Lear

 

Aribert Reimann Lear opera (composed 1978) to a libretto by Claus H. Henneberg. Directed 2014 by Karoline Gruber at the Staatsoper Hamburg. Stars Bo Skovhus (König or King Lear), Katja Pieweck (Goneril), Hellen Kwon (Regan), Siobhan Stagg (Cordelia), Erwin Leder (Narr or Fool), Lauri Vasar (Graf or Count von Gloster), Andrew Watts (Edgar), Martin Homrich (Edmund), Christian Miedl (Herzog or Duke von Albany), Peter Galliard (Herzog or Duke von Cornwall), Jürgen Sacher (Graf or Duke von Kent), Wilhelm Schwinghammer (König von Frankreich), and Frieder Stricker (Bedienter or Servant). Simone Young conducts the Philharmoniker Hamburg and Chor der Staatsoper Hamburg (Chorus Master Eberhard Friedrich). Set Design by Roy Spahn; costume design by Mechthild Seipel; lighting design by Hans Toelstede; directed for video by Marcus Richardt. Released 2015, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio. Grade: NA

Mike Ashmore, writing in the July 2015 Gramophone (pages 86-87) "hugely" recommends this  Lear. Be warned, however, as "Brass and wind have that 20th-century prominence as if they've swapped roles with the strings, while there's a distinctive, large, and colourful percussion group." William Brown warns also in the September 2015 Opera News (pages 79-80) that this "Lear is hyperexpressionistic . . . and "relates to Berg's Wozzeck as Wozzeck relates to Wagner."  Still he approves of Reimann's work as it "makes us ponder what King [sic] Lear is all about."