Easter with Verdi, Wagner, and Strauss

The Oper Leipzig was able to live-stream three premieres this season, and they are set to return as very special surprise this Easter weekend: Verdi’s Il trovatore, Wagner’s Lohengrin, and Richard Strauss’ seldom-seen Capriccio. From 3-5 April 2021, the Oper Leipzig will rebroadcast all three of the recordings. The performances have already been seen by 18,000 viewers combined. Opera Director Franziska Severin and Prof. Ulf Schirmer, Intendant and General Music Director of the Oper Leipzig, recently made the decision together to offer them anew, in part as a reaction to the continued closures due to the coronavirus pandemic. Ulf Schirmer says about the broadcasts, “With these Easter broadcasts, we’re able to reach fans from across the globe that have asked for additional digital performances. Although a filmed operatic experience will never take the place of live theater, I am pleased that we’ll be able to share these recordings with fans. These performances inspired and motivated the all of us at the Oper Leipzig.”

Links and further information about the three Easter streams

Il trovatore

Giuseppe Verdi’s “Dramma lirico” had its livestream premiere on 6 December 2020 in Leipzig, featuring the Gewandhausorchester and the Chorus of the Oper Leipzig in full force. Revenge and jealousy are the driving forces behind this eerily beautiful opera by Giuseppe Verdi, with music both bleak and stirring. In line with public health measures, the opera was presented in an abridged version without an intermission, in a production by Jakob Peters-Messer, with sets by Markus Meyer and costumes by Sven Bindseil. Marina Prudenskaya sings Azucena, a tragically outcast mother, and Roberta Mategna is Leonora. Manrico – the opera’s eponymous troubadour and object of Leonora’s affections – is played by Gaston Rivero. Antonino Fogliani musically directs.

Neue Musikzeitung 1/21: “The Gewandhausorchester under the direction of Sicilian conductor Antonio Foglian delivers a high-voltage Verdi performance in just under 100 minutes, where the musicians are positioned on the stage, behind the action. The soloists are led by Azucena’s lustrous mezzo and stage presence.”

Streaming Oper Leipzig TV
Easter Saturday 6:00pm through Easter Monday 8:00pm


It was widely admired: facing a looming lockdown, Intendant and Lohengrin’s musical director Ulf Schirmer moved up the production’s premiere by a week. Director Patrick Bialdyga, artistic production manager at the Oper Leipzig, crafted a reduced, intimate chamber play about politics and love – which is made even clearer in the closeups from this later streaming version. Schirmer developed an abridged version of Lohengrin that presents all of its grand musical scenes (such as the “Bridal Chorus” or the “Grail Narration”) in their full length. He also secured the work’s grand sonic landscape: the Oper Leipzig’s main stage provided enough space to allow the Gewandhausorchester to appear in its complete size. The chorus appears live from the wings. Michael Weinius triumphed in the title role, with an equally enchanting Jennifer Holloway at his side as Elsa. Simon Neal performs Telramund and Kathrin Göring sings Ortrud.

Oper! 12/2o: “Swedish tenor Michael Weinius is more of a princely warrior than a lover, and ably holds his own alongside when faced with stormy sonic assaults from the Gewandhausorchester. Their sound descends from the stage past the soloists in their positions on the raised orchestra pit, before rushing breathlessly into the auditorium. The beguiling piano shimmers in this, Wagner’s “most Italianate score,” and the music’s melodic indulgence tumble together in music-making ecstasy, smoothly hurrying over fluid detail impressions.”

Streaming Oper Leipzig TV
Easter Saturday 6:00pm through Easter Monday 8:00pm


Prof. Ulf Schirmer’s tenure of artistic direction at the Oper Leipzig rests on the twin pillars of Richard Strauss and Richard Wagner. Productions of Strauss operas such as Die Frau ohne Schatten, Arabella, or Salome  have drawn attention to the Oper Leipzig in recent history, and this production of Capriccio, which was set to premiere in June 2020, was planned as the capstone event in the series. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, a concert version was only first realized on 20 March 2021, and will be rebroadcast over Easter weekend. It features a glittering cast, including Camilla Nylund as the Countess and Roman Trekel as the Count. This concert premiere offers the work largely unabridged, with the exception of a few traditional cuts, as well as minimal cuts to the opera’s dance interludes.

O-Ton 3/21: “Schirmer is capable of indulging, but he is equally adept in the score’s grand chamber music moments. He fillets and punctuates them, offering a symphonic tone poem, orchestral opulence, and chamber music-like intimacy, all in one evening. And the Gewandhausorchester follows his every lead with a raucous orchestral sound both brilliant and grand.”

Streaming Oper Leipzig TV
Easter Saturday 6:00pm through Easter Monday 8:00pm

Firmenkontakt und Herausgeber der Meldung:

Oper Leipzig
Augustusplatz 12
04109 Leipzig
Telefon: +49 (341) 1261-0
Telefax: +49 (341) 1261-300

Gudula Kienemund
Pressesprecherin der Oper Leipzig
Telefon: +49 (341) 1261-266
Fax: +49 (341) 1261-384
E-Mail: kienemund@oper-leipzig.de
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