Thursday, February 16, 2006

Missing In Action At Peter Gelb's New Metropolitan Opera: Olivier Messiaen, Hans Werner Henze, Sir Harrison Birtwistle

"Hans Werner Henze is at work on an opera based on the Phaedra myth for the Berlin State Opera, Deutsche Presse-Agentur reports.

The opera is scheduled to premiere in the fall of 2007 [the same time that Philip Glass's and Christopher Hampton's new opera, "Appomatix", will premiere in San Francisco]; Peter Mussbach, the company's general manager and artistic director, will direct. The libretto is by Christian Lehnert, a German poet. ...

Henze's 15 previous operas include The Stag King, Boulevard Solitude, The Bassarids, We Come to the River, Venus and Adonis, and L'Upupa und der Triumph der Sohnesliebe [the last of which is now available on DVD in a beautiful production from the Salzburg Festival]. When the latter premiered in 2003, Henze said that it would be his last opera. [However, it is perhaps his most beautiful and deeply felt opera, and one for which he drew from Arabic folk-lore, and for which he wrote, for the first time, both the music and the libretto.]"

Source: Ben Mattison "Henze Writing Phaedra Opera for Berlin State Opera" Playbill Arts February 13, 2006.

L'upupa (Hoopoe)

Photo credit: With thanks.

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