Thursday, August 09, 2007

Covent Garden to present UK Korngold premiere

Yes, Die tote Stadt is coming to the Royal Opera House. Not that they're risking trying to stage it themselves; instead they're taking on Willy Decker's production from Salzburg and Vienna. Thanks to Brendan for the tip-off, and to the Unofficial Korngold Website which confirms it and tells us that there will be seven performances, opening on 26 January 2009. Ingo Metzmacher will conduct and the cast is to include Nadia Michael as Marietta, Stephen Gould as Paul and Gerald Finlay as Frank/Pierrot.

Die tote Stadt, as I pointed out in a comment box the other day, has only been performed once before in Britain; in concert; by a non-professional orchestra (the fabulous Kensington Symphony Orchestra and their inspiring, Korngold-friendly conductor Russell Keable). That was a decade ago. Productions? None. This will be the UK staged premiere. I regret that I haven't yet seen this production, but am relieved that they are not taking the one from Zurich a few years ago - with Olaf Baer in high heels and black wings, 'Eurotrash' indeed - or the ghastly thing that was filmed from the Opera du Rhin and that remains the only available DVD of the opera.

Well, folks, it's about time, too. Better late than never.

Read more about the opera in Brendan Carroll's splendid introduction to the New York production, here.