31 October 2011

Ole Anders Tandberg's production of The Coronation of Poppea (Monteverdi) as a stunning TV Opera Drama

The magnificent production at the Norwegian National Opera of Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea (The Coronation of Poppea) by director Ole Anders Tandberg is now ready for an international audience as a TV Opera Drama. The musical level is high, and the director shows that he ranks among the very best in Europe today. The (some traditionalists would say) extreme production actually enhances the musical experience and makes Monteverdi accessible to an audience who might think that an opera from 1642 is bound to be boring. But in addition, the TV production is so intelligent and stunning, all in black and white (except for the colour red), with creative use of camera angles and subtle use of editing effects like jump cuts, slow motion, fast forward etc., making it the best adaptation of an opera I have ever seen on the TV screen.

Ole Anders Tandberg (stage director)
Birgitte Christensen (Poppea)
Jacek Laszczkowski (Nerone)
Tim Mead (Ottone)
Patricia Bardon (Ottavia)
Ina Kringlebotn (Fortuna)
Giovanni Battista Parodi (Seneca)
Marita Solberg (Virtù/Drusilla)
Amelie Aldenheim (Amor/Pallide/Damigella)
Emiliano Gonzales Toro (Arnalta)
Conductor: Alessandro de Marchi
The Norwegian National Opera Orchestra
Duration: 4x 50´
Year of production: 2010
Produced by: NordicStories AS, Stein-Roger Bull

The format of four shorter episodes fits well into the programme schedule, and makes it possible to attract not only opera lovers but also regular TV viewers.

Press reviews of the production:
  • "Coronation of Poppea is opera at its best... Voluptuous baroque music and bloody, powerful drama.." (NRK)
  • "A brave project!" (Dagsavisen)
  • "The performance is populated with exceptional vocal talents and a director with a firm grip... Tandberg's direction demands our attention, and captivates us until the performance's final
  • breath!" (Dagbladet)
  • "A fascinating imprint of the period ... and for the most part liberating. Tandberg takes this to the limits." (Aftenposten)
  • "An illuminating experience, enveloped in everything beautiful: especially the music is in a class of its own...thoroughly delightful for the eyes, even in the darker, more destructive moments. There is a precise balancing act here between the perversions of Rome, the boisterousness of Venice and contemporary worldliness." (Vårt Land)

Heinz Tietjen at Bayreuth in 1934

In 1934 Heinz Tietjen (1881-1967) conducted and staged Rheingold, conducted and staged Walküre, conducted and staged Siegfried, conducted and staged Götterdämmerung, conducted and staged Meistersinger - and finally staged Parsifal.

Beat that.

Heinz Tietjen at the Bayreuth Festival

13 October 2011

2011 Birgit Nilsson Prize awarded to Riccardo Muti

Maestro Riccardo Muti was awarded the 2011 Birgit Nilsson Prize by H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden at a festive ceremony of celebration and musical inspiration held at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm on Thursday evening, October 13. This Prize of one million dollars, established by Birgit Nilsson herself, is the most generous prize in the world of classical music.

Acceptance speech by Riccardo Muti

Press conference before Award Ceremony with Maestro Riccardo Muti
(Royal Swedish Opera, 13 October 2011)

More highlights of the Award Ceremony