Opera, musicals and concerts
Reboot, or a step forward?
I saw a cartoon recently: God was looking with horror at the globe exploding with wars and violence; Satan was asking, “Have you tried switching it off and on again?” The reboot option, tried once before with the Flood.
I see his point: one look at the evening news and it is easy to despair of the mess we have made of the world, the mess that we will leave to future generations to sort out. On top of that, as individuals many feel restricted by the traditions and rules of our societies.
Season 2016/2017 explores ideas for ways forward, and reflects on the possibility of personal liberty and freedom within society – all sifted through the vivid imagination of composers and librettists, and the music and theatre they have given us.
At first glance there isn’t much in common between the revolutionary musical, Hair and Mozart’s first great opera, Idomeneo; and yet they both present an optimistic moment as a young generation steps forward to change the world, to usher in the Age of Aquarius in Hair, or a new rule of forgiveness and generosity in Idomeneo. Mozart returned to this theme later in life with Die Zauberflöte: here the young people, Tamino and Pamina must go through trials to find each other, and to be able to end the divisive strife between the old powers.
Conversely, Strauss and Hofmannsthal’s monumental opera, Elektra shows the opposite: how the obsessive thirst for revenge strides down successive generations, destroying lives and hopes, as each new mythic participant tries to finish the cycle of carnage once-and-for-all with a massive act of violence, which far from stopping the killing, leads on to new brutality.
We also welcome the return to our stage of two glorious operatic misfits: Carmen and Violetta (La Traviata). “Sempre libera” insists Violetta; while Carmen will never accept the rules of what a relationship should be, or lie about her true emotions – she will not compromise her freedom whatever the cost.
You will have plenty of opportunities to meet our orchestra on stage this season.Amongst our concerts there is a chance to hear three important but rarely performed Swedish operas from different styles and eras. We hope that this little sample will pique your interest in discovering more Swedish operas, from the contemporary right back to Gustav III’s first attempts in the 18th century.
The Göteborg Opera’s learning and participation department, Skapa, continues to break ground. Look out for an exciting and radical collaboration between disabled and non-disabled artists as we make a new piece of opera with Share Music Sweden.
With our excellent house soloists, chorus and orchestra, and some top-flight international guest artists, it is going to be an exciting year at The Göteborg Opera. Please join in; come and imagine a new world with us through great music and theatre!
Artistic Director Opera/Drama