Weir's Miss Fortune
19th January 2011
The opera Achterbahn (Miss Fortune) by Judith Weir was the first in a series of newly commissioned operas to be performed at the Festspielhaus in Bregenz this summer. The opera is jointly commissioned and co-produced by the Bregenz Festival and the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. The Director is Chen Shi-Zheng and the conductor Paul Daniel. Set designs are by Tom Pye and the cast includes Andrew Watts, Emma Bell and Anne Marie Owens.
The new opera was inspired by and based on an Italian folk tale. It tells of Tina, a young woman whose wealthy family suddenly meets hard times. She decides to make her own way in the world, trying to exist by working in gruelling occupations. Each time her luck seems to turn for the better, she is thrown by another misfortune. Later, however, she makes the acquaintance of Fate, and after this her life changes for the better.
Weir has updated the action to the 21st century, adapting the story into a very topical parable about the ups and downs of life. Her great interest in folklore and folk music of Scotland, Iceland, India and China has decisively influenced her very personal and original style. Many of Weir’s stage works are based on fantastical and dream-like folk tales, reflecting her fascination and passion for storytelling.
In addition to the world premiere of Miss Fortune there will be many opportunities for the festival audience to discover Judith Weir’s music with orchestral music, chamber music and a chamber opera being presented as part of the festival:
woman life song and Piano Concerto
20 August 2011, 19.30, Theater am Kornmarkt
Tania Kross, mezzo soprano and Aaron Pilsan, piano
Piano Trio No 2, I Broke of a Golden Branch, A Bagpiper’s String Trio
21 August 2011, 11.00, Seestudio
The concert will be part of the series Musik & Poesie and David Pountney will be involved as narrator.
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