evaluate the city’s bid to host the games, they were greeted by strikes, and last week the Théâtre du Châtelet’s bid for artistic glory met with a similarly thumb-to-the-nose response.
The company had planned to honour Hans Werner Henze, 80 next year, with a production of his grandiose opera The Bassarids, based on Euripides’ tragedy The Bacchae, but a strike at Radio France put paid to that. The Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France had to pull out, leaving this most orchestrally sumptuous opera with a gaping hole at its centre.
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