Werner Kmetitsch How an apparently righteous society transforms into a horde that yearns for prosperity is shown brilliantly by Keith Warner and on David Fielding’s well-equipped stage.

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Werner Kmetitsch How an apparently righteous society transforms into a horde that yearns for prosperity is shown brilliantly by Keith Warner and on David Fielding’s well-equipped stage.

At first you have no idea that this woman wants revenge. Because the merchant Alfred Ill made her pregnant, she had to flee from the ridicule of the residents. She offers the community a billion for Ill’s death.

© Werner Kmetitsch

How an apparently righteous society transforms into a horde that yearns for prosperity is shown brilliantly by Keith Warner and on David Fielding’s well-equipped stage. Each of the figures is meticulously executed. Ill be minutely degraded to the guilty victim. Warner doesn’t leave anything out, he looks into the depths of the soul and shows clearly: it’s about more than just revenge: it’s about a great love that has been disappointed. With the RSO, Michael Boder brings every finesse of the music dramatist from one who captured the spectrum of human sensitivities and abysses with every phrase. Various styles of the 20th century are combined with short romantic quotes.

© Werner Kmetitsch

Where the score demands full force, Boder also plays it. Everything fits. The singers did not rely on large, imposing voices, but on formidable singing actors. And that worked perfectly. Katarina Karneus is a demonic, intense Claire Zachanassian. As Alfred Ill, Russell Braun is an ideal partner who is believed to be the former lover who shuns any responsibility. Adrian Eröd convinces as a teacher, Markus Butter as a pastor. Raymond Very tries hard as mayor, Mark Milhofer is a humble butler. The smaller parts are all properly cast vocally. A highlight is Markus Hinterhauser’s portrayal of the panther. The Arnold Schönberg Choir acts and sings congenially. This performance is a sound plea for the opera composer Gottfried von Eine to be included in the standard repertoire.

© Werner Kmetitsch

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No idyll in a Swiss forest, where a brave family man and the best marksman in the country saves his and his son’s life by shooting an apple off the child’s head. That is how the Vogt wanted it. We are neither with Friedrich Schiller nor in history class. Or is it? At least in the history lesson of the director Torsten Fischer. His Tell is a resistance fighter, and there is already murder during the overture. The people are buried in the snow; no sooner have they awakened from their rigidity than snow is shoveled.

Torsten Fischer relocates the story of the Swiss national hero from the 14th century to an indefinite present or future. Vogt Gessler is a dictator. No, the game is not played in a forest, but in a quasi-empty room. The message has arrived: evil can be anywhere. Herbert Schäfer Vasilis Triantafilopolous have created the framework with an iron frame, a revolving stage, a video light wall showing fighter pilots and bombing attacks, that’s enough. The ambience is so cool that it freezes any mood in the best sense of the word.

© Moritz Schell

Conductor Diego Matheuz was more than just challenged with the score at the premiere. In almost constant forte he drives the Vienna Symphony Orchestra through the sheet music. The finesse in Rossini’s Grand Opéra suffocates in the noise.

© Moritz Schell

But two voices dominate everything: Jane Archibald as Mathilde.thesis statements to kill a mockingbird She masterfully brings her coloratura with her beautifully colored soprano to the ear. John Osborn is an outstanding Arnold Melchtal who achieves the high notes expected of an ideal Rossini tenor. Christoph Pohl is a soothing baritone who is easy on the nerves with his portrayal of the title hero Wilhelm Tell. Edwin Crossley-Mercer is vocal and acting fabulous Walter Fürst. Marie-Claude Chappuis convinces in every way as Hedwige, Tell’s wife. Ante Jerkunica is a whining cliché Nazi. Anita Rosati convinces as Tell’s son. Arnold Schönberg acts and sings brilliantly.

© Moritz Schell

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There are moments in concert life when something special happens, such as with Riccardo Muti and the Wiener Hofmusikkapelle, a formation of the Vienna Philharmonic, in the Musikverein. Mozart’s Symphony in C major, KV 338, kicked off a sacred program.

Mozart’s Symphony in C major, KV 338, kicked off a sacred program. Pompous, in radiant C major, this work begins like the overture to an Italian opera from the 18th century. Muti let that be heard clearly in every nuance. But then, when in the second movement, called the Andante, which Mozart had transformed into a fresh, delicate, filigree Allegretto, and led the orchestra to top performances with brief gestures, a kind of drama arose that is seldom heard so clearly.

in the

Interview with news on the occasion of the New Year’s Concert

At the beginning of the year Muti let it be known: “The Vienna Philharmonic play Mozart with elegance and naturalness.” Muti, however, knows how to pair these sound qualities, the virtuosity with which they make music, with tension.

With Nicoloa Porpara’s “Salva Regina” for alto, strings and basso continuo in F major, Muti introduced one of the great Italian aria composers of the 18th century. Daniela Pini, who stood in for Bernarda Fink at short notice, shone on her house debut at the Musikverein. Her alto voice, which covers a wide range of timbres, moved effortlessly through the coloratura. Excellent.

With Antonio Salieri’s “Magnificat” for four-part choir and orchestra in C major, the court orchestra, which also includes the Vienna Boys’ Choir and members of the Vienna State Opera men’s choir, was able to present all its facets. Franz Schubert’s “G major mass”, D 167, was disturbing. Genia Kühmeier, who stepped in for Julia Kleiter, and Werner Güra and Adrain Eröd completed brilliantly.

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The real experts among the theater makers know how to convey the essence of a subject. Paulus Manker is one of these masters, as he shows with Karl Kraus’ monumental tragedy “The Last Days of Mankind” in Wiener Neustadt. This is far from an easy task. as can be seen from the failed attempts of large Austrian theaters in recent years. The “tragedy in 5 acts with prelude and epilogue” comprises 220 scenes. Most directors reduced their performances to a selection of the best-of.

Manker, shows that Kraus ’work can actually be performed if you understand it. He makes it possible to experience what Kraus was about: namely, the increasing brutality, the bestialization of humanity in a war situation, the manipulation of the masses and the misery that results from it.

© Sebastian Kreuzberger

He has found the ideal ambience for this: the “Serbenhalle” in Wiener Neustadt. The building was captured by the National Socialists in Serbia during World War II, transported by train and rebuilt in Wiener Neustadt. Forced laborers were supposed to produce the V2 rocket, the so-called “miracle weapon” there. Manker makes optimal use of the building: the Viennese scenes, such as the Sirk corner, the Café Pucher, the Chramosta grocer’s shop are located in the main hall, a gigantic open transport wagon serves as a stage. With Georg Resetschnig, Manker set up a hospital, an editorial office and a library. Other rooms are lovingly furnished historically.

75 scenes are shown, some of them at the same time in various rooms.

The choice is wise. You start as it is in the piece. On a summer evening. One is on the eve of the First World War, the assassination of the heir to the throne is reported. The actors drive into the hall on rails on a stage, mingle with the audience. In a moment you are in the parade on the Ringstrasse, in the Cafe Pucher. The actors let you know which rooms are playing in. This is reminiscent of Manker’s performance of Sobol’s “Alma”. Cards with QR codes are served on trays, which can be used to call up background information on the individual scenes via smartphone. It works perfectly.

The way Manker creates moods with his thirty actors is breathtaking. He relies on atmosphere. The audience is driven outside on an open wagon, where a show trench is re-enacted and the war correspondent, Schalk, acts at the front. All actors appear in multiple roles. The sharpness of Kraus’s language is made audible above all by the castle actor Franz Josef Csencsits (he appears in Wiener Neustadt under the name of Grotrian) and Alexander Wächter as an optimist. It ends after six and a half full hours, including a dinner built into the play as a funeral for the dead newspaper reader Biach, not with the voice of God as in the play, but with Anna. The soldier’s wife, who thought her husband was dead and is expecting another child, is played movingly.

Setting the concept on atmosphere corresponds perfectly to Kraus ’work. Because the short scenes are snapshots from life during the war.

Chapeau to the theater maker Manker: without subsidies, he created one of the most exciting theater events of the season.

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An imposing horse head made of iron bars and tools of war, heroes with sabers, clad in cloaks and boots, as if they had just emerged from Lord Nelson’s fleet after the Battle of Trafalgar.

© Michael Poehn

No, this is not a scenario from a Hollywood history film. This is David Vicar’s production of Hector Berlioz’s magnum opus “The Trojans”. Real Grand Opéra, with a line-up of gigantic choirs – the Vienna State Opera Choir was reinforced by the Slovak Philharmonic Choir – sweeping ballet scenes with the dancers of the Vienna State Ballet and the St. Pölten European Ballet and 21 soloists in the singer ensemble. In his opera Berlioz tells of the capture of Troy and of the hero Aeneas, who is commissioned by the gods to found a new empire in Italy. Before that, he and his fleet end up in Carthage. There he drives out an enemy army and wins the favor of Queen Dido, who will no longer let him go.

© Michael Poehn

The scenarios by the set designer Es Devlin seem borrowed from George Lucas’ “Star Wars” saga. Troy is relocated to the planet of the scrap collectors, the horse, here only the head, is made of gears, sabers and all sorts of other steel grids. The view of the Greeks, who wanted to secretly infiltrate Troy with it, would therefore be free. Carthage is a rich orange place that disappears behind a black curtain when Dido has her big solo performance. McVicar limits himself to showing the content as an exciting war epic, love story, see Dido and Aeneas. This is always practical, because the production, which was shown for the first time in 2012 at the Covent Garden Opera in London, was shown in Milan and San Francisco before it reached Vienna. Every place with different singers.

© Michael Poehn

In the Viennese line-up, Joyce DiDonato towered above everything and everyone. Her mezzo-soprano shines in all registers. The Queen of the Carthaginians shows her as the caring mother of the country, who transforms into an ardent lover, who surrenders with fury to her grief when she left Aeneas. Brandon Jovanovich acts as Aeneas like a movie hero. Vocally, the tenor convinces with his successful phrasing. Monika Bohinec stepped in for the sick Anna Caterina Antonacci in the huge role of Cassandra and sings this part flawlessly. Benjamin Bruns is particularly noticeable in the smaller games. His beautiful, clear timbre already has a tendency to be unmistakable. Rachel Frenkel, Jongmin Park, Szilvia Vörös and Paolo Fanale add his expandable tenor voice.

© Michael Poehn

Alain Altinoglu is convincing at the podium of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra not only as a master of coordination who mediates precisely between the choirs, the individual singers and the musicians. From the extensive, multi-layered score, he subtly brings out finesse, makes passages float musically and also refers to the modern in Berlioz. Great!

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