LEAVE THE KIDS AT HOME
KÖNIGSKINDER New Production Premiere
30 September 2012© Sam H. Shirakawa
Musikalische Leitung / Sebastian Weigle
Regie / David Bösch
Bühnenbild / Patrick Bannwart
Kostüme / Meentje Nielsen
Licht / Frank Keller
Dramaturgie / Zsolt Horpácsy
Chor / Matthias Köhler
Kinderchor / Michael Clark
Der Königssohn / Daniel Behle
Die Gänsemagd / Amanda Majeski
Der Spielmann / Nikolay Borchev
Die Hexe / Julia Juon
Der Holzhacker / Magnús Baldvinsson
Der Besenbinder / Martin Mitterrutzner
Sein Töchterchen / Chiara Bäuml
Der Ratsälteste / Franz Mayer
Der Wirt / Dietrich Volle
Die Wirtstochter / Nina Tarandek
Der Schneider / Beau Gibson
Die Stallmagd / Katharina Magiera
1. Torwächter / Thomas Charrois
2. Torwächter / Garegin Hovsepian
Eine Frau / Claudia Grunwald
Chor der Oper Frankfurt
Frankfurter Opern- und Museumsorchester
|Hexed relationship: Daniel Behle, Amanda Majeski|
These thoughts occurred to me as I noticed some very young children at the premiere of Oper Frankfurt’s new production this past weekend. What do they make of such an unhappy tale?
What a bedtime story!
David Bösch’s children's drawing book production for Frankfurt eliminates most of the difficulties in staging the work, by placing the action on a bare, steeply raked stage, with Patrick Bannwart’s cardboard cut-outs functioning unobtrusively as sets, props and geese.
If the presence of several opera world moguls seated among the money magnates at the premiere is any indication, the role of the Prince may signify a breakthrough for tenor Daniel Behle. His voice has palpably bloomed from a Tamino-type sprout into an attractive middle-weight tenor, clearly capable of tackling Zemlinsky and early Wagner. In its current estate, the voice sports a bright top reminiscent of the young Rene Kollo that crowns the sturdily butressed registers below it. Genetics may be playing a role in Behle’s bodacious development: His mother is the well-known (and underrated) dramatic soprano Renate Behle.
American Amanda Majeski as the farm girl commands a voice of surpassing beauty that can summon power without sounding pressured. Its fullsome timbre reflects little of the girlish innocence you might reasonably expect from the role, but it reveals tragic yearnings in the score's final pages that surprise and disquiet.
|Money gazing: European Central Bank across from Oper Frankfurt|
Sebastian Weigle paid close attention to having his redoubtable orchestra articulate Humperdinck’s numerous allusions to Wagner, most especially a fistful of quotes from Meistersinger. He also proved efficient in steering the augmented chorus under the direction of Matthias Köhler, which includes a large section of children led by Michael Clark. But I found myself wanting a tad more intensity from Weigle in drawing out some of the opera's arching melodies.
Königskinder comes along rarely, and It is well worth hearing in Oper Frankfurt’s new incarnation.
But leave the kids at home.
Production Photos: Wolfgang Runkel
Oper Frankfurt Photo, Grafix & Post-Production: Sam H. Shirakawa