One of the oldest opera celebrations in the world, the Munich Opera Festival was founded more than 130 years ago.
This year's festival is focusing on the world of Richard Wagner, launching early the celebration of the great German composer's 200th birthday, officially marked in May 2013. The Festival opens with a new production of Götterdämmerung; the final part of Der Ring des Nibelungen, Richard Wagner's tetralogy of the world's re-creation, was staged by the German director Andreas Kriegenburg; the place on the conductor's podium will be taken by Kent Nagano. The festival programme features all four parts of the cycle: Das Rheingold; Die Walküre; Siegfried and Götterdämmerung. Alongside the grand opera cycle, the programme also includes a number of somewhat less conventional works centred on reflections on Richard Wagner's music, life and ideas. Romeo Castellucci, the most powerful among the Italian 'new theatre' directors, adept of metaphysical art, is bringing to Munich his Dämmerung stage installation, inspired by Richard Wagner's model of the universe. Sven Holm, a representative of the 'new wave' of the musical theatre direction, has staged a god- and hero-free night dedicated to four women: Cosima, Winifred, Gudrun and Katharina, Richard Wagner's wife, daughter-in-law, granddaughter-in-law and great-granddaughter respectively, the preservers of the great composer's legacy.
The festival programme also features a number of song recitals starring world-class singers. The Latvian star Elīna Garanča will present a selection of songs by Robert Schumann and Richard Strauss. Simon Keenlyside will perform Robert Schumann, Hugo Wolf and Franz Schubert; the British baritone will also star in one of his most existentially tragic roles, singing the title part of Alban Berg's Wozzeck opera in a production by Andreas Kriegenburg. As for the German tenor Jonas Kaufmann, his recital featuring Franz Schubert's cycle Die Winterreise promises to become one of the festival's most beautiful events.
Keywords: opera, festival, Munich