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Commemorating the resistance fighter Sophie Scholl and her execution by the Gestapo 80 years ago, the Dresdner Musikfestspiele presents a world premiere by the American composer David Chesky on June 2, 2023 at the Festspielhaus Hellerau. The »White Rose Triology« is a cycle of works in three movements for orchestra and chorus, reflecting the fate of this member of the resistance through musical and visual means.
The American conductor Eric Jacobsen leads the Dresden Symphony Orchestra and the Sächsisches Vokalensemble in this world premiere. The actress Luise Aschenbrenner from Dresden will recite the individual names of the members of the White Rose group in the second movement. Barbara Luisi created the visual concept for the staging, illustrating the situation of the resistance group for the audience with a video installation and a stage set to enable a emotional contact with the audience.
»I wrote this as a homage to Sophie Scholl and the students of the Munich University. The trilogy develops as follows: the first part is the evocation of the terror; you feel this darkness coming over them. The second part is the actual announcement of the names of the students and professors accused. And the third part is Sophie’s ascension to heaven to become a saint in a philosophical manner. For me she represents some beauty that this world does not have, somebody who believes in truth and freedom, and would give their life for it,« says David Chesky about his composition.
»Developing this project for the Dresdner Musikfestspiele was a challenge, because this is not a concept for an opera, but a concert performance. Still, I tried to infuse the dark and weighty music by David Chesky with a little lightness through my interpretation of the White Rose, in the sense of many emotional images, which speak to the intellect and the heart alike. The audience becomes involved by having the opportunity to read the leaflets in the original versions, feeling personally what happened then, and what can happen again today,« says Barbara Luisi about her visual concept for the performance.
The evening begins with Johann Sebastian Bach’s motet »Fürchte dich nicht, ich bin bei dir« BWV 228, which combines verses from the Biblical Book of Isaiah with Paul Gerhardt’s chorale »Warum soll ich mich denn grämen«. The final piece in the concert is the brief orchestral work »Ascending Bird« by Colin Jacobsen/Siamak Aghaei. The concert takes place in cooperation between the Dresdner Musikfestspiele and HELLERAU – European Centre of the Arts.
The Dresden Music Festival launches a season full of contrasts on May 18, 2023 under the motto »BLACKANDWHITE«. Its opening night features the Munich Philharmonic under the baton of Tugan Sokhiev with soprano Christiane Karg in a program uniting two musical worlds: Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 6 in B-minor Op. 54, created when war was still uppermost in its composer’s mind, is juxtaposed with Mahler’s dream-like Symphony No. 4 in G-major.
»Although our motto is 'BLACK AND WHITE', our program is particularly colorful this year. Genre diversity and such a wide range of offerings as never before at the festival describe our world, which is full of contrasts and yet never black and white,« says Jan Vogler, artistic director of the Dresden Music Festival.
Over 32 festival days, the audience may look forward to 64 concerts presenting approximately 1,500 artists from the classical, jazz and world music genres. Internationally celebrated performers such as pianist Hélène Grimaud, soprano Joyce DiDonato, multi-percussionist Martin Grubinger, the Grammy and German Jazz Award winner Cécile McLorin Salvant and jazz trombonist Nils Landgren will conjure up a vivid festival atmosphere at 22 performance venues throughout the city. The final concert by Wynton Marsalis & Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will be an open-air event for the first time this year, held at the Junge Garde.
The special festival focus »Playful Keys« includes 19 concerts dedicated to the black and white keys on the piano, offering an array of pianists of various generations and genres: these include Mikhail Pletnev, Emanuel Ax, Lucas & Arthur Jussen, the jazz pianists Michael Wolly and Johanna Summer or the only 15-year-old rising star Alexandra Dovgan and Louis Lortie, who will perform the complete Beethoven symphonies in Franz Liszt's original arrangements together with young pianists.
Further highlights of the 46th Dresden Music Festival include two concert performances of operas using historical instruments: the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra under Aapo Häkkinen’s baton will give a semi-staged rendition of Robert Schumann’s rarely-performed opera »Genoveva« at the Kulturpalast. And with Richard Wagner’s »Das Rheingold«, a large-scale artistic and academic project involving the Dresden Festival Orchestra and Concerto Köln under the baton of Kent Nagano is launched in Dresden: starting in 2023, one part of the opera tetralogy »Der Ring des Nibelungen« will be produced every year, in keeping with the principles of historically informed performance practice.
The 46th Dresden Music Festival takes place from May 18 to June 18, 2023.
As part of a comprehensive artistic and academic project, the Dresden Music Festival will explore the original sound of Richard Wagner, starting in 2023. The project’s mission is to present an annual concert performance of one part of Richard Wagner’s opera tetralogy »Der Ring des Nibelungen« by the Dresden Festival Orchestra and Concerto Köln under the baton of Kent Nagano, using historical instruments and the linguistic style of the time of its creation. The performance of Richard Wagner’s »Das Rheingold« at Dresden’s Kulturpalast on June 14, 2023 marks the project’s official launch.
The project under the artistic leadership of Festival Intendant Jan Vogler and conductor Kent Nagano will bring together Wagner experts and performers from all over the world in Dresden.
»The Dresden Music Festival is proud to deliver new impulses from Dresden to the world with this visionary project. I am sure that this new ›Ring‹ from Dresden and the musicological research involved will have a lasting influence on the reception and interpretation of Wagner’s music,« says Jan Vogler, Intendant of the Dresden Music Festival.
»From the instruments to vocal style and the general treatment of words – much of what we experience today during typical Wagner performances differs from the customs at Wagner’s time. We look forward to delving into the fascinating musical world of the 19th century together with our audience, which also includes asking critical questions that are necessary when it comes to a person such as Wagner,« says Kent Nagano, Artistic Director of the Wagner Project and Conductor Laureate of Concerto Köln.
The »Rheingold« premiere on June 14 will be accompanied by a comprehensive Wagner program. Under the leadership of the project’s academic curator PD Dr. Kai Müller, musicians from both orchestras will offer a workshop concert on the evening before the premiere, illustrating academic aspects of historical performance practice with musical examples. On the day of the premiere, the Kulturpalast will host an exhibition with several stations on Wagner’s oeuvre, short lectures in the foyer and a Wagner Café, from 12 noon onwards.
You are cordially invited to the Wagner Press Lounge on June 13, 2023 at 6 pm at the Albertinum (Hermann-Glöckner-Saal).
Cast of »Das Rheingold« on June 14, 2023 in Dresden:
Derek Welton (Wotan)
Dominik Köninger (Donner)
Mauro Peter (Loge)
Tansel Akzeybek (Froh)
Katrin Wundsam (Fricka)
Nadja Mchantaf (Freia)
Gerhild Romberger (Erda)
Daniel Schmutzhard (Alberich)
Thomas Ebenstein (Mime)
Tijl Faveyts (Fasolt)
Tilmann Rönnebeck (Fafner)
Ania Vegry (Woglinde)
Ida Aldrian (Wellgunde)
Eva Vogel (Floßhilde)
Please find photo material and more details on the Wagner project in this Dropbox
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