All tagged Wagner

Die Walkure at the Royal Opera House

Die Walkure is the second part of Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle and is based on Norse mythology, where a Valkyrie is a female figure who decides in battle which soldier shall live or die.  It received its premiere in Munich in 1870 and was first presented as part of the complete Ring Cycle in 1876 in Bayreuth.

Das Wunder der Heliane at Vlaanderen Opera House Antwerp

Erich Wolfgang Korngold was born in 1897 in Austria/Hungary and died at the age of 60 in California.  He was a child prodigy, having a great European career until the rise of the Nazi regime forced him to flee to America in 1934.  Thereafter, he worked on some 16 Hollywood films, writing the scores and receiving two Oscars for his work.  His main classical work was written in Europe and this particularly applies to the opera, Das Wunder der Heliane (The Miracle of Heliane), which is written in three acts and was first performed at the Hamburg State Opera in October 1927. 

Turandot at The Royal Opera House

The original story of Turandot is centred on the epic works of the 12th century Persian poet, Nizani, based on Turad-Dokht (daughter of Turan).  This was Puccini’s last opera and in fact he never completed the third Act at the time of his death in 1924.  The ending of this opera was completed by Alfano, based on sketches left behind by Puccini.  The original premier of Turandot was held in Milan in 1926 and conducted by Toscanini.  Luciano Berio was also sanctioned to make a new completion for the opera, but this is rarely performed.

Die Meistersinger at the Royal Opera House

It’s a mess.  Not musically, but in Kasper Holten’s last production for the ROH as Artistic Director he really hasn’t come to terms with the complexities of the piece and too many gimmicks abound, which simply do not make sense.  His production of Eugene Onegin was poor, but in some respects this production is really awful. 

Die Walküre, Wiesbaden, Germany

What a supremely beautiful opera house in Wiesbaden.  It is small (probably around 1,000 seats) with a great quality of sound. This opera is the second in the Ring Cycle, albeit was Wagner's third in order of conception.  He had worked backwards from planning an opera about Siegfried's death and in doing so he needed another opera to tell of his conception.