Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Der Freischütz to celebrate the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment's birthday

esign for Wolf's Glen Scene (Weber  'Der Freischütz') from Weimar, 1822
Design for Wolf's Glen Scene (Weber  Der Freischütz) from Weimar, 1822
Despite the remarkable power of the Wolf's Glen Scene, Weber's opera Der Freischütz does not have the prominence in the UK which it deserves, though it is moderately common in German speaking countries. It was last staged by Covent Garden in 1989 and I am not sure whether ENO has ever performed the work. As part of their 30th anniversary celebrations, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment is performing Der Freischütz at the Royal Festival Hall on 7 June 2016, conducted by Mark Elder.

Weber's orchestrations always respond well to period performance, and this will be a chance to hear Weber's Romantic masterpiece with new ears. A strong cast includes Christopher Ventris as Max, Rachel Willis-Sørensen as Agatha, Sarah Tynan as Aenchen, Marcus Farnsworth as Kilian, and Simon Bailey as Caspar. Instead of spoken dialogue, there is a new narration written by David Pountney which will be spoken by John Tomlinson who also sings the Hermit and Samiel.

Full details from the Royal Festival Hall website.

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