Thursday, May 5, 2011

Komische Berlin - Karlsruhe discovery

I like reading the reports from the yesterday's press conference at the Komische Oper in Berlin during which the content of their next season has been unveiled. Check out my updates in the right column and you will see in particular that Stefan Herheim and Heike Scheele will be in charge of new Xerxes,  Calixto Bieito will produce new Freischütz, Sebastien Baumgarten will direct new Carmen (btw, Baumgarten is a delightfully talented director whose Tannhäuser will open this year's Bayreuther Festspiele)...

After Entführung aus dem Serail @ Komische Oper (May 2010)

The press conference was special because the next season will be the last with Andreas Homoki holding the position of the house's artistic director [he will move to Zurich, and Barrie Kosky will take his current position

Homoki is one of the best opera directors in the world -- a visionary director with guts and persistence who was one among the first directors who proposed intelligent Regie productions, and who --by  his huge talent and unmatchable sense for theater-- substantially contributed  to solidify the Regie position in today's opera-producing world. 
As artistic director he's cool in running the house, constantly refreshing it with new ideas, opened to new young directors, new musicians [NB that one of the finest opera orchestra and chorus you can find in Germany and/or in Europe today.]

His KOB team seems to be so homogeneous and well coordinated that even with their tight budget they boldly announced 7 new productions for 2011-2012. I liked to read that Homoki yesterday said: "We at the Komische Oper place great importance to producing our operas by ourselves instead of buying them from other houses."

Note that the Homoki's farewell season at the Komische will contain a number of revivals including memorable productions directed by himself: Bartered Bride, La Bohème, Love of 3 Oranges, Mahagonny, Rosenkavalier. To that add the new production of The Cunning little Vixen.

While going through the programs for 2011-2012 I was thrilled to discover a new gem: Badisches Staatstheater in Karlsruhe. To me their season 2011-2012 is a slam dunk: Les Troyens directed by David Hermann, Lohengrin by Benedikt v Peter (with Lance Ryan singing!), plus one new opera directed by Tobias Kratzer! Even their new Rigoletto --with Jim Lucassen in charge-- should be interesting.

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