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Showing posts from April, 2013

Martinu - Hry o Marii (Miracles of Mary)

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National Theatre (Narodni Divadlo), Prague, Monday April 22 2013

Conductor: David Švec. Production: Jiří Heřman. Sets: Pavel Svoboda. Costumes: Alexandra Grusková. Choreography: Jan Kodet. Lighting: Daniel Tesař.

The Wise and Foolish Virgins*
Archangel Gabriel: Stanislava Jirků. Leader of the Play: Jakub Gottwald. Foolish Virgin: Markéta Cukrová.

Mariken of Nijmegen
Mariken of Nijmegen: Maria Kobielska. Devil: Svatopluk Sem. Principal: Jakub Gottwald. Mascaron: Jaroslav Březina.

The Nativity
Mary: Maria Kobielska. Blacksmith: Ivan Kusnjer. Blacksmith's Daughter: Stanislava Jirků.

Sister Paskalina
Sister Paskalina: Dana Burešová . Sister Marta: Stanislava Jirků. Leader of the Play: Jakub Gottwald.

Czech National Opera Orchestra. Czech National Opera Chorus. Czech National Opera Ballet. Prague Philharmonic Choir. Kühn Children's Choir.

I admit that when I mentioned recently on Facebook that Hry o Marii seemed the most interesting option during a recent visit to Prague, I aimed to tease t…

Humperdinck - Hänsel und Gretel

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ONP Garnier, Paris, Friday April 19 2013

Conductor: Claus Peter Flor. Production: Mariame Clément. Sets and costumes: Julia Hansen. Lighting: Philippe Berthomé. Peter: Jochen Schmeckenbecher. Gertrud: Irmgard Vilsmaier. Hänsel: Daniela Sindram. Gretel: Anne-Catherine Gillet. Knusperhexe: Anja Silja. Die Sandmännchen: Elodie Hache. Taumännchen: Olga Seliverstova. Orchestra of the Opéra National de Paris. Hauts-de-Seine and ONP children’s choirs.

To me, Hänsel und Gretel is the kind of work you have on CD but don't play. You buy it, listen once, think "ho-hum" and, apart from one or two catchy tunes, forget it. (You then buy Königskinder to see if it's more interesting, but end up never listening to that, either.) The music is undeniably pleasant and well-made, but bland; the only interest in the story is the witch. So a lot must depend, in the theatre, on the staging. I say "must" as, though H und G is popular in some countries, including the US, in France I&…