Enoa: Be with me now
Premiere Oktober 17, 2015
To mark the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the European Network of Opera Academies (enoa), a joint musical theatre evening entitled Be With Me Now was created (for five singers and four instrumentalists). It accompanies its protagonists across the whole of Europe on a quest for a great, lost love. The evening is a musical journey through four centuries of European opera history, from Lambert and Wagner to new compositions by Daan Janssens and Vasco Mendonça.
The Theatre Academy August Everding and University of Music and Performing Arts Munich with their Master’s degree course in Opera Performance (Director: Balázs Kovalik, KS Professor Andreas Schmidt) developed this production in cooperation with enoa and in coproduction with Aldeburgh Music, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Dutch National Opera & Ballet, the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, LOD muziektheater, the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel and the Polish National Opera.
The first performance of Be With Me Now took place during the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in July 2015, with the participation of students of the Theatre Academy. After one guest performance in Munich, the production was shown with different actors by other enoa partners in Lisbon, Warsaw, Paris, Brussels and Aldeburgh.
enoa – European Network of Opera Academies
The enoa network was created by a number of institutions from the world of singing – academies, festivals, foundations, and opera producers who wanted to cooperate more closely to support young musicians to integrate professionally and develop their artistic ambitions.
With support from the European Union’s cultural programme, enoa has been involved in the training and mobility of up-and-coming artists since 2011, encouraging the creation of and publicity for new operatic works throughout Europe.
The enoa community today comprises eleven member institutions, fourteen participating partners, more than a thousand young musicians and approximately three hundred professionals.
L'arbore di Diana
The ancient myth of the goddess Diana and the shepherd Endymion in the light opera version by librettist Lorenzo da Ponte with music by Vicente Martín y Soler, the "Valencian Mozart".
Premiere 20 February 2015
An introduction to the work was given in the Gartensaal 45 minutes before the beginning of the performance.
Musical director Paolo Carignani
Production Balázs Kovalik
Stage Hermann Feuchter
Costume Sebastian Ellrich
Dramaturgy Esteban Munoz
Lighting Peter Platz
Wigs, make-up and special make-up effects Julian Hutcheson, Steffen Roßmanith
With Danae Kontora, Victória de Sousa Real, Florence Losseau, Nadia Steinhardt, Ioannis Kalyvas, Ingyu Hwang, Nikolaos Kotenidis and a guest performance by Robert Crowe
The Theatre Academy August Everding and the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich with the Master’s degree course in Music Theatre/Opera Performance (Directors: Balázs Kovalik, KS Professor Andreas Schmidt).
The goddess Diana and her nymphs are subject to the requirement of chastity. An apple tree in their paradisiacal garden is the incorruptible litmus test. If a pure-hearted person comes under the tree, the apples have a wonderful sheen and lovely melodies resound from their branches. But if someone has fallen short of virtue, the fruits turn as black as coal, fall on the guilty party’s head, crush their faces or split their limbs in two. This is a thorn in the side of the god Amor, who regards it as a threat to his competence. He quickly calls in three attractive young men to pursue the nymphs and Diana – a hunter, a herdsman and a shepherd – who well and truly stir up their emotions. Black fruit falls from the tree. Diana herself falls in love with the most beautiful of the three, Endimione. She has to admit her defeat by Amor and bury her obsession with virtue.
Dr. Faust jun.
Trailer: Le Petit Faust
Premiere May 16, 2015
Under the French title Le petit Faust, Florimond Ronger, together with his librettists Hector Crémieux and Adolphe Jaime, created a bitingly comic opéra bouffe on the famous motif of the surly scholar. The operetta, performed in the Reithalle, saw its Munich premiere in the German vision entitled Dr. Faust jun.
Students on the Master’s degree course in Music Theatre/Opera Performance present themselves in this cooperation between the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz and the Theatre Academy August Everding and University of Music and Performing Arts Munich.
In her fascination for Bluebeard, Judith leaves behind her family and financé without any close acquaintance or knowledge of the man. She enters his gloomy fortress, which is not penetrated by a single ray of light and of which the walls feel strangely damp. This is an unbearable situation for the young woman; she would like to bring light into this darkness – also in order to really get to know the man at her side and to be able to stand by him. She notices seven large, closed doors, which lead away from the splendid entrance hall. She begs Bluebeard to give her the keys to these doors, to let fresh air and sunshine flood into the castle. First, Bluebeard tries to dissuade her, but her insistence becomes ever more emphatic. In the end he gives in to her urging and hands her the first key. Excitedly, she opens the door, discovering behind it a torture chamber. She is forced to recognise that all the items in it are dripping with blood. But Judith does not allow the shock to hold her back and finally opens all seven rooms: an armoury, a treasure chamber, a garden, an alcove window offering a view of Bluebeard’s vast country, and a lake of tears. Yet all these spaces retain their powerful beauty only briefly, as a shimmer of blood becomes visible again and again, hanging a veil of barbarity over what has been seen. The last door conceals the most barbaric secret of all, however, for it is here that Judith comes upon Bluebeard’s three former wives, who are locked up behind it. And she, too, has to pay for her curiosity. Bluebeard enjoys her beauty one last time, but then adds Judith to the crowd of women who have come to grief on account of the abysses of his personality. He locks her into the seventh chamber and remains alone.
Staging Maike Bouschen
Musical Director Theo Plath
Musical Rehearsals Robert Selinger, Aris Blettenberg
Musical Adaptation Alexander T. Mathewson
Stage, lighting and costumes Lotte Leerschool
Dramaturgy Laura Knoll
Wigs, make-up and special make-up effects Alisia Schreiner
Bluebeard Carl Rumstadt
Judith Nadia Steinhart
Bluebeard’s former wives Ruth Fuchs, Julia Heinrich, Theresa Weber
Musical ensemble: Peter Morwa, Katharina S. Müller, Yu-Hsuan Feng
Assistant Director Elli Neubert
Set/Costume Assistant Sara Hoffmann
L'Olimpiade - a game?
Premiere July 10, 2014
Music theatre with works by composers ranging from Vivaldi to Offenbach and live electronic music
Musical Director Eva Pons
Production Martina Veh
Stage Anika Söhnholz
Costumes Anna Sophie Howoldt
Dramaturgy Nikolaus Witty
Live electronic music Gunnar Geisse
With Eric Ander, Heeyun Choi, Marios Sarantidis, Jaewon Yun, Anna-Maria Thoma, Danae Kontora, Ingyu Hwang and Nadja Steinhart
The Theatre Academy August Everding and the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich with the Master’s degree course in Music Theatre/Opera Performance (Directors: Balázs Kovalik, KS Professor Andreas Schmidt)
"War minus shooting" – that was George Orwell’s view of international top-level sport in 1941. Would we agree with him today?
By way of example, sport and readiness for war are to be found side by side in the film images of Leni Riefenstahl, who in 1936 masterfully conveyed ideology and enthusiasm. At that time, the Olympic Games raised basic questions on account of the world-wide flashpoints and terrorist threats. So what do the modern Olympics, an idealistic 19th project, offer? Entertainment, a fighting spirit or a sense of community on demand?
Major events such as those organised every four years by the International Olympic Committee still continue to provide prestige and political dynamite in equal measure. The Olympic idea is not immune to instrumentalisation in the interests of global corporations or state systems. Against the backdrop of doping scandals, IOC contracts of adhesion and deals worth billions for television broadcasting rights, what is the meaning of words such as sportsmanship? Fairness? Health? Freedom?
Today, the image of the hero, a healthy person, a victor, raises contemporary questions that are still relevant today, individually in the biographies of top athletes and with regard to "unsportsmanlike" members of society. One is always intimately close to an athlete’s body, yet separated by insurmountable barriers, such as flat-screen televisions, public viewing and stadium architecture. Like the technological perfection of measurement methods in top-level sport, performance appraisal is also gaining popularity in everyday life. In 2011, Germany’s first Quantified Self Group was set up in Munich, with methods ranging from "lifelogging, life caching and lifestreaming" to "psychological self-assessment", and from "medical self-diagnostics" to "personal genome sequencing". No doubt our world would be poorer without the heroic ideals of success, power and perfect youth, but are they really of any value as role models?
Without shooting, but not without musical ammunition, we invite you to a piece of music theatre research that does not stop at live electronic music. Eight athletes from the Master’s degree course in Opera Performance enter to compete in various disciplines, not least in passages of the libretto of L’Olympiade by Pietro Metastasio (1698–1782) and its many musical realisations in works by composers ranging from Vivaldi to Mozart.
Graduates of the Master’s degree course in Music Theatre/Opera Performance can look back on a "sporting" and artistically demanding time at the Theatre Academy August Everding, and bring it to a close with an Olympiad that is sport for your ears!
Martina Veh and Eva Pons continue their successful cooperation with the Opera Performance students, which began in 2013 with Die Nürnberger Puppe by Adolphe Adam.
Lyric Tragedy in One Act by Antoine Mariotte
Libretto after the drama of the same title by Oscar Wilde
In French with German surtitles
Musical Director Ulf Schirmer
Production Balázs Kovalik
Stage Csaba Antal
Costumes Angelika Höckner
Dramaturgy Markus Hänsel
Salomé Anna Maria Thoma (mezzosoprano)
Hérode Eric Ander (bass)
Hérodias Idunnu Münch (mezzosoprano)
Iokanaan Heeyun Choi (baritone)
Narraboth Ingyu Hwang (tenor)
Le Page d’ Hérodias Nadja Steinhardt (mezzosoprano)
Premier Soldat Benedikt Eder (baritone)
Deuxième Soldat Jiaxuan Li (tenor)
Munich Radio Orchestra
Theatre Academy August Everding and the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich with the Master’s degree course in Music Theatre/Opera Performance (Directors: Balázs Kovalik , KS Professor Andreas Schmidt).
The composer Antoine Mariotte, who was born in Avignon in 1875, was setting to music Oscar Wilde’s tragedy of Salomé at the same time as Richard Strauss. At the age of 16, Mariotte joined the French navy and spent several years at sea before deciding to embark on a career as a composer. Wilde’s drama played no small part in this decision. On a long voyage in the China Sea, Mariotte was given a handwritten copy of the drama by a comrade in 1895 and, inspired by its musicality, immediately began to write the first drafts of a libretto. In order to be able to set the text to music, he left the navy and studied composition in Paris with Charles-Marie Widor and Vincent d'Indy.
In 1902, he began to compose his Salomé opera, which was calmer and more intimate than Strauss’ opulent version. Mariotte largely removed the political aspect of Wilde’s play, deleted the disputes among the Jews, and also played down the role of Herodias, focusing the plot on the Herod – Salomé – Jokanaan triangle. Musically, he dispenses with the possibility of stridently exaggerating the characters that Strauss had seized upon with compositional voluptuousness. Instead, he unfolds the nocturnal atmosphere like a tableau in which Salomé, fleeing from her step-father Herod’s lecherous gaze, discovers her own desire. However, Mariotte foils her attempt to fulfil this desire, by brute force if necessary. In the end, Salomé does not experience ecstatic joy, but breaks down in grief, making this opera a genuine tragedy of love.
Mariotte began work on his Salomé long before Strauss even became aware of Wilde’s tragedy, but its first performance was not until 1908 at the Lyon Opera, three years after Strauss' Salomé in Dresden. One of the reasons for this was that Mariotte, believing he was working on a largely unfamiliar work (upon his return from the Far East, he was unable to get his hands on a printed copy of Salomé and developed his composition on the basis of his handwritten copy), had not obtained the exploitation rights to Wilde’s text on time, thus giving Strauss and his publisher Fürstner the opportunity to secure them for themselves.
This resulted in a violent argument concerning the performance rights for Mariotte’s work. The composer first appealed personally to Strauss, who allowed him to perform his opera "as often as you like, wherever you like", an assurance Fürstner later revoked. When the French press got wind of the disagreements and began to rant in an offensive tone against the German barbarians – leading to corresponding reactions in German newspapers – Mariotte had to travel to Berlin himself to negotiate with Strauss and Fürstner. The result was devastating for the Frenchman: he was only allowed to perform his Salomé in Lyon for one season and subsequently had to send all the production material to Fürstner, who retained the right to destroy it.
Thus, the first performance of Salomé was delayed until 1908. Intervention by Romain Rolland, who acted as an intermediary in correspondence with Strauss on the question of the performance rights, led to Fürstner’s approval of the opera. By 1910, Salomé had been performed in Nancy, Le Havre, Marseille, Geneva, Prague, and in a small opera house in Paris. In the French capital, of course, the work had problems asserting itself against Strauss’ opera. In 1919, it was finally also performed at the Grand Opera in the Palais Garnier, but after this triumph, it was forgotten.
Only in 2004 was there a concert performance of the work at the Radio France Music Festival in Montpellier and later the same year the work’s first German performance took place at the Landestheater Neustrelitz. The second scenic performance in Germany is now being staged as a new production by the Bavarian Theatre Academy August Everding and the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich with students of the Master’s degree course in Opera Performance and in cooperation with the Munich Radio Orchestra under its musical director Ulf Schirmer.
The Hungarian director Balázs Kovalik, who co-directs the Master’s degree course in Opera Performance with KS Andreas Schmidt, staged Mariotte’s work on the large stage of the Prince Regent’s Theatre in Munich, the native city of Mariotte’s colleague and rival Richard Strauss.
The premiere was on Friday, 28 February 2014. Further performances took place on 6 and 8 March 2014. There was a fourth performance on 11 March 2014 as part of the of the Bavarian Radio Orchestra’s "Klassik zum Staunen" series. The performance on 6 March 2014 was also available as a livestream on the BR-Klassik website. The production was subsequently available in BR’s online media library to watch and listen to for six months as a video on demand.
Salomé is the seventh production in the successful cooperation between the Munich Radio Orchestra with its Head Conductor Ulf Schirmer and the Bavarian Theatre Academy. Balázs Kovalik has previously staged La bohème (2009), Didone abbandonata (2010) and Solaris (2013) at the Theatre Academy.
Dramma per musica in three acts by George Frideric Handel
Sung in Italian with German surtitles
Musical director Joachim Tschiedel, Maria Fitzgerald
Production Mira Ebert
Stage and costumes Ivan Bazak
Dramaturgy Cordula Demattio
Baroque Orchestra of the Studio for Historical Performance Practice at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich
Imeneo Eric Ander/Jan Nash
Tirinto Idunnu Münch/Eleonora Vacchi
Rosmene Soomin Yu/Jaewon Yun
Clomiri Frauke Burg/Josephine Renelt
Argenio Carl Rumstadt/Marios Sarantidis
A production by the Theatre Academy August Everding and the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich with the Master’s degree course in Music Theatre/Opera Performance (Directors of Studies: Balázs Kovalik and KS Professor Andreas Schmidt) in cooperation with the Studio for Historical Performance Practice at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich (Director: Professor Mary Utiger)
Rosmene and Clomiri have disappeared. Argenio and Tirinto are tormented by concern for the missing pair, when suddenly Imeneo comes onto the scene. Having rescued the two young women from their abductors, he now asks for Rosmene’s hand in marriage as his reward. However, Rosmene loves Tirinto and hopes to be able to escape a decision. Argenio, who wants to see the social rules upheld, finds a vehement advocate in Imeneo, while Tirinto fights for his relationship with Rosmene, yet has to witness how it begins to falter under the pressure.
Handel’s Imeneo is an intimate play that reveals the relationships between the protagonists, their wishes and hopes, as if on a dissecting table. Handel’s play is based on the original version by the poet Silvio Stampiglia, who wrote Imeneo as a so-called "componimento drammatico", a semi-scenic work, on the occasion of a wedding in 1723. Handel worked on his own opera for several years before it was finally first performed at Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre in London in 1740. It is Handel’s penultimate Italian opera – the genre that had been the focus of his creative work for more than thirty years before he devoted himself exclusively to composing oratorios.
Under the musical direction of Joachim Tschiedel and Maria Fitzgerald, students on the Master’s degree and Diploma courses in Opera Performance/Music Theatre perform Handel’s Imeneo with Director Mira Ebert.
Premiere June 2013 2013
Chamber opera in three parts by Michael Obst based on a work by Stanislaw Lem
Libretto by the composer (1994-96)
Musical Director Konstantia Gourzi
Production Balázs Kovalik
Stage Alena Georgi
Costumes Theresa Scheitzenhammer
Dramaturgy Swetlana Boos
Sound Director Andreas Breitscheid
With Maria Pitsch, Heeyun Choi, Eric Ander, Jan Nash and Helmut Stange
Since the discovery of the planet Solaris, scientists have devoted themselves to researching it. They suspect that the ocean covering Solaris has its own consciousness or some kind of intelligence. Odd things have been happening ever since experiments began at the research station to irradiate the ocean. That is why researcher and psychologist Kris Kelvin is called in. He finds the station in a dreadful state. The head of the experiments, Gibarian, has committed suicide, while the other researchers, Snaut and Sartorius, seem frightened and confused. Soon afterwards, Kelvin experiences for himself the reason for his colleagues’ behaviour.
The subject of the ocean planet Solaris is based on the novel by Polish science fiction writer Stanislaw Lem, which was published in 1961 and became a classic of its genre, not least on account of the first film version by Russian director Andrej Tarkovski. The composer Michael Obst uses Lem’s novel as the basis of his opera, which musically sounds out the depths of the ocean planet in atmospheric and adventuresome sounds.
The Musical Director is Konstantia Gourzi, Professor of Ensemble Directorship New Music and Head of the ensemble oktopus at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich. The Director is Balázs Kovalik, who has been Director of Studies of Opera Performance/Music Theatre since last year.
Adelasia ed Aleramo
Premiere February 22, 2013
Opera in two acts by Johann Simon Mayr, libretto by Luigi Romanelli
Sung in Italian with German surtitles
Musical Director Andreas Spering
Production Tilman Knabe
Stage Wilfried Buchholz
Costumes Gisa Kuhn
Dramaturgy Cordula Demattio, Benedikt I. Stampfli
Soloists of the Master’s degree course in Music Theatre/Opera Performance
Project choir of the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich
Choir Director Verena Holzheu
Aleramo Frauke Burg
Adelasia Jaewon Yun
Teofania Anna-Maria Thoma
Rambaldo Marios Sarantidis
Roberto Bonko Karadjov
Osmano Jan Nash
Ottone Keith B. Stonum
Princess Adelasia, Emperor Ottone’s daughter, has fallen in love with Aleramo. Since Ottone opposes this relationship below her station, the couple has to elope. Far away, they start a family, build a modest life for themselves and assume a new identity. Years later, when Ottone is encamped in the area on a military campaign against the Saracens, there is a reunion. The hope of bringing the family back together seems to be a lost cause, however, in spite of the efforts of Adelasia and her mother, Empress Teofania. For in the meantime, Rambaldo, Ottone’s confidant, has made a pact with the enemy, but accuses Aleramo of treason. Rambaldo’s calculation in so doing is first to get rid of Aleramo, then to usurp Ottone’s throne and finally to force Adelasia to marry him. Years before, she had rejected him in favour of Aleramo. This perfidious plan seems to be working, but things all work out differently at the last moment.
The composer, Johann Simon Mayr, came from Mendorf near Ingolstadt. This opera, based on a legend, was first performed in 1806 to great acclaim at the Scala in Milan. The first performance in Munich took place in 1808 in the Cuvilliés Theatre on the occasion of Caroline of Bavaria’s wedding to Crown-Prince Wilhelm of Württemberg. The opera was not subsequently performed for more than 200 years. Thanks to the special achievement of the Institute of Musicology at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich, a new version has been drafted on the basis of different score manuscripts in recent years – the key basis of the current production.
2013 marked the 250th anniversary of the birth of Johann Simon Mayr, feted in Italy as Giovanni Simone Mayr. While influenced by Viennese Classicism, he succeeded in setting out on new paths, paving the way for the further development of Italian opera to Rossini and Donizetti.
Andreas Spering is the Musical Director of this production. This is his first cooperation with the Hofkapelle Munich. Last summer, he was responsible for the new production of Mozart’s La finta giardiniera at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. Tilman Knabe, a graduate of the Directing course at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich, has worked at many leading opera houses in the German-speaking area for a number of years. Following his production of Reinhard Keiser’s Fredegunda in 2008, this is his second production at the Theatre Academy in cooperation with the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich. The soloists are students of the Master’s degree course in Opera Performance.