Oscar-winning Austrian filmmaker turns to opera

28th March 2009, Comments 0 comments

The director will stage Carl Maria von Weber's 'Der Freischuetz' in Vienna.

Vienna -- Oscar-winning Austrian film director Stefan Ruzowitzky will try his hand at opera next year with Carl Maria von Weber's Der Freischuetz in Vienna, the Theater an der Wien opera house said Tuesday.

Karl Markovics, the star of Ruzowitzky's Academy Award-winning film The Counterfeiters, will play the diabolic black huntsman Samiel in the new production to premiere in April 2010, manager Roland Geyer told reporters.

Ruzowitzky told the news conference he had a background in the theatre, adding: "So the question really should be why I've been waylaid by film for so long."

Weber's Der Freischuetz is just one of 13 productions that the Theater an der Wien, Vienna's oldest and most ornate opera house, is staging in the new season.

The season opens in September with a new production of Benjamin Britten's Death in Venice by British director Ramin Gray, starring US tenor Kurt Streit and conducted by Scottish maestro Donald Runnicles.

There then follows a new production almost every month, ranging from Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea in a staging by Robert Carsen; Gluck's Iphigenie en Tauride by Torsten Fischer; Haydn's Il Mondo della Luna by Tobias Moretti and Rossini's rarely-performed Tancredi by Stephen Lawless.

There are also 20th century works such as Hans Werner Henze's Der Prinz von Homburg, and the world premiere of a specially commissioned opera Die Besessenen by German composer Johannes Kalitzke.

Conductors include early music specialists, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Rene Jacobs, Thomas Hengelbrock, Harry Bicket and rising star Cornelius Meister, but also maestros such as Betrand de Billy and Marc Albrecht.

The top-league singers include Dietrich Henschel, Christian Gerhaher, Vivica Genaux, Anna Bonitatibus and Nicole Beller Carbone.

Six rarely-performed baroque operas will be given in concert performance, including Handel's Agrippina, Giove in Argo and Ezio and Vivaldi's Armida al campo d'Egitta and Farnace.

Other concerts include two Beethoven symphonies by the Vienna Philharmonic under Christian Thielemann, Haydn's The Creation by the Freiburger Barockorchester under Adam Fischer and Handel's oratorio Susanna by Les Arts Florissants under William Christie.


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