Sunday, July 18, 2010

Munich Opera Festival 2010

Halfway through and two out of three festival premieres were presented:

  1. Medea in Corinto was apparently excellent which was expected since the director and the stage designer were Hans Neuenfels and Anna Viebrock [for a sneak peak see 2 videos attached below]
  2. Luc Bondy's Tosca was sold out long before it was premiered mainly because of Jonas Kaufmann. For us who couldn't score the ticket Arte-TV provided a live broadcast and... how shall I put it?... it was far from the best of Bondy. If the Met crowd didn't moan because Gelb annihilated that pile of Zeffirelli's decors, I would have understood their discontentment at the beginning of 2009-2010 when this production was premiered in New York...
  3. While Medea was in fact premiered a few weeks before the Festival began, and Tosca --although co-produced with the Met-- was premiered in New York in 2009, the only true Festival premiere will be the new work of Barrie Kosky, namely  The Silent Woman (Die Schweigsame Frau)Kent Nagano will conduct, Diana Damrau, Toby Spence, super-talented Nikolay Borchev, and others will sing... and Yours Truly will be there [hoping that Hawlata will sing well.]

 Trailer for Medea in Corinto, an opera by Giovanni Simone Mayr  (never heard of him...)


Here is a longer video with interviews in German

I read recently an interview with Warlikowski, who directed Medea by Cherubini a year ago in Brussels, with Nadja Michael singing the title role. He said he'd spent several days getting to know Nadja and discovered an extraordinary human being in her. They then shaped/created the character of Medea in that production together. Result: The show was praised as one of the best in this decade...
With a good director, Nadja Michael is bête de scène.


  1. You introduced me to Gretry's Andromache, which I loved and listened to over and over again, so may I urge you to check out Giovanni Simone Mayr's work? YouTube users LindoroRossini and Meyerbeer1 have uploaded both composers' beautiful music.

    I hope Andromache will be performed more often from now on. I wish Topi Lehtipuu would sing the tenor role, and the soprano and the mezzo roles would be given to more contrasting voices. (Just by listening to the broadcast, I had trouble distinguishing the female voices in the current cast, and of course, this was partly because my French is limited.)

    Given your repeated viewing of Tosca, I am beginning to suspect that you are a closet lover of that opera. :)) I would never be tempted to try it if you gave me a million! :)


  2. Thanks for the tip Cherry! Just checked out iTunes and there is no much to choose from Simone Mayr. Will definitely give it a try on YT. Thanks!

    I realize Tosca I saw in Berlin was a mistake. The one from Munich was interesting because I wanted to see why it generated such a fuss in New York [and I still don't understand the extreme reactions of the Met's crowd.]

    Tosca was the only Puccini opera that I kinda liked before Berlin. Now I start rolling eyes at key moments like I used to during La Boheme before I decided I've had enough of it for my lifetime. ;)

  3. J'étais à la première de Medea : malheureusement, l'oeuvre n'a strictement aucun intérêt musical; en plus Neuenfels a fait quelque chose d'assez sage, assez étonnant de sa part. Mais il se dit que Bachler a le chic pour inviter des metteurs en scène modernes, tout en les bridant au moment crucial. Franchement, ce n'est vraiment pas un spectacle à voir !

  4. Ah que c'est dommage! :(

    Si tu penses aller à Berlin et s'il se trouve que le Komische donne La Traviata de Neuenfels pendant que tu y es, c'est vraiment excellent.