Zurich Opera House tickets 9 March 2024 - Amerika | GoComGo.com

Amerika

Zurich Opera House, Zurich, Switzerland
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Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Zurich, Switzerland
Starts at: 19:00
Acts: 2
Duration: 1h 45min
Sung in: German
Titles in: German,English
Cast
Performers
Mezzo-Soprano: Allison Cook (Brunelda)
Conductor: Gabriel Feltz
Bass-Baritone: Georg Festl (Delmarche)
Tenor: Paul Curievici (Karl Roßmann)
Orchestra: Philharmonia Zürich
Bass: Robert Pomakov (Robinson)
Bass: Ruben Drole (Uncle Jacob)
Creators
Composer: Roman Haubenstock-Ramati
Writer: Franz Kafka
Director: Sebastian Baumgarten
Overview

Haubenstock-Ramati’s auditory, visual, and intellectual adventure, which challenges all the senses, will be staged by German director Sebastian Baumgarten, a veteran interpreter of non-narrative, multimedia theater. The extremely elaborate production is musically directed by Gabriel Feltz, a conductor who knows how to master even the greatest challenges of contemporary music with prudence and passion.

Franz Kafka’s novel fragment Amerika, written at the beginning of the 20th century, anticipated the great crises of modernity. Left unfinished, it tells the story of Karl Rossmann's nightmarish journey through life to America, with its great promises of happiness. But it soon proves to be a land of absurd constraints and impossibilities. As if by chance, Karl encounters seemingly caring relatives, overbearing wives, conniving criminals, and authoritarian superiors, and falls deeper and deeper into a cycle of hope, dependence, exploitation, and repudiation. Karl is "The Lost One" of Kafka’s original title.

Another individual nearly lost to the world is composer Roman Haubenstock-Ramati. This musician of Polish-Israeli descent, who died in 1994, lived in Vienna as a music editor and composition teacher after Kafkaesque periods of flight and exile. His magnum opus is a work of music theater based on Kafka's Amerika, first performed in Berlin in 1969, which enjoys legendary status. The opera has only been performed twice since its premiere, but in its form of a bold musical theater sketch remains one of the landmarks of opera composition in the 20th century. Amerika combines compositional precision with great freedom of form. In Haubenstock-Ramati’s work, the stations of Kafka’s novel combine to form breathtaking mobiles of sound, image, action and light, with the auditorium likewise integrated into the performance through the use of sound projections. After Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Soldaten, Wolfgang Rihm’s Hamletmaschine, Heinz Holliger’s Lunea, and Helmut Lachenmann’s Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern, the opera house presents Amerika, continuing its series of works in which exceptional modern music theater concepts are put up for discussion.

History

Amerika, also known as The Man Who Disappeared, The Missing Person and as Lost in America, is the incomplete first novel by author Franz Kafka (1883–1924), written between 1911 and 1914 and published posthumously in 1927. The novel originally began as a short story titled "The Stoker". The novel incorporates many details of the experiences of his relatives who had emigrated to the United States. The commonly used title Amerika can be traced to the edition of the text put together by Max Brod, a close friend of Kafka's during the latter's lifetime, after Kafka's death in 1924.

Venue Info

Zurich Opera House - Zurich
Location   Sechseläutenplatz 1

Zürich Opera House is a main opera house in Zürich and Switzerland. Located at the Sechseläutenplatz, it has been the home of the Zürich Opera since 1891, and also houses the Bernhard-Theater Zürich. It is also home to the Zürich Ballet. The Opera House also holds concerts by its Philharmonia orchestra, matinees, Lieder evenings and events for children. The Zürich Opera Ball is organised every year in March, and is usually attended by prominent names.

The first permanent theatre, the Aktientheater, was built in 1834 and it became the focus of Richard Wagner’s activities during his period of exile from Germany.

The Aktientheater burnt down in 1890. The new Stadttheater Zürich (municipal theatre) was built by the Viennese architects Fellner & Helmer, who changed their previous design for the theatre in Wiesbaden only slightly. It was opened in 1891. It was the city's main performance space for drama, opera, and musical events until 1925, when it was renamed Opernhaus Zürich and a separate theatre for plays was built: The Bernhard Theater opened in 1941, in May 1981 the Esplanada building was demolished, and the present adjoint building opened on 27/28 December 1984 after three years of transition in the Kaufhaus building nearby Schanzengraben.

By the 1970s, the opera house was badly in need of major renovations; when some considered it not worth restoring, a new theatre was proposed for the site. However, between 1982 and 1984, rebuilding took place but not without huge local opposition which was expressed in street riots. The rebuilt theatre was inaugurated with Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and the world première of Rudolf Kelterborn’s Chekhov opera Der Kirschgarten.

As restored, the theatre is an ornate building with a neo-classical façade of white and grey stone adorned with busts of Weber, Wagner, and Mozart. Additionally, busts of Schiller, Shakespeare, and Goethe are to be found. The auditorium is built in the neo-rococo style and seats approximately 1200 people. During the refurbishment, the issue of sightlines was not adequately addressed. As a result, the theatre has a high number of seats with a limited view, or no view, of the stage. This is unusual in international comparison, where sightlines in historic opera houses have been typically enhanced over time.

Corporate archives and historical library collections are held at the music department of the Predigerkirche Zürich.

The Zürich Opera House is also home of the International Opera Studio (in German: Internationales Opernstudio IOS) which is a educational program for young singers and pianists. The studio was created in 1961 and has renowned artists currently teaching such as Brigitte Fassbaender, Hedwig Fassbender, Andreas Homocki, Rosemary Joshua, Adrian Kelly, Fabio Luisi, Jetske Mijnssen, Ann Murray, Eytan Pessen or Edith Wiens.

Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Zurich, Switzerland
Starts at: 19:00
Acts: 2
Duration: 1h 45min
Sung in: German
Titles in: German,English
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