Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Anna Bolena, Anna Netrebko, and... and Tobias Kratzer

Apparently the excitement about The Dream Team [Netrebko - Garanca] and Anna Netrebko's debut as Anna Bolena at the Wiener Staatsoper is growing so fast that the scarce tickets are nowadays negotiated on the Internet for 800 €/tic (sic!)  [in spite of the TV broadcast scheduled for April 5.]

It will be interesting to see if this show will be any good. Staatsoper is a very conservative house where the surprises are rare but possible (La forza del destino, Macbeth, Lohengrin...) Eric Génovèse will certainly not rock the boat, but will most probably opt for something relatively subtle, even if  totally conventional. It will however be interesting to see whether or not he'll manage to make any drama actually work [libretto is hopeless unless the director gives it some spin].

This will be the 3rd Bolena premiered this year in Europe. Elina Garanca already sang Giovanna Seymour role in Barcelona and was apparently wonderful, although the limelight was fully focused on Edita Gruberova [who btw looked and sang as if seriously hammered, c.f. video below] The production was not particularly interesting but the Gruberites were there to electrify GTL every night ;)

The above photo refers to another production of Anna Bolena premiered last February in Lucerne (still running at  Luzerner Theater)  It looks as if the director really tried to make this opera  dramatically work.

It is a long story about the belcanto repertoire, but it all comes down to a conclusion that they are  notoriously difficult to produce if one wants to ensure a minimum of dramatical viability. Most producers give up hope when they realize that the belcanto freaks couldn't care less about the stage action as long as the divas are wearing Elizabethan costumes...

Tobias Kratzer, 31 year old director from Munich, seems to have taken the more difficult route (bless him!) and --inspired by Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage-- apparently succeeded in making Anna Bolena work marvelously well [if you trust to always reliable WdO.] Please read this review and then see the trailer below:


  1. I'm planning on being at the opening night of the Netrebko Bolena, have budgeted the whole day for the standing room line (starting at some point during what could sanely be called the night). I'm hoping it's good but the Staatsoper's recent new productions have not inspired confidence.

  2. First Kratzer production for me on May 22nd : Telemaco by Gluck in Schwetzingen, with repeats in Basel... Can't wait for Theater Basel's next seasons, btw, despite funding cuts!

  3. I agree Zerbinetta. Good thing about Wien is not their Staatsoper but rather Theater an der Wien and the geographical closeness proximity to Munich AND Graz. I thought to come to Vienna for Bolena but when I saw it would be TV broadcast I gave my ticket away. We'll be hanging on waiting for your first review :) Cheers

    Rameau, I was even toying with the idea to go to Lucerne and see this Bolena there.
    Now that Telemaco sounds very tempting! Theater Basel is always a peculiar experience.

    BTW, La Calisto (dir-Jan Bosse, another name to keep an eye on) was a big success in Basle so that Oper Frankfurt bought the production instantly --> it will be scheduled there in 2011-2012.

    I'm off to Berlin to see Tristan ;)