The Salzburg Festival happening right now, with lots of newsworthiness in the soprano con mezzo (S/M) department.
Ricardo Muti is conducting C. W. Gluck‘s Orfeo ed Euridice with the Austrian Elisabeth Kulman in the archi-trouser role of Orfeo. Photos from the underworld by the stage director Dieter Dorn with barely any set and a crowd of zombies dressed in their respectable middle-class but faded best can be found here .
Patricia Petibon sings Lulu dressed like an extra from Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Moulin Rouge’ in Vera Nemirova‘s take on the Alban Berg‘s late late opera. But this time there are no ridiculous hats nor archness in the most lesbian of all opera lesbians Countess Geschwitz played by Tanja Ariane Baumgartner.
DtO is praying to all gods pagan and mono for the arrival of the DVD of the recent Met production of Lulu which cast Anne Sofie von Otter as Geschwitz, the only one who can make a silly hat and a sillier black whig make invisible. (It was a Fabio Luisi instead of the ill James Levine production, eccetera eccetera. Catch up on your conductor news elsewhere.)
There’s also a new Elektra in Salzburg Town. Among the most brilliant fuckd-up operas around, Elektra by Richard Strauss (bow, the unworthy) holds a special place in this feminist’s heart. It’s an aggressive, dissonant, beautiful horror opera that puts into music the patriarchy’s little dictum to girls and young women which goes something like this: I give you this choice: you must kill your mother, which will kill you, or you must not kill your mother, which will kill you. Which way do we go, baby?
Daniel Gatti conducts Iréne Theorin and Waltraud Meier in principal roles.
Not to be forgotten that le Canadien YNS, who seems to be everywhere this year, conducts two operas at the Fest: a Don Giovanni and Gounod‘s Roméo et Juliette with Anna Netrebko.