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Radames

Radames

Chamber opera

Idea and libretto by Peter eötvös

based on texts by András Jeles, László Najmányi, Manfred Niehaus und Antonio Ghislanzoni

English text version by Gregory Vajda


  • Edition: performance material
  • Language: English - German - Italian

 
Description
SYNOPSIS


A rehearsal of the opera Aida is in progress: due to large-scale cost reductions in the orchestral budget, only three musicians are available. The conductor has to direct from the keyboard (or an electric piano). He lives off his income as a pianist in a coffee bar. There is only one counter tenor remaining in the ensemble, a leftover from the Baroque opera craze of the late 20th century. He is able to take both the part of Aida sung falsetto and Radames in his normal vocal range – ideal casting! In contrast, the directors are over-represented: following the amalgamation of the opera house and dramatic theatre, the directors of both houses are available. These are joined by a film director, as the funds for the opera are being financed by a parallel film production. The scene involving the death of Radames is currently in rehearsal and all three directors are attempting to work with the singer at the same time. The singer breaks down under the pressure and simultaneously the operation of the entire opera house collapses. In essence, a death scene in which the actor dies and the actor of the actor dies while he is acting out death: the death of death. Opera dies - is in fact already dead. The film dies - but the directors survive and write their memoirs … (Source: Cultural Centre, Herne, 2005)


COMMENTARY


Eötvös compiled his libretto from texts by the Hungarian film directors András Jeles and László Najmányi (for the role of the theatre director), the German composer and radio editor Manfred Niehaus (for the film director and interlude), quotations from Antonio Ghislanzoni’s libretto for ‘Aida’ and original musical performance instructions by Giuseppe Verdi. In the first performance of the original version, the ensemble consisted of a tonally unorthodox group of instruments: a fragile and exotic Japanese shakuhachi, a sousaphone (an instrument traditionally used in wind bands) and electronic organ. In 1997, Eötvös undertook a revision and new instrumentation of the work. The new version scored for soprano saxophone, horn, tuba and E-piano (Clavinova) was intended to facilitate the performance of the work and also fulfilled the intention of making the music sound deliberately ‘cheap’. These instruments also represent the only surviving remnants of the classical opera orchestra. The three directors transform the topic of ‘directing’ into senseless absurdity: the opera director articulates herself exclusively in cascades of Italian performance instructions originating from the score of ‘Aida’ and the film director comments the action of Radames/Aida with clichés from English film vocabulary. The theatre director is the only singer of this trio: unaccompanied by the orchestra, he loses himself in pseudo intellectual verbiage which has nothing whatsoever to do with the concrete situations in rehearsal. Radames/Aida is at the mercy of all three as a mere plaything and projection space: a voice with Baroque character going down a wrong turning in the direction of bel canto.
Details
Performance duration: 35'0"
Publisher: Schott Music
Uraufführung : 5. März 1976 Köln (D) WDR Musik-Theater Festival 1976 · Dirigent: Peter Eötvös · Inszenierung: Peter Eötvös

29. Dezember 1997 Budapest, Castle Theatre (H) · Dirigent: Gregory Vajda · Inszenierung: Péter Halász · Kostüme: Sári Gerlóczy; Domokos Moldován · Bühnenbild: Zsolt Csengery · Veranstalter: Budapest Chamber Opera (Uraufführung der revidierten Fassung)
Year of composition: 1975, rev. 1997
instrumentation: Sopransax. · Hr. · Tb. - E-Piano (Clavinova, gespielt vom Dirigenten)
occupation: Schauspieler (Radames-Aida) · Kontratenor - Opernregisseurin · Mezzo (Sprechgesang) - Theaterregisseur · Tenor - Filmregisseur · Bass-Bariton (Sprechgesang) - Dirigent und Repetitor (dirigiert und spielt E-Piano)
Performances
Conductor: Kai Röhring
Orchestra: Studierende der Universität Morzarteum Salzburg
2020-01-31 | Salzburg (Austria), Universität Mozarteum, Opernstudio
Conductor: Kai Röhring
Orchestra: Studierende der Universität Morzarteum Salzburg
2020-01-30 | Salzburg (Austria), Universität Mozarteum, Opernstudio | First Night
Conductor: Yannis Pouspourikas
Orchestra: Haydn Orchester von Bozen und Trient
2020-01-19 | Bozen (Italy), Stadttheater — 17:00
Conductor: Yannis Pouspourikas
Orchestra: Haydn Orchester von Bozen und Trient
2020-01-18 | Bozen (Italy), Stadttheater — 20:00 | national Premiere
Conductor: Yannis Pouspourikas
2019-03-07 | Burgdorf (Switzerland), Casino Theater — 19:30
Conductor: Yannis Pouspourikas
2019-02-27 | Solothurn (Switzerland), Stadttheater — 19:30
Conductor: Yannis Pouspourikas
2019-02-26 | Biel (Switzerland), Stadttheater — 19:30
Conductor: Yannis Pouspourikas
2019-02-22 | Biel (Switzerland), Stadttheater — 19:30
Conductor: Yannis Pouspourikas
2019-01-30 | Biel (Switzerland), Stadttheater — 19:30
Conductor: Yannis Pouspourikas
2019-01-26 | Solothurn (Switzerland), Stadttheater — 19:00
Conductor: Yannis Pouspourikas
2019-01-10 | Solothurn (Switzerland), Stadttheater — 19:30
Conductor: Yannis Pouspourikas
2019-01-04 | Solothurn (Switzerland), Stadttheater — 19:30
Conductor: Yannis Pouspourikas
2018-12-28 | Biel (Switzerland), Stadttheater — 19:30
Conductor: Yannis Pouspourikas
2018-12-16 | Biel (Switzerland), Stadttheater — 19:00
Conductor: Yannis Pouspourikas
2018-12-14 | Biel (Switzerland), Stadttheater — 19:30 | national Premiere
Conductor: Walter Kobéra; Anna Sushon
Orchestra: Amadeus Ensemble Wien
2018-06-18 | Wien (Austria), Neue Oper — 19:30
Conductor: Walter Kobéra; Anna Sushon
Orchestra: Amadeus Ensemble Wien
2018-06-16 | Wien (Austria), Neue Oper — 19:30
Conductor: Walter Kobéra; Anna Sushon
Orchestra: Amadeus Ensemble Wien
2018-06-14 | Wien (Austria), Neue Oper — 19:30 | national Premiere
Conductor: Jerzy Wołosiuk
Orchestra: Polish Energetic Ensemble
2013-05-10 | Bydgoszcz (Poland) — 18:00 | national Premiere
Conductor: Philip Mayers
2012-04-28 | Berlin (Germany), Konzerthaus — Lange Nacht der Opern und Theater
Conductor: Philip Mayers
2012-03-08 | Berlin (Germany), Konzerthaus
Conductor: Philip Mayers
2012-03-07 | Berlin (Germany), Konzerthaus
Conductor: Philip Mayers
2012-03-06 | Berlin (Germany), Konzerthaus
Conductor: Philip Mayers
2012-03-04 | Berlin (Germany), Konzerthaus
Conductor: Philip Mayers
2012-03-03 | Berlin (Germany), Konzerthaus | First Night
Conductor: Gregory Vajda
2010-01-27 | Budapest (Hungary), Magyar Állami Operaház Próbaterme
Conductor: Gregory Vajda
2009-07-12 | Szombathely (Hungary), Savaria University Centre, Gymnasium, Building A — 19.30 h | First Night
Conductor: Joachim Tschiedel
2008-04-05 | München (Germany), Prinzregententheater — 21.00 Uhr
Conductor: Joachim Tschiedel
2008-04-04 | München (Germany), Prinzregententheater — 21.00 Uhr
Conductor: Joachim Tschiedel
2008-03-31 | München (Germany), Prinzregententheater — 21.00 Uhr
Conductor: Joachim Tschiedel
2008-03-29 | München (Germany), Prinzregententheater — 21.00 Uhr | First Night
Conductor: Errico Fresis
Orchestra: Ensemble PanArte
2005-11-10 | Herne (Germany), Kulturzentrum — 20.00 Uhr
Conductor: Robin Engelen
1999-06-12 | Karlsruhe (Germany), ZKM
Conductor: Gregory Vajda
1997-12-29 | Budapest (Hungary), Castle Theatre | World Premiere (Revision)
Conductor: Peter Eötvös
1976-03-05 | Köln (Germany) | World Premiere
SYNOPSIS


A rehearsal of the opera Aida is in progress: due to large-scale cost reductions in the orchestral budget, only three musicians are available. The conductor has to direct from the keyboard (or an electric piano). He lives off his income as a pianist in a coffee bar. There is only one counter tenor remaining in the ensemble, a leftover from the Baroque opera craze of the late 20th century. He is able to take both the part of Aida sung falsetto and Radames in his normal vocal range – ideal casting! In contrast, the directors are over-represented: following the amalgamation of the opera house and dramatic theatre, the directors of both houses are available. These are joined by a film director, as the funds for the opera are being financed by a parallel film production. The scene involving the death of Radames is currently in rehearsal and all three directors are attempting to work with the singer at the same time. The singer breaks down under the pressure and simultaneously the operation of the entire opera house collapses. In essence, a death scene in which the actor dies and the actor of the actor dies while he is acting out death: the death of death. Opera dies - is in fact already dead. The film dies - but the directors survive and write their memoirs … (Source: Cultural Centre, Herne, 2005)


COMMENTARY


Eötvös compiled his libretto from texts by the Hungarian film directors András Jeles and László Najmányi (for the role of the theatre director), the German composer and radio editor Manfred Niehaus (for the film director and interlude), quotations from Antonio Ghislanzoni’s libretto for ‘Aida’ and original musical performance instructions by Giuseppe Verdi. In the first performance of the original version, the ensemble consisted of a tonally unorthodox group of instruments: a fragile and exotic Japanese shakuhachi, a sousaphone (an instrument traditionally used in wind bands) and electronic organ. In 1997, Eötvös undertook a revision and new instrumentation of the work. The new version scored for soprano saxophone, horn, tuba and E-piano (Clavinova) was intended to facilitate the performance of the work and also fulfilled the intention of making the music sound deliberately ‘cheap’. These instruments also represent the only surviving remnants of the classical opera orchestra. The three directors transform the topic of ‘directing’ into senseless absurdity: the opera director articulates herself exclusively in cascades of Italian performance instructions originating from the score of ‘Aida’ and the film director comments the action of Radames/Aida with clichés from English film vocabulary. The theatre director is the only singer of this trio: unaccompanied by the orchestra, he loses himself in pseudo intellectual verbiage which has nothing whatsoever to do with the concrete situations in rehearsal. Radames/Aida is at the mercy of all three as a mere plaything and projection space: a voice with Baroque character going down a wrong turning in the direction of bel canto.
Performance duration: 35'0"
Publisher: Schott Music
Uraufführung : 5. März 1976 Köln (D) WDR Musik-Theater Festival 1976 · Dirigent: Peter Eötvös · Inszenierung: Peter Eötvös

29. Dezember 1997 Budapest, Castle Theatre (H) · Dirigent: Gregory Vajda · Inszenierung: Péter Halász · Kostüme: Sári Gerlóczy; Domokos Moldován · Bühnenbild: Zsolt Csengery · Veranstalter: Budapest Chamber Opera (Uraufführung der revidierten Fassung)
Year of composition: 1975, rev. 1997
instrumentation: Sopransax. · Hr. · Tb. - E-Piano (Clavinova, gespielt vom Dirigenten)
occupation: Schauspieler (Radames-Aida) · Kontratenor - Opernregisseurin · Mezzo (Sprechgesang) - Theaterregisseur · Tenor - Filmregisseur · Bass-Bariton (Sprechgesang) - Dirigent und Repetitor (dirigiert und spielt E-Piano)
Conductor: Kai Röhring
Orchestra: Studierende der Universität Morzarteum Salzburg
2020-01-31 | Salzburg (Austria), Universität Mozarteum, Opernstudio
Conductor: Kai Röhring
Orchestra: Studierende der Universität Morzarteum Salzburg
2020-01-30 | Salzburg (Austria), Universität Mozarteum, Opernstudio | First Night
Conductor: Yannis Pouspourikas
Orchestra: Haydn Orchester von Bozen und Trient
2020-01-19 | Bozen (Italy), Stadttheater — 17:00
Conductor: Yannis Pouspourikas
Orchestra: Haydn Orchester von Bozen und Trient
2020-01-18 | Bozen (Italy), Stadttheater — 20:00 | national Premiere
Conductor: Yannis Pouspourikas
2019-03-07 | Burgdorf (Switzerland), Casino Theater — 19:30
Conductor: Yannis Pouspourikas
2019-02-27 | Solothurn (Switzerland), Stadttheater — 19:30
Conductor: Yannis Pouspourikas
2019-02-26 | Biel (Switzerland), Stadttheater — 19:30
Conductor: Yannis Pouspourikas
2019-02-22 | Biel (Switzerland), Stadttheater — 19:30
Conductor: Yannis Pouspourikas
2019-01-30 | Biel (Switzerland), Stadttheater — 19:30
Conductor: Yannis Pouspourikas
2019-01-26 | Solothurn (Switzerland), Stadttheater — 19:00
Conductor: Yannis Pouspourikas
2019-01-10 | Solothurn (Switzerland), Stadttheater — 19:30
Conductor: Yannis Pouspourikas
2019-01-04 | Solothurn (Switzerland), Stadttheater — 19:30
Conductor: Yannis Pouspourikas
2018-12-28 | Biel (Switzerland), Stadttheater — 19:30
Conductor: Yannis Pouspourikas
2018-12-16 | Biel (Switzerland), Stadttheater — 19:00
Conductor: Yannis Pouspourikas
2018-12-14 | Biel (Switzerland), Stadttheater — 19:30 | national Premiere
Conductor: Walter Kobéra; Anna Sushon
Orchestra: Amadeus Ensemble Wien
2018-06-18 | Wien (Austria), Neue Oper — 19:30
Conductor: Walter Kobéra; Anna Sushon
Orchestra: Amadeus Ensemble Wien
2018-06-16 | Wien (Austria), Neue Oper — 19:30
Conductor: Walter Kobéra; Anna Sushon
Orchestra: Amadeus Ensemble Wien
2018-06-14 | Wien (Austria), Neue Oper — 19:30 | national Premiere
Conductor: Jerzy Wołosiuk
Orchestra: Polish Energetic Ensemble
2013-05-10 | Bydgoszcz (Poland) — 18:00 | national Premiere
Conductor: Philip Mayers
2012-04-28 | Berlin (Germany), Konzerthaus — Lange Nacht der Opern und Theater
Conductor: Philip Mayers
2012-03-08 | Berlin (Germany), Konzerthaus
Conductor: Philip Mayers
2012-03-07 | Berlin (Germany), Konzerthaus
Conductor: Philip Mayers
2012-03-06 | Berlin (Germany), Konzerthaus
Conductor: Philip Mayers
2012-03-04 | Berlin (Germany), Konzerthaus
Conductor: Philip Mayers
2012-03-03 | Berlin (Germany), Konzerthaus | First Night
Conductor: Gregory Vajda
2010-01-27 | Budapest (Hungary), Magyar Állami Operaház Próbaterme
Conductor: Gregory Vajda
2009-07-12 | Szombathely (Hungary), Savaria University Centre, Gymnasium, Building A — 19.30 h | First Night
Conductor: Joachim Tschiedel
2008-04-05 | München (Germany), Prinzregententheater — 21.00 Uhr
Conductor: Joachim Tschiedel
2008-04-04 | München (Germany), Prinzregententheater — 21.00 Uhr
Conductor: Joachim Tschiedel
2008-03-31 | München (Germany), Prinzregententheater — 21.00 Uhr
Conductor: Joachim Tschiedel
2008-03-29 | München (Germany), Prinzregententheater — 21.00 Uhr | First Night
Conductor: Errico Fresis
Orchestra: Ensemble PanArte
2005-11-10 | Herne (Germany), Kulturzentrum — 20.00 Uhr
Conductor: Robin Engelen
1999-06-12 | Karlsruhe (Germany), ZKM
Conductor: Gregory Vajda
1997-12-29 | Budapest (Hungary), Castle Theatre | World Premiere (Revision)
Conductor: Peter Eötvös
1976-03-05 | Köln (Germany) | World Premiere