Last Chance for Kagel’s Himmelsmechanik

  Tonight and tomorrow are the two last performances of Mauricio Kagel’s interactive opera installation Himmelsmechanik (Celestial Mechanics), which Dietmar Schwarz has programmed to open the 2012-13 season of the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Unfortunately, we have not been able to attend (for purely practical reasons). But don’t let that stop you. We will, however, report…

20 World Class Orchestras Perform at Berlin’s Musikfest

  Top-level orchestras from Berlin and guest orchestras from the USA, England, the Netherlands and Germany present European music from the dawn of the modern era.   The Musikfest Berlin 2013 begins on 30 August, hosted by the Berliner Festspiele in cooperation with the Berlin Philharmoniker Foundation. This international orchestra festival raises the curtain on the Berlin concert season by presenting 65 works by 24…

Is Stefan Herheim’s “Meistersinger” New York-bound?

The AP’s Mike Silverman reported yesterday that Peter Gelb is bringing Stefan Herheim’s new Salzburg Meistersinger to the ultra-conservative Met. Personally, I can’t think of a better choice of director to bring contemporary European Regietheater sensibilities to the New World. Herheim is one of a handful of Regie directors working today who show real intelligence,…

Castorf / Petrenko Bayreuth Ring Download Links

Now that the dust has  settled somewhat after the unveiling of Frank Castorf’s much-despised bicentennial Ring Cycle, all indications point to the Russian maestro Kirill Petrenko as the new hero of Bayreuth. In case you missed the radio broadcasts, here are links to mp3 files of the full cycle. The whole kit and kaboodel  weighs…

Bayreuth Festival Confronts Controversial History

I’m posting my report from Bayreuth that appears in this week’s issue of The Forward BAYREUTH On the occasion of Richard Wagner’s bicentennial, the Grüner Hügel, or Green Hill, that is home to the Richard-Wagner-Festspielhaus was littered with 500 multicolored “mini-Wagners” — garden-gnomelike figurines of the composer, hands raised as if ready to conduct. These cute…

Bayreuth Ring Round-Up

Last night, Frank Castorf unveiled part four of his Ring des Nibelungen at the Bayreuther Festspiele. If the early reviews are any indication, this may be the most hated Ring in the history of the festival. “Boos, Boos and More Boos Greet Director of Bayreuth ‘Ring,’” screams the headline of Catherine Hickley’s review in Bloomberg…