BEATRICE CENCI @ BREGENZ FESTIVAL
Bregenz Festival continues its series of successful rediscoveries with Goldschmidt’s “Beatrice Cenci”.
"Beatrice Cenci", Bregenz Festival © Bregenz Festival
Church corruption, human violence and a daughter who plots revenge on her abusive father – Berthold Goldschmidt’s “Beatrice Cenci” has every ingredient for a gripping opera and the story of its origins is equally fascinating albeit tragic: The Jewish composer, who fled Germany to take up residence in London in 1935, entered an opera competition in the UK with his work. The jury awarded Goldschmidt’s draft opera a prize, but the promised performance never took place.
It was not until 1988 that it received its premiere as a concert performance. At this year’s Bregenz Festival, stage director Johannes Erath will bring “Beatrice Cenci” on stage for the first time. Johannes Debus, whom festival audiences will remember for his realisation of Jacques Offenbach’s opera “Les Contes d’Hoffmann”, will conduct the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the Prague Philharmonic Choir.
To tell the true story of Beatrice Cenci, the daughter of 16th-century Roman nobleman Francesco Cenci, the Austrian Music Theatre Award winner Erath joins forces with stage designer Katrin Connan and costume designer Katharina Tasch. Israeli soprano Gal James will star as Beatrice, Christoph Pohl will take on the role of corrupt and violent Francesco Cenci. Dshamilja Kaiser will play Lucrezia, Beatrice’s stepmother, with whom she plans her father’s murder and gets condemned. A poignant requiem for the two executed women concludes Goldschmidt’s opera, which the composer himself described as a “real bel canto opera”.
A production of Unitel and ORF.
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