Dionysos

 

Wolfgang Rihm Dionysos "opera fantasy." World premiere at the 2010 Salzburg Festival directed by Pierre Audi (Haus für Mozart). Stars Mojca Erdmann (1st High Soprano/Ariadane), Elin Rombo (2nd High Soprano), Virpi Räisänen (Mezzo-Soprano), Julia Faylenbogen (Alto), Johannes Martin Kränzle (N.), Matthias Klink (A Guest/Apollo), and Uli Kirsch (The Skin). Ingo Metzmacher conducts the Deutsches Symphonieorchester Berlin and the Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor (Chorus Master Jörn H. Andresen). Sets by Jonathan Meese; costume by Jorge Jara; lighting by Jean Kalman; TV direction by Bettina Ehrhardt. A substantial bonus extra by Bettina Ehrhardt is called I am Thy Labyrinth. Released 2013, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

This wild new opera has only been seen by a few people. But soon you can become an avant-garde opera expert in the privacy of your own HT. Nietzsche spent much of his life as a pitiful, neurotic recluse on the verge of dying from neglect. But this didn't keep Nietzsche from having a feverish intellectual life. So maybe this opera can be explained as depiction of Nietzsche's personal fantasies of himself as the god Dionysos, or, as critic Anthony Tommasini wrote in a fine review in the New York Times, a "Nietzschean Plunge into Sensual Labyrinths."

If you follow this website closely, you will recognize Mojca Erdmann who played Blondie in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and the voice of the forest bird in the Met Siegfried. From what I can see so far, Dionysos might remind you of the Love for Three Oranges, a huge insider's joke with a crazy plot and music often imitating other operas. Per Tommasini, Dionysos plays the same tricks; so be alert while viewing it for references to other music we have in HDVD such as Wagner's Ring, Mozart's Magic Flute, the Strauss Ariade auf Naxos, and Schubert's Winterreise.

Matthew Gurewitsch in the Feburary 2014 Opera News at pages 56-57 reports that he saw this live in 2010 at the Salzburg Festival. He states that the vivid images he remembers from the live performance "look flat and flimsy and go for nothing as shot by video director Bettina Ehrhardt." Gurewitsch goes on to say that, "... a CD would make a better case for Dionysos that the inept video. . . " As usual, you can't tell from the review whether Gurewitsch saw the DVD or the Blu-ray. But it is mildly encouraging see a magazine critic spend time discussing the quality of the video.