The performance of Tannhäuser was not my orginal intent when planning trip to Berlin, – Le Prophete the next day at Duetsche Oper Berlin was the point of focal interest, but the flight options permitted to squeeze another performance on the day of arrival, and from all available choices offered by Berlin opera scene, Tannhäuser was the best fit.
The production is already 9 years old, has experienced many different casts, but concept as well as stage still seems contemporary and conveys the story without too many clicheed approaches. The stage director Kirsten Harms here is at her best – another performance worth to see with considerate approach to the score and libretto, as well as smart usage of singing actors.
The cast for the evening had some interesting names, and the ensemble delivered spactacular performance despite some singers were annoounced as incapacitated. Emma Bell (above) delivered great, complex portrayal of fragile and determined Elisabeth, her voice souring above chorus and negotiating top notes with ease.
Markus Bruck was dramatically and vocally intense Wolfram, his acting in the last act most impressive. Ante Jerkunica as Landgraf Herman delivered convincing character.
Andreas Schager as Tannhäuser negotiated challenges of the role superbly, his voice is a great match for the role, being able to conquer top notes, go into dramatic piani, and complement excellent singing with meaningful acting. After the performance I have found out that I have seen him as Rienzi a few years ago in Riga, and he certainly is one of the Wagner tenors to watch out further on.
Richard Wagner. Tannhäuser and the Singers’ Contest at Wartburg
Romantic opera in three acts
First performed on 19th October, 1845 in Dresden
Premiered at the Deutsche Oper Berlin on 30th November 2008
Performance on December 2nd, 2017
Conductor Michael Boder
Director Kirsten Harms
Stage-design, Costume-design Bernd Damovsky
Assistance costume-design Inga Timm
Choreography Silvana Schröder
Choir Conductor Jeremy Bines
Landgraf Hermann Ante Jerkunica
Tannhauser Andreas Schager
Wolfram Markus Brück
Walther Clemens Bieber
Biterolf Seth Carico
Heinrich Gideon Poppe
Reinmar Andrew Harris
Venus, Elisabeth Emma Bell
Shepherd Nicole Haslett
Chorus Chor der Deutschen Oper Berlin
Orchestra Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin