I am writing this from the auditorium of the Four Seasons Centre during the piano tech rehearsal of The Flying Dutchman. It is great to be back on our stage again for the preparations of our spring season. We are presenting Christopher Alden's famous production for the first time in our new theatre and it will only be the second Wagner opera in the new house since the Ring Cycle. For those of you who have seen the production before at the Sony Centre (or however it was called then) you will be amazed by how much more intimate it will look and feel.
The week has been dedicated to the orchestra rehearsals of Dutchman, three orchestra readings and a music rehearsal with singers and orchestra, a so-called Sitzprobe, the term is German and can be translated literally as sit-rehearsal, because the singers don't act, but are seated behind the orchestra and stand up when they have to sing. Johannes, our Music Director, has worked hard with the orchestra to achieve a specific early-Wagner sound. Much too often Wagner's early operas are seen from the perspective of his late works like Götterdämmerung and played with too much heaviness. In Johannes' interpretation you will hear a lot of Wagner's early influences like Mendelssohn or Weber, an approach that makes Dutchman sound incredibly new and fresh.
On another matter, I meant to mention a few wonderful pieces of music that I've been listening to quite a lot lately. Rufus Wainwright's new album All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu. These songs are quite different from his previous albums, somehow more serious and truly moving. His piano playing is also quite remarkable. If you are in a more classical mood Viktoria Mullova's new recording of Bach's Six Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin would be my enthusiastic recommendation.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Rehearsals / comments (0) / permalink
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