Hans Werner Henze’s fifth opera, The Bassarids (those who wear fox skins) had its world premiere at Salzburg’s Grosses Festspielhaus in 1966. Now, 52 years later Henze’s massive “opera seria” returns, but to the Felsenreitschule —the old riding school made into a theater that hosts the Salzburg Festival’s difficult operas, the Grosses Festspielhaus now dedicated to the grand repertoire.
It was emeritus night at the Salzburg Festival with 75 year old maestro Mariss Jansons conducting 77 year old stage director Hans Neuenfels production about Pushkin’s 87 year old countess known as the Pique Dame.
A Romeo Castellucci production is always news, it is even bigger news just now in Salzburg where Lithuanian soprano Asmik Grigorian has made her debut as the fifteen year-old Salome.
This Cosi fan tutte concludes the Salzburg Festival’s current Mozart / DaPonte cycle staged by Sven-Eric Bechtolf, the festival’s head of artistic planning.
Zeitgeist or what? What Luis Bunuel’s 1962 Franco era film El ‡ngel exterminador may mean to composer Thomas AdËs’ 2016 opera The Exterminating Angel.
That’s The Conquest of Mexico, an historical music drama composed in 1991 by German composer Wolfgang Rihm (b. 1952). But wait. Wolfgang Rihm construed a few sentences of Artaud’s La ConquÍte du Mexique (1932) mixed up with bits of Aztec chant and bits of poem(s) by Mexico’s Octavio Paz (d. 1998) to make a libretto.
Stefan Herheim’s Die Meistersinger von N¸rnberg in Salzburg will transfer to the Met. Will audiences collapse in hysteria?
It is difficult to speak with excessive enthusiasm of the programming of a Salzburg Festival that included both Carmen and La bohËme, though it would subsequently be redeemed in part by a staging of Die Soldaten.
At the Salzburg Festival, Riccardo Muiti conducted Liszt’s Von der Wiege bis zum Grabe and Berlioz’s Messe solonnelle.
Franz Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten isn’t the easiest opera to produce, with its grand effects, but this production comes close to being a perfect union between stage and music.