Saturday, 2 May 2009

Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Berlin - 2009/10 season preview

The Staatsoper Unter den Linden has announced its programme for 2009-10, its final season before the house closes for renovation, during which time the company will perform at the Schiller Theater in Charlottenburg. The season will open with performances of Tristan und Isolde, which, as part of the ‘Staatsoper für Alle’ series, will be transmitted to the Bebelplatz outside. Daniel Barenboim will conduct a cast including Robert Gambill, Katarina Dalayman, and René Pape, in Harry Kupfer’s production. The same production will be performed again in March and April as part of the Holy Week Festtage; Peter Seiffert and Waltraud Meier will then assume the title roles.

Other performances during the Festtage will include Simon Boccanegra, Eugene Onegin, and a number of concerts, some intended to celebrate Pierre Boulez’s eighty-fifth birthday. Simon Boccanegra will appear first, as a new co-production with La Scala, in October. Barenboim conducts, with Federico Tiezzi as director; Plácido Domingo sings the title role. Achim Freyer’s production of Eugene Onegin (reviewed here) returns, also conducted by Barenboim, with a cast headed by Anna Samuil, Rolando Villazón, Artur Rucinski in the title role, and house favourite Pape as Prince Gremin. Maurizio Pollini presents a piano recital of works by Chopin, Debussy, and Boulez. Anna Netrebko and Barenboim perform works by Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov in a Liederabend. Boulez himself conducts the Staatskapelle Berlin, with Barenboim at the piano, in a programme of Boulez, Schoenberg, and Berg, whilst Boulez and Barenboim share the conducting honours for an all-Boulez birthday concert with members of West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and Hilary Summers as the soloist for Le marteau sans maître.

Three other new productions are announced. Zubin Mehta conducts Die Fledermaus in a production from Christian Pade. René Jacobs and the Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin perform Handel’s Agrippina, with Vincent Boussard as director. And Dale Duesing turns his hand to directing with Sir Simon Rattle in the pit for Chabrier’s L’Etoile. Magdalena Kožená and Jean-Paul Fouchécourt head the cast.

There are plenty of operatic revivals too. Ruth Berghaus’s Il barbiere di Siviglia will be conducted by Julien Salemkour, who also conducts Doris Dörrie’s Così fan tutte and Tosca. Puccini is further represented by La Bohème, with Samuil as Mimi, and Madama Butterfly, and Donizetti by L’elisir d’amore. Martin Kušej’s Carmen returns, as does Karsten Wiegand’s Faust, again with Pape. Philippe Jordan will conduct Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Kupfer’s tremendous Salome, and Der Rosenkavalier in Nicolas Brieger’s stylish production (reviewed here); Anne Schwanewilms will be the Marschallin. Le nozze di Figaro presents Hanno Müller-Brachmann in the title role. Schreker’s Der ferne Klang may be seen in Peter Mussbach’s production, conducted by Pedro Halffter. Perhaps most enticingly of all, Stefan Herheim’s Lohengrin, premiered during this season’s Festtage (reviewed here), receives a swift revival, once again conducted by Barenboim, and with a cast to include Samuil, Deborah Polaski, Burkhard Fritz, Kwangchul Youn. Mussbach’s La Traviata and David Alden’s Il Turco in Italia are other productions from celebrated directors. And August Everding’s celebrated Die Zauberflöte, with designs based upon Schinkel’s, returns with a strong cast including Müller-Brachmann, Christof Fischesser, Stephan Rügamer, and Anna Prohaska.

The Staatskapelle Berlin will also give its usual full complement of concerts, both as itself and in smaller chamber groups. A particular highlight will be a series under Barenboim, as pianist and conductor, which will present the later symphonies of Bruckner and the violin and piano concertos of Beethoven. Jordan conducts Ligeti and Strauss’s Alpine Symphony. Mehta may be heard in Webern, Strauss, and Dvořák. Michael Gielen makes a welcome return in Mahler (Des Knaben Wunderhorn: Müller-Brachmann and Petra Lang) and Bruckner. Mahler’s Third Symphony will be conducted by James Levine. Solo recitalists include Barenboim in Chopin and Müller-Brachmann in Brahms, with Jordan at the piano. Barenboim will conduct an orchestral benefit concert for the house with Plácido Domingo as soloist; the varied programme includes Handel, Mozart, Wagner, Mascagni, and zarzuela music. An all-Schumann programme is presented by Barenboim, Lang Lang, and members of the Staatskapelle Berlin.

Further information may be found here.

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