Sunday, December 26, 2010

SATOSHI on Berlin - Classical Music, Opera & Operetta

All these snows in Europe are making me very nervous. I am going to London and Berlin during the Chinese New Year. Not only have I paid for the flights and hotels, I have also already paid for my theatre tickets of my Berlin segment. I wonder whether my travel insurance covers them, in the event that I can’t go due to the weather…

Anyway, while I plan to have a “musical” London, I am going to have an “opera” Berlin. Here are the shows that I have booked:

JANUARY 30 - Orchestra Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir Simon Rattle, Magdalena Kožená at the Chamber Music Hall, Berliner Philharmoniker

  • How can one go to Berlin and not go to a Berlin Philharmonic concert? At the point of this writing, this concert is already sold out! Boy, am I glad I booked my tickets last week! I am not surprised at all that it is sold out; this concert will be celebrating Hans Werner Henze’s 85th birthday and aside from the famous husband and wife, Rattle and Kožená (mezzo-soprano), they will also be joined by Andrew Staples (tenor), Wolfram Teßmer (baritone) and Guy Braunstein (violin). The program will include Hans Werner Henze’s
Violin Concerto No. 2 
and Gustav Mahler’s
Das Lied von der Erde.
FEBRUARY 1 – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Die Hochzeit des Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) at the Komische Oper Berlin

  • I think this will be my first time to hear this opera in German! The musical direction will be by Ariane Matiakh and the staging will be by Barrie Kosky. Here are some of the cast members: • Graf Almaviva: Tom Erik Lie • Gräfin Almaviva: Brigitte Geller • Susanna: Maureen McKay • Figaro: Carsten Sabrowski • Cherubino: Elisabeth Starzinger

FEBRUARY 2 – Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus at the Semperoper Dresden

  • Oh, did I mention that I am also going to Dresden? The musical direction will be by Alexander Joel
and the staging will be by Günter Krämer. Here are some of the cast members: • Gabriel von Eisenstein: Hans-Joachim Ketelsen
 • Frank: Michael Eder
 • Prinz Orlofsky: Barbara Senator
 • Alfred: Andrej Dunaev
 • Dr. Falke: Christoph Pohl
• Dr. Blind: Gerald Hupach
 • Adele: Carolina Ullrich
 • Ida: Andrea Schubert
 • Frosch: Wolfgang Stumph
 • Rosalinde: Evelyn Herlitzius

FEBRUARY 3 – Tommaso Traetta’s Antigona at the Staatsoper im Schiller Theater

  • Tommaso who? Frankly, I have never heard of him, but the reasons why I am going to this opera are: 1) I like investigating different theaters in a city, 2) Rene Jacobs will be conducting and 3) Bejun Mehta will be performing. Vera Nemirova will be directing the opera and here are some of the cast members: • Antigona: Veronica Cangemi • Ismene: Jennifer Rivera • Emone: Bejun Mehta • Creonte: Kurt Streit • Adrasto: Kenneth Tarver

FEBRUARY 4 – Der Lustige Witwer at the Theater am Kurfürstendamm

  • Okay, I have to admit that this is a mistake and this is what happens if a site is not in English. I am usually very careful in booking tickets, but this was just plain German stupidity. Their online ticketing service advertised it as the Franz Lehar operetta, complete with the picture of the composer and the synopsis. Unfortunately, when I visited the website of the theatre, it was all in German... in any case, I have a feeling that it is actually a play by Simon Moss after the British sitcom “Tom, Dick and Harriet”! So, I might just ditch these tickets and look for another show. There is really no point of going to a German play when my German is…

FEBRUARY 5 – Richard Strauss’ Die Liebe der Danae (The Love of Danae) at the Deutsche Oper Berlin

  • Now this would be interesting to see. I have never seen nor heard this opera before, and I believe that it is actually rarely performed. The only experience I had of is the recording of one of its arias by Renee Fleming in her album Homage. The opera will be conducted by Andrew Litton and directed by Kirsten Harms. Some of the cast members are: • Jupiter: Mark Delavan • Merkur: Thomas Blondelle • Pollux: Burkhard Ulrich • Danae: Manuela Uhl • Xanthe: Hulkar Sabirova • Midas: Matthias Klink

Well, that will be it and hopefully, I will have time to write a review of each!

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