30 January 2012

Helsinki Festival 2012: Esa-Pekka Salonen, Peter Sellars & Bill Viola: Tristan und Isolde

Tristan und Isolde
Helsinki Music Centre, concert hall
August 2012: 18 + 21
Conductor: Esa-Pekka Salonen
Visual artist: Bill Viola
Artistic collaborator: Peter Sellars

Tristan: Gary Lehman
Isolde: Violeta Urmana
König Marke: Matti Salminen
Kurwenal: Jukka Rasilainen
Also: Waltteri Torikka, Tuomas Katajala, Arttu Kataja

Helsinki Festival Homepage

See the Wagner Calendar for more Wagner productions 2012

24 January 2012

Keith Warner to leave the Royal Danish Theatre due to devastating budget cuts

The budget cuts at the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen continues to create havoc in the beautiful Danish capital: Now Keith Warner resigns in protest.

Keith Warner announced at a staff meeting at the Opera House that he has been granted a release from his contract, which was to expire on 31 July 2014.

As a consequence Jakub Hrůša, who has since October 2011 been acting artistic consultant for Keith Warner, has announced that he no longer wishes to assume the position as music director at the Royal Danish Theatre as of the summer of 2013.

Artistic Director of the Royal Danish Opera, Keith Warner, states:

“It is with immense sadness that I feel I must resign my post at the Royal Danish Opera. A combination of factors, made acute by the recent devastating budget cuts, has led me to feel that in the present circumstances, I am unable to realise my great dreams for the company. We part good friends. The talent of the performing company is beyond compare and the dedication of the entire staff is without reproach. I’m sure we will continue to build pathways towards each other in the future."

Director of the Royal Danish Theatre Erik Jacobsen regrets Keith Warner’s decision and states:
“I sincerely regret that Keith Warner no longer wishes to stay in Copenhagen. I will now in joint collaboration with the rest of the theatre’s management and board of directors ensure that the transitional period until a new artistic director has been found will be as smooth as possible. The repertoire at the Royal Danish Opera has already been planned for the next couple of years. So we will allocate the necessary time it will take to find a new artistic director who is to ensure a high artistic standard.”

Until a new artistic director has been appointed, Deputy Artistic Director of the Royal Danish Opera Sven Müller will assume responsibility for the artistic management of the Opera House.

11 January 2012

Washington National Opera: Washington premiere of the full “American Ring” in 2016

Washington National Opera (WNO) today announced several new initiatives as part of a long-range plan to build on its tradition of artistic excellence, including the Washington premiere of Richard Wagner’s complete “American Ring” cycle and a multipart New American Works Project for young American composers and librettists. Additionally, WNO announced it will add a holiday opera to its season schedule and expand its programming to include performances in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater next season. The Opera has also committed to create at least one new production each season.

“Washington National Opera is planning aggressively for our future seasons with a new confidence,” said Michael L. Mael, WNO Executive Director. “These initiatives are part of an even bolder artistic vision that builds on our successes while creating exciting performances for our audience as well as new opportunities for American artists.”

WNO will present three complete cycles of Richard Wagner’s epic four-part masterpiece Der Ring des Nibelungen in the spring of 2016. Hailed by the Washington Post as “one of the best Ring cycles in more than a quarter of a century,” these performances will be the first time the Company has presented the Ring in complete cycles in its 56-year history.

“I am honored to finally bring my complete vision of the Ring back to its home at WNO,” said Francesca Zambello, the director of the cycle and WNO Artistic Advisor. “This ‘American Ring’ started and evolved here in Washington, and I’m looking forward to having our D.C. audience experience it in the intimacy of the Kennedy Center Opera House as a complete work as Wagner intended.”

Washington National Opera has previously presented the first three operas of the cycle individually: Das Rheingold in 2006, Die Walküre in 2007, and Siegfried in 2009. The fourth opera, Götterdämmerung, was presented in a concert staging in 2009.