I have just returned from a fruitful trip to Europe where I had to the pleasure of enjoying various operas, including the Opéra National de Paris production of Fidelio and the La Monnaie production of Rusalka in Brussels. It really made me proud that we are performing both of these works in the New Year.
Fidelio is based on a story by Jean-Nicholas Bouilly. Bouilly was an activist figure in the French administration before and during the French Revolution. The work is filled with the revolutionary ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity. It is interesting to consider the fact that Beethoven’s opera is probably the first serious political opera by a German composer, and was considered groundbreaking when it opened in 1805. One of my favourite aspects of this opera is the humanity, and the multi-dimensional characters. I feel that Beethoven created characters that are extraordinarily relatable from an audience perspective.
As for Rusalka, it is the first time the COC has performed this beautiful work. The COC in recent years has focused on fellow-Czech composer Leos Janáček’s library of operas. It is a delight to explore more Czech operatic material, especially Dvořák’s Rusalka, as it is one of the most beautiful scores ever written, and at the top of my list of favourites.
Music rehearsals have now started with the chorus members for our productions, and I look forward to a thrilling opening in the New Year.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Productions / comments (0) / permalink
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