Hello from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Just arrived here to see this year's productions at Santa Fe Opera, and for some time off. Finally, I have the time to catch up on the blog after a few quite intense weeks.
After my return from San Francisco I went to Germany for a few days with my parents and from there to Salzburg. As you know I started my opera career in Salzburg and going there always feels like coming home. This year marks my old friend and mentor Evamaria Wieser's last summer with the festival and it was important for me to be there. To me, it won't be quite the same any more when she's gone. But I was happy to make contact with a few old friends who are with the festival now, the former head of the costume department is running the same department in Salzburg and our former technical director from Paris just took over the technical department. Opera is a small world, indeed.
During the week of my stay I was lucky enough to attend rehearsals and performances of Macbeth, Die Frau ohne Schatten, Le nozze di Figaro, a concert with the Vienna Philharmonic and Pierre Boulez, and had a chance to meet with colleagues, managers and artists. What a privilege to see Riccardo Muti conduct Macbeth, giving care to every single note and showing how deep and important this music can be if it is taken that seriously. Or Christian Thielemann conducting the Vienna Philharmonic in Frau ohne Schatten with such a natural flow that the more than five hours of Strauss's marvelous score (performed without cuts) seemed to be just the right length. Or Claus Guth's witty and intelligent production of Figaro, a true folle journée at the Almavivas, with Genia Kühmeier's utterly moving Countess (the best I've heard live). I could go on and on.
Unfortunately, I missed Gerald Finley's Don Giovanni which will only open later in August, but got to meet with him for a very nice lunch. Of Così fan tutte I only saw parts of the piano dress and of the new production of The Makropoulos Case only Anna Viebrock's most impressive set. But of what I've seen Salzburg 2011 felt like the best festival in almost ten years.
Before leaving for Santa Fe I went to Quebec City for a day to see Johannes conduct The Nightingale and Other Short Fables. It is always a pleasure to see Robert Lepage's beautiful show again. It is very special and enchanted the audience in Robert's hometown as much as anywhere else.
Soon, I will start posting my reports of the Santa Fe operas here.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Travel / comments (2) / permalink
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