Mittwoch, 17.08.2022 11:52 Uhr

Eternal story of love during war time

Verantwortlicher Autor: Nadejda Komendantova Festival Steinbruch St. Margarethen, 24.07.2022, 17:42 Uhr
Presse-Ressort von: Dr. Nadejda Komendantova Bericht 3382x gelesen
Nabucco by Verdi at the Festival Steinbruch St. Margarethen
Nabucco by Verdi at the Festival Steinbruch St. Margarethen  Bild: Nadejda Komendantova

Festival Steinbruch St. Margarethen [ENA] Nabucco is a spectacular story, full of suspense and surprised developments – being performed in spectacular environment of the festival Steinbruch St. Margarethen with absolutely stunning stage and virtuous performance of the internationally famous singers and artists on the stage.

Nabucco is an Italian-language opera in four acts composed in 1841 by Giuseppe Verdi. The performance Nabucco at the festival Steinbruch St. Margarethen is about love in times of war which makes it especially actual nowadays. It happens in the Ancient Babylon where suppressed people of Israel fight against the oppression of the Babylon king Nebukadnezar who is also known as Nabucco. Similar as in many other love stories, from which Romeo and Juliette, is the most famous one, two representatives of the fighting parties are falling in love with each other. The favourite daughter of Nabucco Fenena and the Jewish prince Ismaele love each other, and their love is stronger than any war concerns around them.

However, the opera Nabucco is not only about love during the war time. It is also about family intrigues, willingness to power, enviousness, and jealousy. All these feelings are symbolized by the sister of Fenena, Abigaille who is driven by the willingness to get absolute power and by the sad feelings of being denied by the man whom she loved and who preferred her sister Fenena.

The stage for Nabucco performance is absolutely stunning. Thanassis Demiris created a 7000 square-meter palace with several golden columns and ramps which should symbolize the power of the Babylonians. The scenery of the former stone quarry contributes to the performance not only through its fantastic landscape but also through the symbolical meaning when the suppressed Israeli people are inhabiting the stones of the quarry and the soldiers of Babylon are mainly located in the palace. The stage is complemented by a gigantic screen which shows the action in the Babylon palace. The performance is complemented by further effects such as light show or burning on the stage fire.

Nabucco has a special meaning for the festival Steinbruch St. Margarethen. It was the first opera which was performed during the festival at its opening in 1996. The 2022 performance of Nabucco was already visited by various political leaders and society celebrities such as Governor Hans Peter Doskozil, Gery Keszler, Director of the Esterhazy Foundations Stefan Ottrubay, Martina and Werner Fasslabend, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, Harald and Ingeborg Serafin, Director General of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna Sabine Haag, Rewe International AG CEO Marcel Haraszti, Federal Minister Martin Kocher, Director of the Esterhazy Foundations Matthias Grün and many others.

The leading team of Nabucco included a number of world-famous artists such as Alvise Casellati, Francisco Negrin, Thanassis Demiris, Pepe Corzo, Bruno Poet, Walter Zeh, Volker Werner as well as Piedra Muda LAB. Pepe Corzo is a costume and set designer for opera and theater and is a truly international artist who participated in various fascinating projects such as installations at the Peru Pavillion in frames of the Expo 2020 Dubai or the grand opening of Riyadh Season 2021, which is the largest entertainment event in the Middle East.

The regie of the opera was provided by Francisco Negrin who is known as one of the best creative opera directors in the world. In his work he successfully combines elements of baroque and contemporary operas as well as integration of various elements of dance, technology, dramaturgy, and various cultures. Francisco was born in Mexico City in the Spanish, Greek-Hawaiian family and is a grand-son of Juan Negrin Lopez who was the President of the Second Spanish Republic. Francisco Negrin was living in France and Great Britain and is currently living in Spain, in Barcelona. He is known for his productions in the best opera houses such Royal Danish Opera, NYC Opera, Flemish Opera, Leipzig Opera and Royal Opera house in London.

Negrin also contributed to productions at the Greek National Opera, Opera de Monte Carlo, Los Angeles Opera, Norwegian Opera and many others. Francisco Negrin is also known for his work outside of the opera world such as the tableau vivant for Louis Vuitton’s Paris fashion week or such large-scale events as the AIMAG opening ceremony in Ashgabat, Dubai World Cup, opening ceremony of the Lima Panamerican Games or closing ceremony of the Parapan American Games.

The role of Nabucco was performed by Aris Argiris, a Greece bariton who is famous for his interpretations of the characters from the operas of Verdi, Rossini, Puccini, Donizetti, Bizet and Gounod. The publicum in Austria knows Aris for his engagements at the Theater an der Wien. The role of Ismaele was performed by Carlos Osuna, born in Mexico. The Austrian publicum will have a chance to enjoy further performances of Carlos in the Vienna State Opera during this autumn where he will be performing the role of Remendado in Carmen.

Nicola Ulivieri was singing Zaccaria. The Italian Bass is a steady presence at the international opera scene. Due to his beautiful voice and fine technique he became an exquisite bel canto performer. He also won the prestigious award Premio Abbiati for his interpretations of Mozart. Ferena was performed by Marie-Luise Dreßen, the German mezzo soprano, who performed in various German opera houses such as Staatstheater in Kassel or Theater Freiburg. Marie-Luise is already known to the visitors of the the Festival im Steinbruch in St. Margarethen for her participation in the “Magic Flute” in 2019.

Ekaterina Sannikova was performing Abigaille. Ekaterina was born in Ternopil, Ukraine, and graduated from the Rimsky-Korsakov St Petersburg State Conservatory. She is currently a Guest Soloist at the Mariinsky Theatre. She received several prices and was a winner from various prestigious festivals such as the 28th World Opera Competition Operalia in Moscow in 2021, where she received CulturArte Prize or the 14th Festival-Competition of Vocal and Piano Duets Three Centuries of Classic Romance in St Petersburg in 2016 where she received the 1st prize.

The role of the High Priester of Baal was performed by Ivan Zinoviev who is well known to the Austrian publicum for his performances at the Theater an der Wien and at the Kammeroper Wien. Ivan is actively participating in workshops of various famous opera sanger such as in the workshop of Placido Domingo, Dmitriy Vdovin in Bolshoi Theater or Jewgenij Nesterenko in Vienna. Ivan was born in Krasnokarsk in Syberia and already at the age of eight years hat solo performances in frames of a children chor. He also participated in various opera productions in Beijing, Tel Aviv and Kapetown. The performance also included David Jagodic in the role of Abdalloand Amélie Hois in the role of Anna.

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