Opera Halle: Verdi’s Messa da Requiem as a violently obsessive monkey show on the scenario


About tenor Eduardo Aladrén:

“The radiant but at the same time subtle and delicate tenor Eduardo Aladrén gave as a guest tenor a convincing performance within his Che Guevara revolutionary look.”

About the Production (Google Translation):

“The Earth has become a planet dominated and contaminated by monkey-like, violent obsessive fascist beings. This is the space stage created by Sebastian Hannak this time with enough space for the Staatskapelle Halle in its center and created with a good acoustic device Babylon with remnants of human civilization.

The spectators in the Oper Halle sit in a circle around the orchestra and in the middle of the choir. Therefore, the spectators are already asked at the entrances to put on protective suits and monkey masks for camouflage and protection. Later, in monkey costumes, the choir offers them bananas and, after a kind of humanization with biblical fratricide and human costuming, water in cola cans bearing “Dies Irae” (Day of Wrath).

But the threats of the funeral mass and the willingness to use violence are also present on the head of some spectators through simulations of mass killing, as in computer games and virtual reality cameras. In this production, the new cooperation agreement with the Burg Giebichenstein Halle Academy of Art is creatively realized by the VR application of Achim Kolba, Alexandra Rupp and Tim Schuster. Additional associations with the Hollywood Cinema are also provided by the colorful, always varied staging by director Florian Lutz enough. The variety of video applications (Konrad Kästner, Iwo Kurze, Linda Rabisch) has clearly gained in quality over previous productions at the Oper Halle.

With a luminous soprano, Romelia Lichtenstein portrays a blind homeless woman, who liberates her Libera me particularly emphatically to the highlight of the evening and is seeing it. The radiant and at the same time subtly differentiating tenor Eduardo Aladrén convincingly presents the revolutionary in Che Guevara look as a guest.

The mezzo-soprano Svitlana Sylvia, with soul and warm colors, touchingly and grippingly sings the scientist, who warns against the uncivilized violent hordes in detailed political and biogenetic analysis, and Ki-Hyun Park represents with sonorous bass the eternal hippie who dreams of free living.

Toward the end, they celebrate a sort of communion, after which the monkey beings are either killed or seemingly pacified. Now the survivors appear in white coats and uniform hairstyles and tap their desires into their smartphones, from which they want to be freed individually – from bad weather to Helene Fischer (Libera me).

Thus, the staging consciously openly plays through various social conditions and religious or pseudo-religious-fascist formations without offering a solution. No consolation but open questions. The search for the essence of the human remains a task.

In this great ninety-minute work, in a musically successful performance such as this, the chorus and its reinforcement deserve praise. Here comes the enormous power that every singer and every singer of Rustam Samedov (who changes to the Cologne Opera) brilliantly and precisely prepared choirs not only sing for themselves, but also act, jump, climb and perform in sweaty furs and masks has to run (imaginative costumes by Mechthild Feuerstein).

Along with the outstandingly differentiated and even in subsidiary parts playing Staatskapelle even the difficult branched joints as in the Sanctus to realize without problems, is the hardly to be estimated merit of the conductor Christopher Sprenger. This Kapellmeister has a very special talent for the great choral opera, which he can brilliantly show here.

With this staged mass, the first of four small festivals will start on the Raumbühne Babylon during the entire season of the Oper Halle until July 2019, in which interdisciplinary ballet, drama, recitals (Schubert) and piano recitals (including Pierre Boulez ‘piano work) will take place. The premiere was almost unanimously acclaimed, and there are still eleven times the opportunity to experience this version of the musically magnificent Verdi Requiem in Halle.”

Read here the full review (in German)


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