Thursday, October 13, 2011

To share

Despite its unbearable snootiness the Bayerische Staatsoper [BSO] in Munich remains one of those rare places in Europe where you can see the opera stars regularly singing in very good productions.  Fidelio, Mitridate and Rusalka, all premiered last season, are good illustrations of how good and artistically healthy that opera house is [Fidelio was visually ruined by a memorably bad filming --if you only saw the webcast-- but its content is becoming more resonant with what the current economical situation entails...]

Months ago I've ordered the tickets for the new BSO production of Les Contes de Hoffmann [directed by Richard Jones, with our dear-dear Diana Damrau making her debut in four roles, with Rolando Villazon hopefully back to his memorable Hoffmann-mode, and with the rock-solid John Rellyea.] Unfortunately in late August I received a mail from BSO informing me that all seats were sold out to subscribers (sic!) Tough luck and I decided to go to Basel instead and see Wozzeck (FANTASTIC! - will blog soon about that one too) and Rusalka.

Happily, the world's best TV  -- Arte, natürlich!-- is there to help. They will live broadcast  Les Contes de Hoffmann from Munich on Monday, November 21, starting from 20:30 cet. Good!

Another good news to share is that the Birmingham Ring, created in the 90's by Graham Vick, was presented last week at La Cité de la Musique in Paris and Arte Live Web provided the live webcast, that will be available for about 6 months for free viewing (all four videos also embedded below)

This is orchestrally a thinned version, that Jonathan Dove adroitly and cleverly scaled down to about 20-30 instruments. The story is slightly alternated, cut at several places as to make the whole cycle manageable by the small sized theaters without ruining anything to the flow of dramatic action in all four operas. The cycle is called the Ring Saga. It is different, and you might actually like it!
Peter Rundel is a briliant conductor and the ensemble of singers is definitely interesting.

Yes, there is also Cherubini's Médée from Brussels also available for free viewing (La Monnaie rocks!), but I think I should write a few helpful lines to help you better "read" through this MAGNIFICENT production by Warlikowski.






  1. WOw how wonderful. Can't wait to read about Wozzeck. We almost had the same issue when we were trying to book for Anna Bolena in Dresden. They said seats were all mostly reserved for subscribers. He convinced them by letting them know I had performed with one of the stars back in Houston. It worked. :D

  2. i go to see Wozzeck to Berlin in the end of this month... do you know if it is good?

  3. Lucky you Noelle! They are not always that flexible.
    Yes, I'll try and write a brief review about that amazing production of Wozzeck that I could see in Basle.

    Anonymous, of course I did see that production of Wozzeck, when it was premiered during the Festtage at the Staatsoper. That Wozzeck is very different from Marthaler's or this one from Basle, but MAGNIFICENT in its own way. The Staatskapelle & Barenboim made that Wozzeck particularly remarkable. See this

  4. Love the blog! Just wondering if you were going to write about the Huguenots from the Monnaie over the summer. I saw it (with the second cast) and while I didn't love every detail, I thought the whole was very convincing. A very enjoyable evening despite the 32+ degree weather and the monster rain storm on the way home. Also, I heard the Monnaie will have all of their productions on-line this year. Have you heard this? That would be great.

  5. I had the same problem with booking a ticket for tosca with jonas kaufmann and mattila..i sent the request from the first day of booking and after some months they told me tht there wasn t any ticket available..i wrote them a furious letter telling them that i had already booked air tickets and hotel and it worked!!!!
    They gave me one ticket!!!!a standing one!!!and in the end of the standing seats!!unforgetable night,standing all the opera-restricted view and above all karita as floria tosca....brrrrr
    Munich opera never changes:-(

  6. Shit. I feel bad now that I applied for Hoffmann and was offered a horerplatz which for me is frankly not worth the airfare + hotel cost, so I didn't reply. On the plus side, my experience of 'suche karten' outside the staatsoper is very fair and surface price if you are willing to use elbows...and ignore the people who are there two hours before the show...