The works of Giuseppe Verdi mark the beginning and end of the 2009
Festival: on June 30, the curtain in the National Theatre will rise on the
festival gala performance of Aida, a new production this
season, following the première on June 8. A performance of
Falstaff on July 31 will then conclude five weeks of festival
glory, which will again present audiences with a top-class programme of opera
and ballet performances, concerts and song recitals.
The main point of interest will be focused on the festival première of
Wagner’s opera Lohengrin in the National Theatre on July
5. For the tenth time, Kent Nagano will mount the podium of the Bavarian
State Orchestra to conduct a new production. The stage director is Richard
Jones, and an all-star cast headed by Jonas Kaufmann, Anja Harteros and
Michaela Schuster will be on stage.
Besides Aida with Barbara Frittoli in a production staged by
Christoph Nel and conducted by Daniele Gatti, the Festival will also offer an
opportunity for audiences to become reacquainted with all the other new
productions of this season:
Verdi’s dark-hued opera Macbeth (July 21/24), Andreas
Kriegenburg’s Wozzeck production (July 17),
enthusiastically acclaimed by press and public, the queen of bel canto, Edita
Gruberova in Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia (July 1/6),
Janáček’s Jenůfa (July 9) as a further work
of the theatre’s Slavic repertoire as well as a ballet world première
of this season: Jiří Kylián’s Zugvögel (July 3).
In addition, Mozart’s Idomeneo in the Cuvilliès
Theater (July 23/26/30) and the new production of Strauss’
Ariadne on Naxos (July 13/16/20), which was premièred to rave
reviews in the 2008 Festival, in the Prince Regent Theatre will both be
revived this year. Other major highlights include the appearance of star
soprano Angela Gheorghiu in a gala concert with the Bavarian State Orchestra
on July 27 as well as Rolando Villazón in the title role of Jules
Massenet’s Werther (July 4/7) together with Vesselina
Kasarova as Charlotte, as well as song recitals with Diana Damrau (July 5),
Waltraud Meier (July 20) and Jonas Kaufmann (July 26).
The 2009 Festival also has a special emphasis to offer. The “under
construction” program heralded by Nikolaus Bachler in his editorial,
has a number of surprises in the offing — among them a
“construction site” on Marstall Square and the festival première
of Leonard Bernstein’s one-acter Trouble in Tahiti on
July 7: Kent Nagano will lead the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in a new version
especially prepared for Munich at the Cuvilliès Theatre. Another featured
event at “under construction” will be the world première of
Narcissus and Echo by Californian composer Jay Schwartz. The
sounds of a counter tenor, a viola and percussion set will transform the
Allerheiligen Hofkirche (All Saint’s Court Church) into an echo space
to reflect identity, deception and recognition.
For the second successive Year, BMW Munich will be aboard as official
partner of the Munich Opera Festival — a relationship, which has its
foundation in the long-standing support of Opera for All. In
2009 as well, the Festival will offer free open-air events: on June 28 a
concert by the Bavarian State Orchestra under the direction of Kent Nagano on
Marstall Square, and on July 5, the performance of Lohengrin
will mark the first time in the over 10-year history of Opera for
All that audiences will have a chance to witness the live transmission
of a Festival première on Max Joseph Square.
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