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9.12.05

2006/2007 Season at Washington National Opera II

We know how busy teachers are right before Christmas – all the more surprising that Charles beat me to commenting on the upcoming Washington National Opera season. He’s already said most of what needed to be said: congratulations to the WNO for a relatively daring and interesting season. I, too, was excited, after reading the announcement, but unfortunately I made the mistake of checking out the Bavarian State Opera’s Web site right thereafter and was immediately depressed. The Munich opera will perform more Handel (or Mozart, or Wagner) operas in one season than the WNO has performances – period. And instead of 7+1 operas, the Munich audience can choose between a staggering 55! Not bad for a provincial southern town in the Bavarian hinterland with fewer residents than the most important captial city on earth. But there is one link between Munich and Washington that makes me happy and shocks me. David Alden, with Peter Konwitschny one of the in-house directors and enfants terribles of the Staatsoper will direct Jenůfa at the WNO. I thought I’d never see the day – alas, here we are. Alden has revolutionized the way we experience Baroque opera, is responsible for one of the most visually appealing and haunting Kát'a Kabanová’s in Munich that I have seen… and has otherwise offended and delighted opera-lovers to great acclaim. The Washington audience may not be ready for it, but I hope that if the elder of the two Alden brothers is in good form, he might convince the audience to be a bit more daring a bit more often, after all. If nothing else, I am ready for it and I am excited especially since David Alden seems to have a hit-to-miss ratio that is significantly better than many other modern and daring directors.

Pictures from David Alden productions that are part of the 2006/2007 season of the Bayerische Staatsoper can be found here.

4 comments:

Clayton said...

Really looking forward to WNO's next season (including Verdi's Macbeth). Thanks for this information about what to expect from the Jenufa production. Is it a coincidence that Baltimore Opera is planning a Czech opera also? Smetana's Bartered Bride might be less daring but also not performed very often in the US, I believe. (That's one that I hope they don't do in an updated production design.)

margit said...

What nonsense to compare Washington to Munich. There is a totally different system with state subsidized opera houses and theaters.
So continue to be proud for what you have got - mainly because a lot of people who care for art also pay for it. This would be impossible in Europe!People care for art but are not necessarily willing to pay for it by contributing directly.

jfl said...

nonsense indeed. we should never compare washington to munich. because... because it's different. and don't mock my opera tax with which i get the poor to subsidize my david alden productions, either! dammit.

Ariadne said...

While you all are comparing or not comparing different opera houses and tax structures, we singer bloggers are apparently beginning to severely edit, hide/disguise or even quit blogging all together, in order to protect our performing opportunities.

The dangers of blogging are very much on our minds these days, as you can see from my new (hopefully to be respected) alias.

Love ionarts ... keep up the good work, gentlemen.