New opera Caliban banal and wearisome

Eggert: Caliban

Compagnietheater, Amsterdam, 30th March 2017

CalibanByFranzMarc

Caliban by Franz Marc (1880-1916), courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Listening to Moritz Eggert’s Caliban is the equivalent of watching a flea-ridden dog chasing its own tail for one-and-half hours. It scratches, twitches and yelps. Occasionally, it blinks pleadingly, but you can’t bring yourself to care for such a foolish animal and its less-than-tragic plight.

Full review on Opera Today.

Brave but flawed world premiere: Fortress Europe

Tsoupaki: Fortress Europe

Stadsschouwburg, Amsterdam, 22nd March 2017

Refugees_on_a_boat_crossing_the_Mediterranean_sea,_heading_from_Turkish_coast_to_the_northeastern_Greek_island_of_Lesbos,_29_January_2016

Refugees heading for Lesbos, January 2016 (Courtesy of Mstyslav Chernov via Wikimedia Commons

Calliope Tsoupaki’s latest opera, Fortress Europe, premiered as spring began taming the winter storms in the Mediterranean. The number of migrants trying to reach Europe by sea is already picking up, as it does every year. Putting their lives in the hands of unscrupulous smugglers, scores of them will drown.

Full review on Opera Today.

Pulsating new Andriessen with prosaic libretto at the Holland Festival

Andriessen: Theatre of the World

Royal Carré Theatre, 11th June 2016

SunflowerClockKircher.jpg

Design for Sunflower Clock from Magnes, sive De Arte Magnetica by Athanasius Kircher (c. 1643)

“Abandon all hope of comprehension, ye who enter here”, to paraphrase Dante. The elliptical libretto of Theatre of the World, Louis Andriessen’s fifth full-length opera, directed by Pierre Audi, should come with this warning, though not Andriessen’s masterly score.

Full review on Bachtrack.