Opera Ballet Flanders has added two new titles to its free online streaming offerings. From now on, the public can enjoy the opera Sadko by Rimsky-Korsakov directed by Daniel Kramer and the dance performance Mea Culpa by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui in their opera house.
You can watch these performances on the website: www.operaballet.be. Opera Ballet Flanders previously provided the productions Parsifal, La Juive, Rusalka and the dance performances Ma mère l’oye and Bach Studies. They can still be viewed online for free.
Sadko – Rimsky-Korskakov
This magical opera by Rimsky-Korsakov tells the story of artist Sadko, who uses his art to convince others to break isolation and open up new worlds. However, his dream is met with hostility. Only Volkhova, the sea king’s daughter, enchanted by Sadko’s music, helps her realize her visionary ideas. As Sadko we hear and see Georgian tenor Zurab Zurabishvili. American soprano Betsy Horne plays the role of sea princess Volkhova. Bass Anatoli Kotscherga takes on the role of the Sea King. The internationally renowned Opera Ballet Vlaanderen Symphony Orchestra and Chorus is conducted by Dmitri Jurowski.
Mea Culpa is perhaps Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s most political ballet to date. This is the second part of a triptych he created for Les Ballets de Monte Carlo. The work In Memoriam precedes it and the choreography Memento Mori follows it. Mea Culpa explores the world that our ancestors and our roots left us. “What are the foundations of our current civilization”, asks Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. “At what price comes the comfort that we enjoy today and that was brought to us by our parents and grandparents?” He brought Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui to concepts such as hierarchy, division, conquest, colonization, human slavery by man and pollution. This performance was part of the Brabants / Cherkaoui double program at the start of this season and marked the start of the anniversary year around the 50th anniversary of Ballet Vlaanderen. The B’Rock Orchestra is conducted by Bart Naessens.
In 2013, director Tatjana Gürbaca gave an innovative look at Parsifal by making the figure of Kundry the focal point of the endgame between two worlds in crisis. The production won an International Opera Award for Best Wagner Anniversary Production. This recording dates from 2018. The famous Opera Ballet Vlaanderen Symphony Orchestra is conducted by maestro Cornelius Meister. The cast includes Erin Caves (Parsifal), Tanja Ariane Baumgartner (Kundry), Kay Stiefermann (Klingsor), Stefan Kocan (Gurnemanz), Christoph Pohl (Amfortas) and Markus Suihkonen (Titurel).
La Juive – Fromental Halévy
Director Peter Konwitschny presented a balanced production of this great opera in which religious fanaticism leads to the destruction of love. The story of Rachel, a woman of Jewish origin who falls in love with the Christian warrior Leopold and thus signs his death sentence and that of his father Eleazar, leaves no one indifferent. In 2016, this production won the prestigious German Faust prize for best musical theatre. This 2019 revival recording is under the musical direction of Maestro Antonino Fogliani. In the main roles you will find Roy Cornelius Smith (Eléazar), Corinne Winters (Rachel), Nicole Chevalier (Princess Eudoxie), Enea Scala (Leopold) and Riccardo Zanellato (Le Cardinal de Brogni).
Rusalka – Antonin Dvorak
The Little Mermaid fairy tale comes to life in this production by Norwegian director/choreographer Alan Lucien Øyen. Dance and opera come together in a beautifully stylized scenography by Åsmund Færavaag. Rusalka (2019) was one of the highlights of this first season of artistic director Jan Vandenhouwe, thanks in particular to the acclaimed transparent musical direction of Giedr?-Šlekyt?-. The main roles were performed and danced by: Pumeza Matshikiza / Shelby Williams (dance) as Rusalka, Kyungho Kim / Morgan Lugo (dance) as Prince, Goderdzi Janelidze / Matt Foley (dance) as Vodník, Maria Riccarda Wesseling as the witch Ježibaba and Karen Vermeiren as the foreign princess.
Bach Studies (2019) marked the first full evening for French star choreographer Benjamin Millepied. He translated Bach’s complex rhythms into physical reality in a spectacularly dynamic setting. “A ballet full of emotions that makes people happy,” writes the LEcho newspaper.
My Mother Goose – Jeroen Verbruggen
Belgian choreographer Jeroen Verbruggen was inspired by the love between King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola for the well-known melodies of Pavane pour une Infante morte and La Mère l’Oye by Maurice Ravel. A love that overcomes the most difficult times. With a wink, he makes Ma Mère L’Oye (2016), because humor is never far away in Verbruggen’s work. The costumes are by Tim Van Steenbergen.