Saturday, January 3, 2009

Graham Vick stages his Tannhauser in Athens, backstage drama is already served

Tickets to Graham Vick's Tannhäuser, opening at the Athens Megaron on the 24th of January, went on sale yesterday and it seems that by Monday all 4 performances will be sold out.

Director: Graham Vick
Set & Costume designer: Paul Brown
Choreographer: Ron Howell
Light designer: Adam Silverman

Hermann: Martin Snell
Tannhauser: John Treleaven
Wolfram von Eschenbach: Ashley Holland
Walther von der Vogelweide: John Horton Murray
Biterolf: Rolf Haunstein
Heinrich der Schreiber: Andreas Konrad
Reinmar von Zweter: Adrian Sampetrean
Elisabeth: Angela Marambio
Venus: Lise Lindstrom

Greek National Opera's Chorus & Orchestra

Chorus Master: Nikos Vassiliou

Conducted by Philippe Auguin

This is supposed to be the cast but Parsi knows for sure that it ain't.

Angela Marambio, Elisabeth, left Athens 10 days ago -according to the rumour due to vocal problems? a fight with Graham Vick and/or maestro Auguin? Who knows? (I do!)- leaving the production Elisabeth-less.

Lise Lindstrom, the excellent Berlin Turandot, has now undertaken the hard task to sing both Venus and Elisabeth, having to learn Elisabeth in just a month!

Here's what MostlyOpera had written on Lindstrom's Turandot:

"Lise Lindstrom, previously unknown to me, is quite spectacular as Turandot. The brilliance of her top is virtually unsurpassed, there is no vibrato to speak of, she is on pitch, she looks great and also acts well. In short: She should be able to make a world career with this part. That her middle register is somewhat dry seems insignificant considering all her other virtues."

Lise Lindstrom

Vick's production first opened in San Francisco in October 2007 and received raving reviews.

Music Triumphs in Tannhäuser

San Francisco stages triumphant Tannhäuser

Wagner’s Minstrel Knight, Entwined in Desires

Charismatic S. F. “Tannhauser”

S.F. Opera's 'Tannhäuser' delivers a night of musical heroics

Stunning new production launches the David Gockley Era

And some less praising ones...

If there were no other reason to sit through San Francisco Opera’s “Tannhäuser,” the overture would be worth the ticket price. Donald Runnicles, that consummate Wagnerian, led his orchestra in a breath-stopping, heartbreaking rendition of the opening to Wagner’s medieval parable of sacred and profane love. Unfortunately, it was marred three-quarters of the way through by writhing dancers in what was supposed to be an orgy but, in Ian Robertson’s choreography, looked more like an aerobics class.

Graham Vick’s production had a number of such odd moments: people popping in and out of holes in the ground, swords waving in the air for no apparent purpose and a ring of fire encircling the Act One confrontation between the hero and Venus that made you a little nervous about his shirt or her sheet going up in flames.


Graham Vick’s busy, occasionally just plain silly direction will be discussed (and derided) heatedly.
There is a wealth of greatness squeezed in the four-hour evening that unfortunately opens with a ballet that’s a mix of Pina Bausch, Greco-Roman wrestling and a Groucho Marx routine, and ends with little boys emerging from the stage floor as if in a prairie dog hunting game.

3 weeks 'till opening night. I already have my tickets for more than 1 performances, premier included.

Till then...

LISTEN TO Lise Lindstrom singing "In Questa Regia", Berlin November 2008

1 comment:

Willym said...

I honestly think there are more exciting things happening in your part of the world than here in Italy.

Lindstrom sounds like a singer to watch.

We're getting a Carsen Tannahauser in November with Béatrice Uria-Monzon /Natascha Petrinsky as Elizabeth, Martina Serafin as Venus and Stephen Gould/Stig Anderson as the Tannhauser. Other than Serafin I haven't heard any of the others. Now mind you future cast lists here often qualify for the Giller prize for ficton so....

Hope you had a great New Year's

Got an extra ticket for the Muti Iphégenie in Aulide in March you know.... just saying....