Hans Werner Henze Opera :::: Schirmer News Winter 2009

Hans Werner Henze Opera :::: Schirmer News Winter 2009
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On January 10 the world premiere of Hans Werner Henze's Opfergang will be presented by the commissioner Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, with Ian Bostridge, John Tomlinson, the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and conductor Antonio Pappano. Opfergang is based on the dramatic poem Das Opfer by Franz Werfel, an expressionist writer who published the poem in 1913.

Still from Phaedra performed by Staatsoper Unter den Linden (c) Ruth WalzIt is a typical expressionist setting with a surreal situation of a little white dog (tenor) in conversation with a stranger (baritone), who after the course of events drowns him in a river. Henze has been fascinated by the many aspects of the poems over the last 50 years and has only now decided to set them to music.

Then, in London at The Barbican Centre on 16 and 17 January there will be a dedicated weekend of music by Henze, at which he will be present. Total Immersion: Hans Werner Henze will include the BBC Symphony Orchestra with the BBC Symphony Chorus performing the UK premiere of Elogium Musicum , Fraternité and Symphony No 4, conducted by Oliver Knussen. The Guildhall School of Music and Drama will also contribute a performance of Voices followed by a talk with Henze. On January 17 Ensemble Modern will present Phaedra and will conclude a busy weekend of film, talks and unique concerts discovering the latest works and rediscovering highlights of Hans Werner Henze’s oeuvre.

Throughout 2010, the European Capital of Culture is Ruhr. Music institutions of the region will network for the very first time in order to present music by Henze. The festival presents the entire range of Henze’s total output &mdash the largest presentation ever of his works at one time. One of the highlights will be the German premiere of Opfergang , then a new production of his latest opera Phaedra (Theater Duisburg, autumn 2010) and the world premiere of Gisela (September 2010), a work for young performers, commissioned by the RUHR.2010. This world premiere performance will be presented in cooperation with the RuhrTriennale.

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