27 March 2010

Calixto Bieito with a new Parsifal at Stuttgart Opera

Tomorrow Calixto Bieito's production of Parsifal premieres at Stuttgart Opera House.

According to the Stuttgart Opera's Homepage, Bieito is inspired by Cormac McCarthy's novel "The Road". Bieito confronts his Parsifal "with the ruins of our civilization". The novel's protagonists, a father and son, wander through a post-apocalyptic America, that after a catastrophe is deserted and desolate.

The designer Gschwender Susanne has created a destroyed, ash-covered landscape in which the only remains of a bygone civilization are the ruins of a highway bridge.

Parsifal will be played 28 March (premiere) and the following dates in April: 01, 05, 11, 25.

Stuttgart Opera's Homepage

Conductor: Manfred Honeck
Stage director: Calixto Bieito
Cast: Christiane Iven, Yuko Kakuta, Diana Haller, Julia Borchert, Petra van der Mieden, Tina Hörhold, Agata Wilewska, Michaela Schneider; Gregg Baker, Stephen Milling, Andrew Richards, Claudio Otelli, Matthias Hölle, Heinz Göhrig, Mark Munkittrick, Torsten Hofmann, Hans Kittelmann


25 March 2010


Richard Wagner: Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods) / Ben Heppner (Siegfried) · Katarina Dalayman (Brünnhilde) · Simon Halsey, chorus master · Rundfunkchor Berlin · Sir Simon Rattle, conductor · Berliner Philharmoniker / Recorded at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, July 2009

22 March 2010

Wolfgang Wagner Dies at 90

Wolfgang Wagner died Sunday.

Wolfgang Wagner (30 August 1919 - 21 March 2010) devoted his whole life to the Bayreuth Festival and the works of his grandfather Richard Wagner. He was the son of Siegfried Wagner, and was best known as the leader the Bayreuth Festival, first together with his brother Wieland Wagner from 1951 to 1966  and then alone until he retired in 2008 and his daughter Katharina Wagner took over with Eva Wagner-Pasquier.

Obituaries here

09 March 2010

Herheim's Tannhäuser in Oslo a major achievement

Stefan Herheim seduces the Norwegian audiences to applaud their own escapism in a spectacular new production of Tannhäuser at The Norwegian National Opera in Oslo. Tannhäuser is split between the comforting world of one-dimensional escapist opera productions (Venusberg) and the narrow-minded religious world of those who have seen the Light, here: The Salvation Army.


The production quotes Herheim's other Wagner projects (Parsifal at Bayreuth and Lohengrin in Berlin) on several occasions, making the three productions a unity, exploring many of the same themes.

The cast is of very high quality lead by two superb tenors in the title role (Gary Lehmann and Scott MacAllister) and the rising star Elisabet Strid as Elisabeth, the so-called Personenregie is superbly detailed and the fast transforming scene changes are spectacular. The production is a major achievement for the Norwegian National Opera. And it is simply not possible to avoid it if you are interested in music theatre. Unfortunately all 9 performances are sold out...

There will be more on the production on Wagneropera.net later

Videos with some short clips from  rehearsals and dress rehearsals (sorry, only in Norwegian):


New issue of The Wagner Journal

The Wagner Journal is out with a new issue.

  • Nicholas Vazsonyi writes about Wagner and the making of a brand: Wagner®
  • Christopher Wintle ponders the achievements and intentions of Christof Loy in his new Tristan production at Covent Garden
  • Mark Berry goes to Leipzig to rediscover Peter Konwitschny’s schoolroom Lohengrin
  • David Breckbill hails the Thielemann cycle as one of the finest ever recorded
  • Jonathan Burton acclaims a definitive study of the Wagner tuba
...and lots more.

Subscribe at The Wagner Journal Homepage

06 March 2010

Premiere of Herheim's Tannhäuser today

Today is the premiere of Stefan Herheim's production of Tannhäuser at the Norwegian National Opera in Oslo. Judging from the press photos, it will not be boring. And, as one can see, the Salvation Army plays an important role.

Music critics from all over Europe will attend.

01 March 2010

Park Studio: RING

During the period between March 29 and April 8, approximately twenty high school students from Santa Monica will learn about Richard Wagner's seminal work, Der Ring des Nibelungen. Park Studio will explore the symbolism of the ring in the opera - power, greed, desire - and extend parallels in today's culture. Students will participate in Ring cycle discussions with SMMoA's educators, collaborating artists, and guest speakers. They will have a backstage tour of LA Opera and see a dress rehearsal of Götterdämmerung. Finally, with the help of environmental artist Gordon Bowen and his Arts ReFoundry Atelier, students will interpret the meaning and power of the ring, casting their own original bronze ring sculptures. Bowen's foundry is completely made from recycled materials. The final exhibition of the students' bronze works at SMMoA will be titled "Park Studio: RING" and will be on view from May 15 to August 21, 2010.

The Santa Monica Museum of Art (SMMoA) is a kunsthalle, a non-collecting museum that presents exhibitions and programs that foster diversity, innovation, and discovery in contemporary art. Through partnerships and collaborations, the museum is able to connect to a wide range of information and knowledge that enhances the life of the mind and the spirit.

For over 10 years, Park Studio has provided formative experiences for teens. Through transformative experiences of art making and collaboration with established artists and organizations, participants gain access to ideas and opportunities that have the potential to shape their adult lives.

Asuka Hisa, Director of Education, Santa Monica Museum of Art, is a Los Angeles native. She received her B.A. from Barnard College in New York and her National Diploma of Art from the École des Beaux Arts in France. Before joining the Santa Monica Museum of Art in 1998, she was an art educator with the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and has worked with youth and art in France. She became the museum's Director of Education in 2000. Ms. Hisa is the Board President of the Museum Educators of Southern California a member of Art Table. In 2003, she received the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture. In 2007, she was appointed to the Arts Commission of the City of Santa Monica.