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2006, Munich, Tannhäuser


und der Sängerkrieg auf Wartburg


Composer : Richard Wagner
Librettist : Richard Wagner
Venue and Dates : Bayerische Staatsoper as part of the Munich Festival
27July 2006
Conductor : Zubin Mehta
Director : David Alden
Staging : Roni Toren
Costumes : Buki Shiff
Choreography : Vivienne Newport
Lighting : Pat Collins
Performers :

Landgraf Hermann : Jan-Hendrik Rootering
Tannhäuser : Robert Gambill
Wolfram von Eschenbach : Simon Keenlyside
Walther von der Vogelweide : Ulrich Reß
Biterolf : Tom Fox
Heinrich der Schreiber : Kenneth Robertson
Reinmar von Zweter : Gerhard Auer
Elisabeth : Anja Harteros
Venus : Waltraud Meier
Soloists from the Tölzer Knabenchor – A young shepherd and Four Pages
Orchestra and Chorus of the Bavarian State Opera.
Choirmaster : Andrés Máspero

Notes :


Click here to read a personal review with notes on the production, by Petra Habeth

Süddeutsche Zeitung, 29/30 July 2006 (Egbert Tholl)

Translated by Ursula Turecek

Venus and the consequences

Forget Bayreuth: Zubin Mehta conducted “Tannhäuser”

What is Zubin Mehta going to do now when he conducts the two performances – “Don Carlos” and “Meistersinger” – with which he will close his term of office in Munich within the next days? That is to say, he does not have a baton any more. It’s a fan from Northern Germany who has it now, he purchased it by auction for 1300 Euro to benefit the State Opera’s crèche “Theaterflöhe e. V.”. Sir Peter Jonas never made a secret about his considering relationships among his staff as conducive to the working atmosphere. And thus the fruits of this good working atmosphere have to be attended to, which Mehta and the fan from Northern Germany now did.

On the other hand Zubin Mehta demonstrated, after the auction in the first interval of this “Tannhäuser” performance, that he is able to organise the companionship with his Staatsorchester that has become symbiotic already in an exceedingly profitable way and with a backup baton too. More precisely it was the first act if anything that was, maybe due to thoughts of farewell to his implement, pervaded by an indefinable reservation – maybe an outlook on years to come where we will miss Mehta’s dark fervour. But then Mehta’s fire began to burn and the performance grew up to the phenomenal final chorus where, especially the ladies offered a textbook interpretation.

Even if Robert Gambill as Tannhäuser ran increasingly out of steam and offered the “Romerzählung” as an interesting study of his own collapse; even if Simon Keenlyside somewhat gloomily hid a tiny bit behind his extensive possibilities and was looking for the evening star in cheerless night – there are no more Wagner-voices, my foot! Ok, Elisabeth is not Wagner’s heaviest dame but the way that Anja Harteros is singing this part, vibrating with life and then again enchantingly dear, with a vocal power that still leaves room for her Mozart-elegance, is amazing. And Waltraud Meier’s radiating Venus is beyond all discussion anyway. So forget Bayreuth, Wagner is living in Munich.

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