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9.12.05

2006/2007 Season at Washington National Opera 

We know how busy teachers are right before Christmas – all the more surprising that Charles beat me to commenting on the upcoming Washington National Opera season. He’s already said most of what needed to be said: Congratulations to the WNO for a relatively daring and interesting season. I, too, was excited, after reading the announcement – but unfortunately I made the mistake of checking out the Bavarian State Opera’s website right thereafter and was immediately depressed. The Munich opera will perform more Handel (or Mozart, or Wagner) operas in one season than the WNO has performances – period. And instead of 7+1 operas, the Munich audience can chose between a staggering 55! Not bad for a provincial southern town in the Bavarian hinterland with fewer residents than the most important captial city one earth. But there is one link between Munich and Washington that makes me happy and shocks me. David Alden, with Peter Konwitschny one of the in-house directors and enfant terribles of the Staatsoper will direct Jenůfa at the WNO. I thought I’d never see the day – alas, here we are. Alden has revolutionized the way we experience baroque opera, is responsible for one of the most visually appealing and haunting Kata Kabanova’s in Munich that I have seen… and has otherwise offended and delighted opera-lovers to great acclaim. The Washington audience may not be ready for it but I hope that if the elder of the two Alden brothers is in good form, he might convince the audience to be a bit more daring a bit more often, after all. If nothing else, I am ready for it and I am excited especially since David Alden seems to have a hit-to-miss ration that is significantly better than many other modern and daring directors.

Pictures from David Alden productions that are part of the 2006/2007 season of the Bayerische Staatsoper can be found here.

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