Snapshots from Germany
A roundup from the German-speaking world: Festival season is winding down, but the Ruhr Triennale, in the first year of Willy Decker’s Intendanz, appears to be going strong. The new director’s four-million-Euro production of Schoenberg’s Moses and Aron opened the festival last week with some features that seem to be becoming standards of Bochum’s Jahrhunderthalle, including moving seating components for the audience (which so impressed critics in David Pountney’s 2007 Triennale production of “Die Soldaten” that came to New York last summer), as well as video, “sound design,” and other state-of-the-art theatrical components. This production - its final performance is on Wednesday – marks the start of a three-year festival cycle focusing on the religions of the world; tonight is the last performance of the festival’s presentation of Jordi Savall’s ambitious, large-scale take on “Jerusalem.” (For reference: this is the festival that Gerard Mortier founded after he left Salzburg and before he took over the Opéra National de Paris.)
(Read about the BR Orchestra and Berlin Philharmonic after the jump)
Welt am Sonntag takes a page from the book of Opernwelt, which prepares an annual “best of the year” list for its fall edition, by polling eight critics every year about the best stagings of the year past. This is worth mentioning only because of a rare case of near-consensus: six of them chose Christof Loy’s staging of “Louise” at the opera house in Duisburg, conducted by Jonathan Darlington. This certainly whetted my interest in the production -- Loy's 16th for the company -- which will appear in Düsseldorf, Duisburg’s partner under the Deutsche Oper am Rhein umbrella, in February, 2010.
Die Welt also reported this week that the Bavarian government is sharpening the knives for the two orchestras and chorus of Bavarian Radio (Bayerischer Rundfunk), which represents 20% of the expenses of the state-supported station, but accounts for a mere 1.5% of programming. The better of the two orchestras, the Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio, also happens to be one of the best in the world (don’t take my word for it; it was voted number 6 in Gramophone’s list of the top 20), and is led by the inimitable Mariss Jansons. The pencil-pushers argue that it lost 2.3 million Euros on 8 CD productions in 2004. I doubt that actual dissolution of the BR orchestra is in the cards, but this is a story to watch.
Speaking of watching: the Berlin Philharmonic's Digital Concert Hall, in its second season, is open for business. The next live concert is on September 9 (Simon Rattle conducts "The Seasons"). Only 149 Euro for a season ticket.
August 31, 2009; 7:15 AM ET
Categories: festivals , international , music on the Web , news
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