Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Janacek, Bartok, and Maw: Glimmers Of An Operatic Renaissance Come To Washington

"Washington National Opera will present the North American premiere of Nicholas Maw's "Sophie's Choice," based on the best-selling novel by William Styron, as part of the company's 2006-07 season, it was announced yesterday.

Another highlight will be General Director Placido Domingo's first company appearance in three years in a major role. The tenor will sing Siegmund in seven performances of Wagner's "Die Walkure," the second installment in an ongoing WNO staging of the composer's complete four-opera "Ring" cycle.

Other offerings will include Leos Janacek's "Jenufa"; a double bill of Bartok's "Bluebeard's Castle" and Puccini's "Gianni Schicchi," directed by filmmaker William Friedkin ("The Exorcist"); a new production of Verdi's "Macbeth" (to be part of a citywide "Shakespeare in Washington" festival); Donizetti's "La Fille du Regiment"; and a revival of the Polish director Mariusz Trelinski's 2001 production of Puccini's "Madama Butterfly." ...

"Sophie's Choice," a wrenching study of a Holocaust survivor, was a critical and popular success when first performed in London in 2002 by the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. The cast will include Angelika Kirschlager, Rod Gilfry, Gordon Gietz and Dale Duesing; Marin Alsop, the incoming music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, will conduct the WNO Orchestra and Chorus."

Tim Page "Opera Sets 'Sophie's Choice' for '06" Washington Post December 6, 2005.

The WNO's production of Sophie's Choice will be a co-production with Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Volksoper Wien (Vienna).

Full details at: http://www.dc-opera.org/newsupdates/documents/WashingtonNationalOpera2006-2007season.pdf

Nazi Crematorium at Oswiecim, Poland. (Auschwitz - Birkenau Death Camps)

"At first, Poles were imprisoned and died in the camp. Afterwards, Soviet prisoners of war, Gypsies, and prisoners of other nationalities were also incarcerated there. Beginning in 1942, the camp became the site of the greatest mass murder in the history of humanity, which was committed against the European Jews as part of Hitler's plan for the complete destruction of that people. The majority of the Jewish men, women and children deported to Auschwitz were sent to their deaths in the Birkenau gas chambers immediately after arrival. At the end of the war, in an effort to remove the traces of the crimes they had committed, the SS began dismantling and razing the gas chambers, crematoria, and other buildings, as well as burning documents."

See: http://www.auschwitz-muzeum.oswiecim.pl/html/eng/start/index.php

Photo credit: www.umich.org


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