Raymond Very (Gustav von Aschenbach) | © Hans Jörg Michel
Death in Venice
Benjamin Britten
Opernhaus Düsseldorf
Sunday, 29. June 2014
18:30 - 21:30 hours

Duration: abt. 3 hours, one interval
14,50 - 67,50 € Abo.+2
Duration: abt. 3 hours, one interval
Gustav von Aschenbach, a successful novelist, feels no longer capable of continuing his career. On a walk in a Munich cemetery a stranger advises him to travel south on holiday. On arrival in Venice he is not only confronted by a series of strange figures whom he interprets as harbingers of his death, but also is more and more fascinated by a boy who is holidaying in the same hotel on the Lido with his family. In Tadzio, Aschenbach believes to have recognized a perfection such as he had sought in vain as a writer hitherto. He indulges his enthusiasm for the boy as admirer and observer to the point of Dionysian ecstasy. Then cholera breaks out and Venice becomes a city of death. Aschenbach sees Tadzio one last time, playing on the beach with his friends.

Benjamin Britten (1913–1976) chose with Thomas Mann’s novella a masterpiece of world literature as the basis for an opera premièred in 1973, which was to be his last, and his unmistakable tonal language made it a key work for his late period. With the power of myth visions of inner captivity and of burning desire are mirrored in the labyrinthine atmosphere of Venice. Britten has the writer Aschenbach confronted by six positively Mephistophelian antagonists united in one singer who appears in various forms as a traveller, a elderly fop, a gondolier, a hotel manager, a barber and a street player, finally revealed to be at one in the voice of the god Dionysus. As a counterpart Tadzio and his family are played by dancers and thus are ingeniously disembodied from the central action. With a frugal instrumentation, which in the monologues of Aschenbach is reduced only to a piano, and in strong contrast to lyrical outbursts of the orchestra, Britten finds a way to deeply moving expressiveness.

The cycle of productions of Britten operas by Immo Karaman and his team in honour of the composer’s 100th birthday, which started with the trilogy of “Peter Grimes”, “Billy Budd” and “The Turn of the Screw” in November 2013, closes now with “Death in Venice” at Opernhaus Düsseldorf as last of the cycle.
Benjamin Britten

Opera in two acts
Libretto by Myfanwy Piper after the novella “Der Tod in Venedig” by Thomas Mann

In English with German surtitles

Musikalische Leitung Lukas Beikircher
Inszenierung Immo Karaman
Choreographie Fabian Posca
Bühne Kaspar Zwimpfer
Kostüme Nicola Reichert
Licht Franz-Xaver Schaffer
Chorleitung Christoph Kurig
Dramaturgie Sonja Westerbeck
Gustav von Aschenbach Raymond Very
Der Reisende Peter Savidge
Die Stimme Apollos Yosemeh Adjei
Junger Mann / Hotelportier Florian Simson
Junger Mann / Hotelkellner / Bootsmann am Lido / Kellner Attila Fodre
Junger Mann / Fremdenführer / Priester / Clerk im englischen Reisebüro Torben Jürgens
Straßensängerin / Erdbeerverkäuferin / Zeitungsverkäuferin Alma Sadé
Straßensänger / Junger Mann / Gondoliere / Glasbläser Cornel Frey
Englische Lady / Spitzenverkäuferin Hagar Sharvit
Tadzio Denys Popovich
Jaschiu Talib Jordan
Mutter Bettina Fritsche
Gouvernante Victoria Wohlleber
Schwester Elodie Lavoignat, Anna Maldonado, Franziska Angerer
Page / Faun / Friseurgehilfe Michael Kitzeder, Jochen Vogel
Page / Faun Toralf Vetterick, Ronaldo Navarro
Handpuppe / Faun / Page Francesco Pedone
Amerikaner Bo-Hyeon Mun, Eduardo Koch-Buttelli
Junger Mann Cesar Dima, Franz-Martin Preihs, Ingmar Klusmann
Französische Mutter Claudia Hildebrand
Hotelgast Cornelia Maria Orendi, Elimar Köster, Klaus Walter, Martina Ramin
Steward Dong-In Choi
Deutsche Mutter Elisabeth Adrian
Französisches Mädchen Helena Günther
Pole Manfred Klee
Russische Kinderfrau Manuela Kunze
Deutscher Vater Ortwin Rave
Russischer Vater Romualdas Urbonas
Russische Mutter Sibylle Eichhorn
Dänische Lady Simone Klostermann
Bettlerin Sylwia Rave
Orchester Düsseldorfer Symphoniker


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