In the middle of an exciting season in Gelsenkirchen, where she is taking on two roles in particular (Ciboletta in Eine Nacht in Venedig and Despina in Cosi fan tutte), Margot Genet will shortly be celebrating her very first collaboration with René Jacobs, who has asked her to perform the role of Frasquita in Carmen, which he will be conducting in concert version in the frame of a European tour with the outstanding B'Rock Orchestra.
Patrick Kabongo, who already has no less than 11 Rossinian roles in his repertoire, will shortly be adding two more: Don Ramiro (La Cenerentola), which he will take on for his debut at Deutsche Oper am Rhein, and the Conte di Libenskof in a new production of Il viaggio a Reims at the Theatre Krefeld-Mönchengladbach. Shortly afterwards, he will reprise the role of Don Ramiro for his debut at the Leipzig Opera.
A few weeks ago, Jennifer O'Loughlin made her debut as Leila in Bizet's Les pêcheurs de perles and found another ideal role, as reported eloquently by the Spanish magazine Mundoclasico:
Jennifer O'Loughlin is an ideal Leila. Her lyric soprano voice has great brilliance in the treble and sounds velvety and round in the middle. Articulation and phrasing are exquisite, the messa di voce emerges naturally and effortlessly. Equally beautifully she tackles a pianissimo that displays great vocal volume. Stylistically her musical and expressive configuration of this role is typical of bel canto, and quite rightly so, for in this opera one hears again and again reminiscences of Donizetti and Bellini overlaid with French sensuality". (Mundoclasico, 26.01.2024)
The prima donna of the Gärtnerplatztheater will soon be making two further role debuts: Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro and Amina in La Sonnambula.
After being presented at the Opéra de Grand Avignon and the Opéra national de Bordeaux, the production of Rusalka staged by Clarac, Deloeuil > le lab makes a stopover at the Opéra de Nice!
Here are just a few of the many excellent reviews that have appeared in the press:
“Never losing sight of and therefore accepting, even assuming, the letter of the libretto – rather than by passing or diverting it – requires a certain effort, which the French directing duo Jean-Philippe Clarac and Olivier Deloeuil never shy away from. This, while maintaining the necessary distance to make it resonate with a contemporary narrative and contemporary themes. Without, however, falling into the trap of an endlessly reproducible reading grid, but, on the contrary, always finding an original angle (...). Here then, for this new Rusalka, the water nymph is immersed in the merciless world of synchronized swimming (...). Everything about the action, its driving forces and motivations, right through to the denouement, is absolutely right.” (Opéra Magazine, link)
“True to themselves, the duo did not confine themselves to updating the work: they have superimposed onto realism the dreamlike world of Dvorak's "lyrical tale". While the videos, perfectly integrated into the set design, show modern-day swimmers, with an aquatic ballet reminiscent of Esther Williams movies in Act II, they also feature images of the seabed and lakeside landscapes, establishing the symbolic omnipresence of primordial water throughout. The universality of the message is thus preserved, even reinforced, in this perpetual oscillation between dream and realiity, tale and news story, pond in the Médoc and swimming pool in Avignon (...). Here as elsewhere, in their Mozart-Da Ponte Trilogy in Brussels for instance, the two directors do not sacrifice the theatre to the singularity of the concept or the skill of the production. They create beings of flesh and blood, restoring their complexity, from a Rusalka trapped in her mermaid suit, both rebellious and submissive, to a Foreign Princess of vampiric seduction.” (Diapason, link)
“After Butterfly in the streets of Limoges, Aschenbach in those of Strasbourg and Serse in a skatepark in Rouen, it is in a swimming pool in Avignon that the two accomplices decided to immerse Dvořák's siren. This provides the opportunity for a virtuoso plunge into that pivotal moment when a girl must, wants to and will become a woman. This is made clear at the start of Act II by the voice-over of the heroine confiding her intimate doubts about the recurrent injunctions to femininity in the charter of the sport she has made the passion of her adolescent life: synchronised swimming. In a libretto that spoke about "becoming a human being", Clarac-Deloeuil choosed to read "becoming a woman", bringing to the surface "You're not born a woman, you become one" and others "Be beautiful and shut up!” well-known in the current battles for gender equality. An approach that in no way contradicts the spirit of a work that is all about that.” (Resmusica, link)
"Since a very tactful revisiting of Berlioz in Poitiers several years ago, Jean-Philippe Clarac and Olivier Deloeuil have confirmed their obvious ability to make things clear, where worn-out, systematic, if not dubious, theatrical elucida-tions are often rife. The argument for their staging is first of all its clarity: the Olympic pool and the world of synchronized swimming ath-letes, who also play an active part in the scenography, are all the better inserted into Dvořák's opera because the very figure of the naiad underlines the background from which the heroine, Rusalka, comes. She should accept to swim among her peers, away from any human presence, far from men who might defile her. The liquid element is omnipresent, all the better suggested by the swimming pool, shown in cross-section and open towards the audience... The main action takes place there. So, incidentally, water occupies the space of the auditorium and symbolically immerses the spectators (...). One of the obvious successes, underlining the fusion between the operatic subject and the directors' vision, is the video of swimmers in synchronized action during the orchestral interlude that introduces the choral scene at the Prince's court: this aquatic ballet, in complete osmosis with the score, further enhances the soundness of this transposition.” (ClassiqueNews, link)
The OperaCharmMagazine's November 2022 issue featured a lovely interview within its focus “Conductors of the future” presenting the young artist Clara Maria Bauer who is meanwhile treading her path under the artistic name Clara Wagsteiner.
Among the questions within that interview: “What are the main skills that a Conductor of the future should possess in your opinion and also, what do you think a young aspiring conductor should know before approaching this path of conducting?”
Clara’s answer: “Being kind. Some people in our industry forget how beautiful it is to make music together, they fight each other and are jealous of the others achievements. Being a musician is about connecting with each other. We can make life easier for our listeners. I think that a conductor of the future has to ask him- or herself, why is this opera or this program relevant for our society today. Music always has meaning and power. I dream of musicians and artistic directors who are open to new programming, to listen to and connect with our audience and to include different styles of music. For young aspiring conductors: Don’t listen too much to advice. Every path is different. All that I can say is: be honest about our profession. Many people only see the glamorous side, the conductor on the podium. Less people talk about preparing scores, travelling around the world, being responsible for many people, open your inner self to the audience when making music. This brings me back to ‘being kind’ to each other. What makes my life much easier is that I always know, that I can talk to other conductors and soloists, whom I trust, because we are not only colleagues but friends.”
We are delighted and proud to welcome to our artists’ management a kind person who is a brilliant musician and conductor, too. With her current artistic name she honours both of her grandmothers Barbara Wagner and Mechtild Gasteiner: Clara Maria Bauer has thus become the conductor Clara Wagsteiner.
Welcome, dear Clara Wagsteiner! To a long and successful cooperation!