Mastodon LNOBT April 2013. Tristan, Walkure, Lohengrin & Zambello's Dutchman - The Wagnerian

LNOBT April 2013. Tristan, Walkure, Lohengrin & Zambello's Dutchman

Written By The Wagnerian on Thursday 14 March 2013 | 11:21:00 pm

To celebrate Wagner 2013 LNOBT are staging a series of Wagner and Wagner related works over one week in April. Full details below including director comments and   images. 

 TRISTAN AND ISOLDE, a ballet – 19 April. 
DIE WALKÜRE – 20 April. 
LOHENGRIN – 26 April.


Wagner’s Week Performance:
19 April, 2013

Other performances:
16 June, 2013

a ballet in 2 acts to the music by Richard Wagner / Henk de Vlieger
Libretto by Krzysztof Pastor, Carel Alphenaar

1. Henk de Vlieger - orchestral passion Tristan and Isolde
after Richard Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde
2. Richard Wagner - Wesendonck Lieder

Choreographer Krzysztof Pastor
Music Director and Conductor Modestas Pitrėnas
Set Designer Adomas Jacovskis
Costume Designer Aleksandra Jacovskytė
Lighting Designer Levas Kleinas

Premiere at the LNOBT: 15 September, 2012

I was absolutely fascinated by the story, it is so strange, even a little naïve – and this incredible love... I also discovered that Wagner had fallen in love with Mathilde Wesendonk, the wife of his patron at the time he was writing about the forbidden love of Tristan and Isolde. It was all so connected!”
~ Krzysztof Pastor on his ballet Tristan and Isolde

The most famous incarnation of the Tristan legend is Richard Wagner’s music drama Tristan und Isolde, written after composer’s own libretto (premiere in Munich in 1865). In this work, Tristan is portrayed as a doomed romantic figure. This is probably one of the most “wagnerian” pieces, one of the longest and most difficult operas to perform, and one version that fully reflects the essence of the legend.

The author of ballet Tristan and Isolde’s musical score is a Dutch percussionist, composer and arranger Henk de Vlieger. In 1994 he created a unique arranged symphonic compilation of Wagner’s famous music drama. The work is titled Tristan and Isolde, an orchestral passion and consists of seven parts. In 2005 H. de Vlieger was asked to include Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder in the score of the passion - this was necessary for K. Pastor’s ballet premiere at the Royal Theatre of Sweden. The new ballet was first introduced in the spring of 2006 in Stockholm, accompanied by the orchestra of the Swedish Royal Opera. In 2012 it was presented in Vilnius, at the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre.

During the Wagner’s Week in 2013, ballet Tristan and Isolde shall bring together several masters of their craft, including some of the best dancers of the LNOBT’s ballet company, one of Lithuania’s most famous conductors Modestas Pitrėnas and prima donna soprano Sigutė Stonytė, who will sing the Wesendonck Lieder.

Wagner’s Week Performance:
20 April, 2013


Opera in 3 acts
(sung in German with Lithuanian surtitles)

Conductor Modestras Pitrėnas
Director Eimuntas Nekrošius
Set Designer Marius Nekrošius
Costume Designer Nadežda Gultiayeva
Lighting Designer Levas Kleinas

Premiere at the LNOBT: 10 March 2007

Cast for the performance on the 20th of April:

Kristian Benedikt, Sandra Janušaitė, Egidijus Dauskurdis, Almas Švilpa (Germany), Nomeda Kazlaus, Laima Jonutytė, Regina Šilinskaitė, Julija Stupnianek, Joana Gedmintaitė, Vilhelma Mončytė, Aistė Širvinskaitė, Jovita Vaškevičiūtė, Marta Lukošiūtė, Eugenija Klivickaitė

The Valkyrie is a monumental music drama, second opera in the famous Wagner’s four opera cycle The Nibelung’s Ring. This cycle, the most ambitious creation in the history of opera, took 26 years to complete. Even today Wagner is provoking the ones interested in his works to choose - for or against. You can not like Wagner just a little bit: either you dive into the enchanting world of never-ending melodies, stormy brass, love, repentance and cosmic logic, or this world remains extraneous and almost opposing.

Director Eimuntas Nekrosius already established his legend in Lithuanian and other countries' space of drama theatre, and of late years the audiences are getting interested in his opera productions. He is not the only one who comes to opera from drama, bringing together bright new undertones and images. The Valkyrie was the fourth opera directed by Eimuntas Nekrosius.

Eimuntas Nekrošius on opera:

I never thought that opera is an emotional genre. But I’ve already experienced, that it can be exclusively emotional. If you are constantly “turning somersaults” in the theatre so that the people can really feel the tension and anxiously follow the action on stage, then sometimes you don’t need anything else. You just leave the soloist, and he expresses everything with the voice. Now I am thoroughly persuaded that the most beautiful instrument is a human voice.”


Wagner’s Week Performance:
24 April, 2013

Opera in 3 acts
(Sung in German with Lithuanian surtitles)

Conductor Martynas Staškus
Director Francesca Zambello (USA)
Set and Costume Designer Alison Chitty (UK)
Lighting Designer Rick Fisher (UK)
Chorus Master Česlovas Radžiūnas

Premiere at the LNOBT: 26 March 2004

Cast for the performance on the 24th of April:
Almas Švilpa (Germany), Sigutė Stonytė, Egidijus Dauskurdis, Vytautas Kurnickas,
Audrius Rubežius, Laima Jonutytė

One of the most frequently staged operas around the globe, Richard Wagner's Der fliegende Holländer was introduced into the LNOBT's repertoire by the world-famous American director Francesca Zambello. Sharing her time between New York and London, she is a true citizen of the world whose talents have been acknowledged by a number of important international distinctions.

The Flying Dutchman is based on an old German legend about the wretched sailor doomed to hopeless wandering across the seas until the Last Judgement Day, longing for redemption through eternal love of a faithful woman. In this production, the legend is told in a seemingly simple and unassuming way that allows conjure up the spellbinding performance fraught with theatrical magic. Wagner's magical music, superb soloists, uncluttered and mesmerizing sets - everything here perfectly serves to achieve the ultimate goal.

The main attraction of the performance shown during the Wagner's Week comes in the form of an impressive bass-baritone Almas Švilpa, who will be performing the principal role of the Dutchman. Born and educated in Lithuania, Mr. Švilpa is currently the soloist with the opera company of Essen and is constantly singing in some of the most important theatres in Munich, Berlin, Vienna, Dresden, Stuttgart and many other cities. He has collaborated with such conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Kent Nagano, Vladimir Jurowski and others. Mr. Švilpa's roles include Mephistopheles in Faust, Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, Johanaan in Salome, Wotan in The Ring of the Nibelung and others.

On 24 April Mr. Švilpa shall be joined on stage by Lithuanian leading soprano Sigutė Stonytė as Senta – in 2005 she received the Opera Beacon award as the Best Female Opera Soloist of the Year for the creation of this role.


Wagner’s Week Performance:
26 April, 2013

Other performances:
22, 23, 24 March, 2013

Opera in 3 acts
(Sung in German with Lithuanian surtitles)
Libretto by Richard Wagner

Music Director and Conductor Robertas Šervenikas
Director Andrejs Žagars (Latvia)
Set Designer Reinis Suhanovs (Latvia)
Costume Designer Kristine Pasternaka (Latvia)
Lighting Designer Kevin Wyn-Jones (United Kingdom)
Choreographer Elita Bukovska (Latvia)

A co-production between the LNOBT and the Slovak National Theatre

Premiere at the LNOBT: 22 March, 2013

Probably the most intriguing event of Wagner's Week is a performance of his mysterious opera Lohengrin – it is LNOBT's newest premiere that is yet to be presented on 22 March, 2013 by an internationally renowned creative team.

About the newest opera premiere of the LNOBT – in the words of the director Andrejs Žagars:

Richard Wagner is a genius composer. I am very happy to have this possibility of directing Lohengrin in 2013, the year of his anniversary. There is also one curious coincidence: it was with Wagner's opera, The Flying Dutchman, that I started my career as a director, and now I'm once again returning to this composer, thanks to the request of the opera theatres in Vilnius and Bratislava.

I didn't set myself a plan to shock, astonish or provoke the audience. At this point of my creative career I'm aspiring to create a vital production set upon good standards of the theatre.

For Lohengrin, we tried to find a historical period that would be close to the troubled times depicted in the opera. This is how we found the 1940s, beginning of the II World War, when Russians and Germans were friends at first and collaborated with each other, then fell apart and became enemies. It is the eve of the division of Europe, time of war in the middle of the 20th century, and yet we try to avoid any specific details.

We were very much inspired by the situation of the pre-war Vilnius: a Polish city is turned into the capital of Lithuania and it is no longer clear who is your friend, and who comes as an enemy. Besides, Vilnius was also home for a large community of Jews that was annihilated during the war. We studied the history of this city with great care.

I had no wish to tell a story about divine entities and super-humans. My goal is to present the audience with a very vivid, human story. Lohengrin is a story of love and hate, of a ferocious longing for power – and how one looses all last bits of humanity while fighting for it. It is a story about the mission of love and the hunger for power.

We are trying to translate this story into the language of the people of today, so that they could relax and enjoy the magic of music without disturbance. We are also trying to make this story more specific and believable. We don't want to present you with an unbelievable ancient saga embellished with mystical elements – our goal is to show a very human story.”

~ Director Andrejs Žagars

Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre
Vienuolio str. 1, Vilnius
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