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Work of the Week – Peter Eötvös: Sleepless

“When it’s out of necessity, anything is permissible.” This bold statement appears in the opera Sleepless by composer Peter Eötvös and his wife Mari Mezei, the librettist. Jon Fosse’s novel Trilogy provides the basis for the story. Eötvös himself will conduct the world premiere of the work in Berlin at Staatsoper Unter den Linden on 28 November 2021. The work will be staged by Kornél Mundruczó, with set design and costumes by Monika Pomale. The performance will take place in English with German and English surtitles. Continue reading “Work of the Week – Peter Eötvös: Sleepless”


Work of the Week – Hannah Lash: The Peril of Dreams

We have had enough of our dreary everyday life so we have let Hannah Lash take us on a journey to the realm of dreams – would you like to join? In her new piece for two harps and orchestra, she explores the theme of dreaming and the potential dangers. The Peril of Dreams will be premiered at the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium, Benaroya Hall, in Seattle on 18 November 2021. Hannah Lash is not only a composer, but an esteemed harpist. The world premiere will be performed by Seattle Symphony with soloists Hannah Lash and Valerie Muzzolini (principal) under Thomas Dausgaard. Continue reading “Work of the Week – Hannah Lash: The Peril of Dreams”


Work of the Week – Chaya Czernowin: Atara

The Corona pandemic has presented great challenges to humankind and created a sense of powerlessness. Chaya Czernowin expressed her impressions of this in her new work Atara, a lament for orchestra and two amplified voices. The ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra will perform the world premiere on 9 November 2021 at the Wien Modern Festival with Christian Karlsen and soloists Sofia Jernebrg, soprano and Holger Falk, baritone. 

Poet Zohar Eitan as inspiration for Atara by Chaya Czernowin

When Czernowin began working on Atara in early 2020, she had no idea that the world would come to a standstill shortly after. The work was originally intended to be a lament about the human compulsion to control the environment and nature. However, due to the Corona crisis, it has turned into a play that reflects the atmosphere of the lockdown and the loss of control during a pandemic. The Israeli composer was inspired by a poem that was written by her friend Zohar Eitan, which provides the text for Atara (Hebrew for: Crown).

In Atara, the orchestra moves slowly and forcefully in huge independent blocks. Opposing this, the singers and their chamber instrumental formation are fragile, lost in the huge spaces suddenly opened up by the orchestra. Chaya Czernowin

The German premiere of Atara will take place at the “viva musica” event series with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich during the 2022/23 season.

photo: Christopher McIntosh


Work of the Week – Thierry Pécou: Until the Lions

On 21 March, the world premiere of Thierry Pécou’s most recent opera Until the Lions would have been given in Strasbourg at the Opéra National du Rhin. Even though the rehearsals have now been stopped and the premiere been postponed until one of the following seasons due to the COVID-19 crisis, we would nevertheless like to introduce the piece: Marie Jacquot conducts the Orchestre Symphonique de Mulhouse in a production directed and choreographed by Shobana Jeyasingh.

Continue reading “Work of the Week – Thierry Pécou: Until the Lions”


Work of the Week – Joseph Haas: Die Hochzeit des Jobs

On 15 March, Joseph Haas’ comic opera Die Hochzeit des Jobs returns to the stage for first time in 60 years. The new production will open at the theatre Eduard-won-Winterstein in Annaberg-Buchholz conducted by Naoshi Takahashi. Continue reading “Work of the Week – Joseph Haas: Die Hochzeit des Jobs”


Work of the Week – Stefan Johannes Hanke: The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs

On 8 March, Cologne Opera will perform Johannes Hanke’s children’s opera, The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs. Written between 2011 and 2012 on commission from Staatsoper Hannover, Hanke’s opera has since been performed in Dresden Basel and Munich. This most recent production will be conducted by Rainer Mühlbach.

Continue reading “Work of the Week – Stefan Johannes Hanke: The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs”


Work of the Week – Pierre Jalbert: Ephemeral Objects

On 28 February, Pierre Jalbert’s Ephemeral Objects for cello and piano will receive its world premiere at Middlebury College, Vermont. The new work, which was commissioned by Middlebury Performing Arts Series in celebration of its 100th Anniversary, will be performed by cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han. Continue reading “Work of the Week – Pierre Jalbert: Ephemeral Objects”


Work of the Week – Christian Jost: Egmont

Christian Jost’s opera Egmont premieres at Theater an der Wien on 17 February conducted by Michael Boder. The work was commissioned by the theatre for 2020 in celebration of Beethoven’s 250 Anniversary. Keith Warner has created the production for the premiere. Continue reading “Work of the Week – Christian Jost: Egmont”


Work of the Week – Julian Anderson: Litanies

On 12 February, Pascal Rophé will direct the Orchestre National de Radio France and soloist Alban Gerhardt in the world premiere of Julian Anderson’s Litanies for cello and orchestra as part of the annual Festival Présences. Continue reading “Work of the Week – Julian Anderson: Litanies”


Work of the Week – Gerald Barry: Alice’s Adventures Under Ground

On 3 February, the world premiere staging of Gerald Barry’s opera Alice’s Adventures Under Ground opens on the main stage of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden conducted by Thomas Adès and directed by Antony McDonald. Composed between 2013-15 on a joint commission from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Barbican Centre in London, and Britten Sinfonia.

Continue reading “Work of the Week – Gerald Barry: Alice’s Adventures Under Ground”