Kaija Saariaho’s L’amour de loin at Cologne Opera

Kaija Saariaho’s L’amour de loin at Cologne Opera
© Paul Leclaire Soest

Opera Cologne and the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne will stage the opera L’Amour de loin by Kaija Saariaho on October 24 conducted by Constantin Trinks.

The run of performances will continue through October and November 2021.

Directed by Johannes Erath, this new production of L’amour de loin features Bass-baritone Holger Falk who sings the role of the troubadour Jaufré Rudel, soprano Emily Hindrichs sings Clémence and mezzo-sopranos Katrin Wundsam and Adriana Bastidas Gamboa sing The Pilgrim.

This first opera by Saariaho was premiered at the Salzburg Festival in August 2000 and the same production was given at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris in November/December 2001, and in Santa Fe, summer 2002. Saariaho was subsequently awarded with the 2003 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition for this work. It was performed at The Metropolitan Opera in 2016, which marked the first opera by a woman staged at The Met since Ethel Smyth’s Der Wald in 1903.

The libretto was written by French-Lebanese author Amin Maalouf. The story of L’amour de loin is based on La Vida breve of Jaufré Rudel, Prince of Blaye, one of the first great troubadours of the 12th century. The central theme of the libretto is his glowing passion for a woman from the East of whom he has only heard.


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