Most composers sooner or later succumb to the lure of musical drama. Of course, there are exceptions: neither Bach nor Webern ever wrote an opera. And there are also those who tackle the genre head on, creating one or more works of their own for the musical stage, but are never accepted as an opera composer by the audience. Schumann's sole opera is almost never played. This is what makes this an exceptional opportunity to hear - and see - the work, not to mention with a world class orchestra and chorus and a cast of international-calibre singers.
In a 1842 letter, Schumann wrote, 'Do you know my prayer as an artist, night and morning? It is called 'German Opera. There is work to be done there.' A few years later, with this objective in mind, he set to work on Genoveva, basing it on stage plays by Ludwig Tieck and Christian Friedrich Hebbel. In many respects, this medieval tale of the pure-hearted Brabantian princess who falls under suspicion of infidelity before truth eventually prevails resembles Wagner's Lohengrin, which dates from aro...und the same time. The dismissive reviews the four-act opera received after its 1850 première discouraged Schumann from ever trying his hand at another work for the stage. The Helsinki Baroque Orchestra is offering a special opportunity not just by presenting the work, but also by doing so in a historically informed performance. The Arnold Schoenberg Choir, which partnered with Nikolaus Harnoncourt in countless early music productions, are one of the most outstanding vocal ensembles in this area. The cast will feature a number of international stars, including Briton Carolyn Sampson in the title role.
Presented by: Müpa Budapest
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