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Performances

17 Jan 2005

Britten's Billy Budd in Munich

Gut ein halbes Jahrhundert hat es gedauert, bis “Billy Budd”, Benjamin Brittens 1951 uraufgeführtes Meisterwerk, an der Bayerischen Staatsoper angekommen ist. Ein hochtheatrales Stück zwischen Seemannsgarn und Homoerotik, zwischen Kriegs- und Menschenrecht, zwischen verborgener (Zu-)Neigung und Pflichterfüllung. Ein Stück also, das “funktioniert” und berührt, wie der enthusiastische Premierenbeifall zeigte. Kein Buh, nicht einmal für Regisseur Peter Mussbach, dafür Bravi schon vor Beginn, als Kent Nagano, GMD ab 2006, den Graben enterte.

Stöckelschuhe und Seemannsgarn
Vor allem ein musikalisches Ereignis: "Billy Budd" im Nationaltheater
Edward Morgan Foster, einer der beiden Textlieferanten von Benjamin Britten, hätte womöglich protestiert. "Billy ist unser Erlöser", notierte er, "und doch ist er Billy, nicht Christus". Was der Regisseur, Kitsch-verliebter überdeutlichkeit nicht abgeneigt, irgendwie überlesen haben muss. Wir sehen also Billy an eine Golgatha-gleiche Leiter gefesselt, dann die "Kreuzabnahme" durch Captain Vere, als Eingangsbild aber, aus dem sich alles als Rückblende entwickelt: Billy als Pietà in den Armen dieses Mannes, der durch den schönen Matrosen sein emotionales und erotisches Erweckungserlebnis hatte - der "Messias" also gescheitert?

Gut ein halbes Jahrhundert hat es gedauert, bis "Billy Budd", Benjamin Brittens 1951 uraufgeführtes Meisterwerk, an der Bayerischen Staatsoper angekommen ist. Ein hochtheatrales Stück zwischen Seemannsgarn und Homoerotik, zwischen Kriegs- und Menschenrecht, zwischen verborgener (Zu-)Neigung und Pflichterfüllung. Ein Stück also, das "funktioniert" und berührt, wie der enthusiastische Premierenbeifall zeigte. Kein Buh, nicht einmal für Regisseur Peter Mussbach, dafür Bravi schon vor Beginn, als Kent Nagano, GMD ab 2006, den Graben enterte.

Und mag's im Orchester auch murren, weil man sich bei Naganos Berufung übergangen fühlte, weil auch das absurde Argument kursiert, der Neue habe doch kaum Opernerfahrung: Das Dirigat des künftigen Chefs weckt grosse Neugier. Nagano änderte die Sitzordnung, platzierte tiefe Streicher links und die Bläser direkt vor ihm, wodurch das eigentümliche Kolorit von Brittens Partitur noch verstärkt wurde. München muss also umhören. Denn Nagano ist ja kein Freund süffiger Unverbindlichkeit, sondern ein Schattierungs- und Strukturtüftler.

[Click here for remainder of review.]


Der junge Mann und das Meer

Kent Nagano dirigiert Brittens Seefahrer-Drama ,Billy Budd" und gibt sein Debüt an der Bayerischen Staatsoper

Von christine Lemke-Matwey

Als Winston Churchill für die britische Kriegsmarine zuständig wurde, soll er in einer Rede vor dem House of Commons geknurrt haben: ,Unsere Marine floriert seit Hunderten von Jahren auf Grund von drei Dingen: Rum, Peitsche und Sodomie." Daran ist mehrerlei bemerkenswert. Zum einen sagt es etwas über Politikersprache und deren Deutlichkeit, zum anderen ist das House of Commons keineswegs kollektiv in Ohnmacht gefallen. Und zum dritten benennt diese äusserung in ihrem Sarkasmus eine Stimmung, wie gewiss auch Nicht-Briten sie unweigerlich mit Romanen und Filmen wie ,Moby Dick" oder der ,Meuterei auf der Bounty" assoziieren: stolze Dreimaster in peitschender Gischt, Harpunen, die zuckendes Menschenfleisch durchbohren, rasselnde Säbel, klingelnde Ohrringe, Breitseiten aller Arten - und über allem das Bild einer trotzenden-strotzenden Männlichkeit, das das Salz der Weltmeere wohl bis in alle Ewigkeit auf unsere Netzhäute gebrannt hat.

Mit solcher Piratenseligkeit wollte die Bayerische Staatsoper naturgemäss nichts zu tun haben, als sie Kent Nagano und Peter Mussbach nun mit der Münchner Erstaufführung von Benjamin Brittens Seefahrer-Oper ,Billy Budd" betraute. Das ist richtig und bedauerlich zugleich. Richtig, weil Brittens Musik - und was wäre nach Opern wie ,Peter Grimes" (1945) oder ,The Rape of Lucretia" (1947) je anderes zu erwarten gewesen - in all ihrer Verträglichkeit für das zeitgenössische Ohr, ihrer ebenso überzeugten wie überzeugenden ästhetischen Homöopathie niemals bloss illustriert.

[Click here for remainder of review.]

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