In Zauberland, Robert Schumann’s Dichterliebe, cornerstone of the Lied genre, is paired with new compositions by Bernard Foccroulle. We payed our previous intendant a visit to ask him about his inspiration behind this engaged recital production.
‘One of the singular artists of her generation’ (The New York Times); ‘a lavishly gifted soprano’ (The New Yorker); ‘This Is Who We’ve Been Waiting For’ (Peter Sellars). For anyone still in doubt: she has the Big Apple lying at her feet. And now Belgium too. A conversation with Julia Bullock, the driving force behind Zauberland.
Even during a pseudo-lockdown and in the wake of a whole series of cancellations, the upholsterers, carpenters, sculptors, painters, and other artists in our Workshops remain undaunted. And that tenacity is really needed – for, paradoxical as it might seem, there have never been so many productions on the stocks at the same time. Right now, work is going ahead – COVID-securely – on scenery for no fewer than seven operas.
Romantic vocal lines, atonal sprechgesang or even just spoken word – give Georg Nigl a text and he imprints expression and meaning on each and every syllable. In honour of his literary recital, we delved deep into our archives and found this – equally literary – fragment: his heartfelt interpretation of the poet Jakob Lenz in the eponymous opera by Wolfgang Rihm, which earned him the title of ‘Singer of the Year’ in 2015.
Mariusz Treliński’s staging for Die tote Stadt was ready. That is, until a pandemic and strict security protocols forced him to radically rethink his entire production. The result, which will be the first staged opera at La Monnaie in months, is a sublimated but ever so powerful production about loss, schizophrenic images of womanhood and… isolation. “We feel the same pressure and the same claustrophobia as Paul.”