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Opera in five acts and 7 tableaux

Composer Sergej Prokofjew · Libretto by the composer after the correspondent novel by Waleri J. Brjussow
In Russian with German surtitles | New Production

Sunday, 19. February 2017
07:00 pm – 09:15 pm
Nationaltheater

Duration est. 2 hours 15 minutes

Introductory Event: 06:00 PM

Prices K, € - /- /- /- /- /- /- /10

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Premiere at 29. November 2015

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Cast

Musikalische Leitung
Michail Jurowski
Inszenierung
Barrie Kosky
Bühne
Rebecca Ringst
Kostüme
Klaus Bruns
Licht
Joachim Klein
Choreographie
Otto Pichler
Dramaturgie
Bettina Auer, Miron Hakenbeck
Chor
Stellario Fagone

Ruprecht
Evgeny Nikitin
Renata
Ausrine Stundyte
Schenkwirtin
Heike Grötzinger
Wahrsagerin
Helena Zubanovich
Agrippa von Nettesheim
Vladimir Galouzine
Mephistopheles
Kevin Conners
Äbtissin
Okka von der Damerau
Faust
Igor Tsarkov
Inquisitor
Peter Lobert
Jakob Glock
Ulrich Reß
Mathias Wissmann
Sean Michael Plumb
Doktor
Matthew Grills
Knecht
Christian Rieger
Schankwirt
Andrea Borghini
Junge Nonne 1
Selene Zanetti
Junge Nonne 2
Alyona Abramowa
  • Bayerisches Staatsorchester
  • Chorus of the Bayerische Staatsoper
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A couple and their hallucinatory journey to the dark side of passion. Renata is driven by a longing for the consummate sexual encounter. Since her youth she has had a vision of an ecstatic conjugation with a shining angel. Ruprecht falls for Renata and follows her unreservedly on her obsessive quest to fulfil this fantasy. The couple cross the boundaries of perception, leaving behind all traces of morality or reason, until their willingness to devote body and soul completely to one another threatens to pull their previous existence apart. 

In 1907, the Russian Symbolist Valery Bryusov wrote a historic novel as a means to get an overdependent relationship out of his system: Against a backdrop of the transition from the medieval to the modern age, he recounts the knight Ruprecht's memories of his fateful encounter with Renata: plagued by hallucinations, driven by desire and denounced as a heretic - in a world caught between the fanaticism of the Inquisition and the spirit of humanism; occultism and empirical science; mystical ecstasy and demonized sexuality. Sergei Prokofiev stumbled across this novel in 1919. During his nomadic years spent wandering between America, France and the Bavarian region of Pfaffenwinkel, he composed his dark and enigmatic opera, which was not performed until after his death.

 

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Act One

Ruprecht, a well-travelled man experienced in the ways of the world, has only just entered his hotel room when a desperate woman appears out of nowhere. She is distraught and convinced that she is being attacked and in her panic tells Ruprecht, whose name she knows, a mysterious story: when she was just a child a fiery angel by the name of Madiel had appeared to her and was closer to her than anybody else. But when Renata, now grown into a young woman, desired more of a carnal relationship than the sort they had enjoyed so far he disappeared in fury. She had later met Count Heinrich, whom she believed to be a reincarnation of Madiel, but he had left Renata after only a year. Ever since then she has been searching for her lost lover. It is completely clear to Ruprecht just what this woman really needs but when he brutally tries to seduce Renata something inside him is suddenly touched. A game with no rules begins.

 

Act Two

Renata tries, like one possessed, to find a trace of Count Heinrich with the help of black magic. Initially it seems as if the magic has proved successful in conjuring up the count, but the signs prove to be deceptive. When Ruprecht declares his love for her and promises to be patient Renata rewards him with humiliation.

In his endeavours to understand Renata, Ruprecht suddenly has a vision of the famous philosopher and magician Agrippa von Nettesheim. But Ruprecht’s struggle for knowledge ends in a nightmare.

 

Act Three

Things spiral out of control. Renata entangles Ruprecht in an erotic role-play in the course of which they both swap identities again and again so that it is no longer clear who is submitting to whom: Renata thinks she has found Count Heinrich again, who has rejected her harshly and scolded her. So Heinrich cannot possibly be her Madiel. Renata orders Ruprecht: kill Heinrich! In a sudden change of heart she then forbids him to even touch a hair on Heinrich’s head. In the ecstasy of the game Ruprecht is suddenly wounded. Renata declares that she loves Ruprecht because he is prepared to go beyond the bounds for her. Can Ruprecht really believe his ears?

 

Act Four

Renata planst to leave Ruprecht as she finds his desire for her abhorrent. Ruprecht again asks her to marry him but Renata turns him down with a show of contempt.

They are then overwhelmed by a crude nightmare: Mephisto appears and plays a nasty game while Faust muses about human existence. Ruprecht is forced to watch helplessly.

 

Act Five

Renata is completely lost in religious ecstasy. She hears threatening voices all around her, feels as if she is under attack and haunted, she is plagued by visions of suffering and martyrdom until she is completely overwhelmed by the whirlpool of her panic, into which Ruprecht is also dragged.

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Biographies

Michail Jurowski, geboren in Moskau, studierte am Moskauer Konservatorium Dirigieren bei Leo Ginsburg und Musikwissenschaft bei Alexei Kandinsky. Während seines Studiums assistierte er bereits Gennady Rozhdestvensky. Er dirigierte Opernvorstellungen an Häusern wie der Semperoper Dresden, der Deutschen Oper Berlin, der Komischen Oper Berlin, am Bolschoi-Theater, am Tetro alla Scala in Mailand, an der Opéra national de Paris und an der Oper Leipzig, die er auch als Generalmusikdirektor leitete. Zudem leitete er zahlreiche namhafte Orchester, u. a. das London Philharmonic Orchestra, die Sankt Petersburger Philharmoniker, das Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, die Dresdner Philharmonie und das WDR Rundfunkorchester, dem er auch als Chefdirigent vorstand. Dirigat an der Bayerischen Staatsoper 2016/17: Der feurige Engel.

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