The first premiere of Dominique Meyer’s Staatsoper is tonight. Hindemith’s Cardillac will be directed by Sven-Eric Bechtolf and conducted music director Franz Welser-Möst. You might remember this team from Vienna’s Ring. The cast includes Juha Uusitalo, Juliane Banse, and Herbert Lippert. Supposedly the production focuses on the expressionist elements of the score and is inspired by silent film. Check out this photo gallery, I’m thinking there's also some Addams Family and Edward Scissorhands going on here.
The opera is based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Die Fräulein von Scuderi, which you probably read in Intro to German Literature (remember it? maniacal goldsmith is reluctant to sell his wares, resorts to drastic methods for repossession), only Hindemith’s version doesn’t actually include Die Fräulein’s frame narrative. It will be performed in Hindemith’s first, shorter 1926 version.
Watch a short rehearsal video on the Staatsoper's website. Audio quality slightly worse than your average cell phone video.
The press people have been earning their pay with this one. These articles are all in German, sorry. The opera's Künstleroper qualities prompt many identification-seeking questions from interviewing journalists ("So, do YOU have problems letting go of your own creations?" "Uh, not really.").
- There are two good articles on this opera and the production in the Staatsoper's October magazine, but the only way to read them without stopping by the opera house is to download the whole issue as a PDF here.
- Interview with Bechtolf, Der Standard
- An expansive interview with Welser-Möst in the Kurier, in which we blessedly learn he is not a fan of the FPÖ.
- He also talked to the Kleine Zeitung. If the above interview is the 1952 version, this one is the compact 1926 version.
- If you pick up an issue of this week’s Falter, there is also a third interview with Welser-Möst in it, but it’s not online. You should, though, Falter is always worth reading.
- More Welser-Möst! He and Dominique Meyer talk about more general Wiener Staatsoper matters with Die Welt, though Cardillac comes up briefly.
- Juliane Banse talks to Die Presse
Photo copyright APA.