Edwin Baumgartner: Schmäh

By , March 16, 2018 09:36

Das muß ich Ihnen jetzt erzählen:
Edwin hat ein Buch geschrieben. Nein, der Baumgartner. Jo, eh. Ein Buch über den Schmäh, eine typisch wienerische Angelegenheit. Am Dienstag kam es, gestern habe ich es zuende gelesen. Liest sich klasse. Gefällt mir sehr! Und man fragt sich die ganze Zeit, ob das ganze Buch ein Schmäh ist, oder doch den Schmäh beschreibt. Ich will damit sagen: Das Buch hat genau den richtigen Schmäh, um sich dem Schmäh zu nähern! Klasse! Schmähohne!

Oper Frankfurt: Giacomo Meyerbeer: L’Africaine – Vasco da Gama (March, 11th, 2018)

By , March 13, 2018 10:07

First: The obvious (in German):

Musikalische Leitung: Antonello Manacorda
Regie: Tobias Kratzer
Bühnenbild und Kostüme: Rainer Sellmaier
Licht: Jan Hartmann
Video: Manuel Braun
Chor, Extrachor: Tilman Michael
Dramaturgie: Konrad Kuhn

Vasco da Gama: Michael Spyres
Selika: Claudia Mahnke
Nelusko: Brian Mulligan
Ines: Kirsten MacKinnon
Don Pedro: Andreas Bauer
Don Diego: Thomas Faulkner
Der Großinquisitor von Lissabon: Magnús Baldvinsson
Der Oberpriester des Brahma: Magnús Baldvinsson
Don Alvar: Michael McCown
Anna: Bianca Andrew

This was my first Meyerbeer and my second staging by Tobias Kratzer (his Meisteringer in Karlsruhe were my first, his Götterdämmerung in Karlsruhe will be my third), and I have to say, that this is a staging, everybody should go and see!

What Kratzer did together with his dramatic advisor Konrad Kuhn, who also gave a splendid introduction before the opera, was solving the problem of space and time (the l’Africaine should be an Indian, and the Manzanilla-tree is officially located in the Bahamas (but none of those facts were known during da Gama’s period, but they were know 300 hundred years later, when Meyerbeer took these pieces to construct a setting), so time and location are wrong in the original script!) by moving the stage into outer space and into the future. People here know, that I love Ruth Berghaus’ Tristan staging in Hamburg for exactly that: Intelligent (but still oriented and based on facts from the libretto) transformation of the opera, so that we today can learn and experience, what such old things still can tell and teach us today.

And Tobias Kratzer did that splendidly. His Meistersinger in Karlsruhe were a very traditionally but humorous setting, still based in Nürnberg, because Wagner did not create as ludicrous deviations from such a traditional setting into his script. Whereas Meyerbeer did in his last grand opera. So, Tobias Kratzer solves as an example in his staging of l’Africaine – Vasco da Gama the problem of women on board of expedition ships by “beaming” them into the scene via Video-Conferencing. There are much more such beautiful ideas, and the audience can laugh happily about many of them during the five hours (Kuhn and Kratzer still removed around 40 minutes (according to Kuhn during his introduction) from the original plot!).

This is a staging, everyone should visit, it’s funny, the singers/actors are splendid, their french is easily understandable, they do act on stage.

At the end there were standing ovations for all.

Highly recommended!

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