Sunday, 20 August 2017

Somewhere for the weekend: Gothenburg Opera

Gothenburg Opera
Gothenburg Opera
Gothenburg Opera's plans for 2017/18 include some items which make a weekend in this attractive city a tempting prospect, and there is also a Ring cycle being introduced from 2018 to 2021. Gothenburg Opera has a modern venue, designed by Jan Izikowitz of Lund and Valentin, which opened in October 1994. It seats 1,300 and boasts a state of the art acoustic enhanced by special egg-tempera acoustic paint.

But 2017/18 kicks off with an unusual double bill, Brecht/Weill's Seven Deadly Sins and Puccini's Gianni Schicchi. Perhaps a strange mix, it will be interesting to see what director David Radok (one of the house directors) does with it. Radok's father was a singer whose repertoire included the title role in the Puccini opera, and who had an exchange of letters with Brecht!

Mezzo-soprano Katarina Karneus is going where a few mezzos have gone, and is taking up the title role in Bellini's Norma in a new production directed by Stephane Braunschweig which premiered at the Theatre de Champs Elysees in Paris. The production is conducted by Giancarlo Andretta. Rodula Gaitanou's new production of Ariadne auf Naxos is shared with Opera North, and is set in a 1950s Fellini-style film studio. Expect a combination of high-art, camp and slapstick.

In May 2018 the company is celebrating the great Swedish soprano Birgit Nilsson in a gala which will include seven Swedish sopranos and one mezzo-soprano including Nina Stemme, Katarina Dalayman, Katarina Karnéus, Annlouice Lögdlund, Christina Nilsson, Annalena Persson, Elisabet Strid, Iréne Theorin, who will unite for the grand finale to sing together the Ride of the Valkyries.

Jonathan Dove's new piece for professional soloists, a professional actor, an adult community, youth and children choruses, The Monster in the Maze, receives its Scandinavian premiere in a new production which will be fully staged with 150 professionals and non-professionals on stage, directed by Mattias Ermedahl, conducted by Martin Nagashima Toft.

Further ahead, Stephen Langridge is directing Wagner's Ring Cycle for Gothenburg Opera, starting with Das Rheingold in 2018. Gothenburg Opera is a champion of ecological sustainability, and the whole cycle will be devised to be as ecologically sustainable as possible.

Full details from Gothenburg Opera website.

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