Saturday, July 28, 2018
The look of the production closely mirrors Neo Rauch's works, where figures dressed like Baroque figures from a Flemish painting (the costumes are by Ms. Loy) occupy a landscape filled with figurative and abstract objects. A power plant, with visible electrical wires comes to life as Lohengrin (Piotr Beczala) appears, dressed as an electrician, his weapon is a lightning rod sword. Elsa (Anja Harteros) already seems to feel the "sparks" brought on by her knight since her bluish hair seems to stand up on its own.The villains of the piece, Telramund and Ostrud (Tomasz Konieczny and Waltraud Meier) are deliciously evil in a silent movie kind of way, although we really feel sorry for Telramund when Lohengrin tears off one of his wings during their combat scene, and then pins it on a tree.
It's all about the colors in this production, and why not, since the sets are by a famed artist. Although much of the evening is clad in the kind of blue that reminds one of the backdrops of many a Balanchine ballet, the love scene in Act III is a very bright orange. When Gottfried finally makes his appearance at the end of the opera he is a man covered with bright green fur. These surprise colors are quite remarkable.
Is it a great production? I'm not sure yet. I'm looking forward to watching it live at Bayreuth in a couple of weeks. It looked great for the cameras, and I hope it looks just as beautiful at the Festspielhaus.
Monday, July 09, 2018
HERE for more details. Enjoy!
Friday, July 06, 2018
The last few days were full of excitement and doubts, but the decision has been made. Piotr agreed to take over the role of Lohengrin at the famous Wagner’s festival. Now he has 3 weeks of rehearsals left before his big debut at the Bayreuth Festival, where he will also be the first Polish singer in a title role.
Piotr sang Lohengrin at the Dresden Semperoper in 2016 alongside Anna Netrebko, and under the current conductor Christian Thielemann. This acclaimed production was later released on DVD.
This performance has been posted on YouTube:
Piotr accepted the assignment on a short notice and was forced to cancel some of his scheduled performances. In a statement on his social media profiles, the artist wrote:
As you may have just read, I am taking over the title role in Richard Wagner’s “Lohengrin” at this year’s Bayreuth Festival. I am of course extremely excited to make my Bayreuth debut this year, and to collaborate again with Christian Thielemann and so many wonderful colleagues.
But with all the excitement, I also want to tell you that this has been a very difficult decision for me. I know I am disappointing many of you who were planning to see me in other cities around the world. Please know that I hate nothing more than disappointing you, dear friends. I can only hope for your understanding that this is such a very special situation and promise to make it up to you in the future! I want to thank all the wonderful cultural institutions who understood this and helped me to get to Bayreuth. And I want to thank you, dear friends, for your love and support, always. See you very soon! Piotr
The fans of the artist were very supportive and Piotr received hundreds of comments and private messages of congratulations and encouragement for which he was very grateful.
The new production of Lohengrin is created by director Yuval Sharon and conductor Christian Thielemann, the stage design comes from the well-known artist couple Neo Rauch and Rosa Loy. The premiere will take place on July 25th.
Wednesday, July 04, 2018
In other words, the July 25 opening night of this opera is almost here, and he has not learned the role.
The festival has yet to announce a replacement, but the remaining cast members remain the same. Alagna will next perform at the Metropolitan Opera where he will open the season singing the title role in Samson et Dalila. The tenor will also perform Andrea Chénier at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Otello at the Opéra National de Paris, Luisa Miller in Opera de Monte Carlo, and La Traviata in Paris.
Meanwhile, the Bayreuth Festival opens on July 25 with Christian Thielemann conducting this new production of Lohengrin, which currently has no tenor. Director Yuval Sharon will become the first American to direct at Bayreuth. Scheduled singers Anja Harteros and Waltraud Meier are still scheduled to perform.