Christian Räth directs US premiere of Korngold rarity at Bard SummerScape.
Christian Räth's new production of Korngold's Das Wunder der Heliane was staged this summer to acclaim at Bard SummerScape 2019.
Bard College’s American Premiere of The Miracle of Heliane (1927) offers a stunning re-creation of a once-famous Viennese opera that has been traditionally considered passé, yet under the stage direction of Christian Räth, conductor Leon Botstein with the American Symphony Orchestra accompanied by sets and costume design by Esther Bialas, this production appears as if it were a new opera written just yesterday.
"Das Wunder der Heliane Is Indeed a Wonder"
the creative team has worked miracles. Räth has chosen to be timeless, setting the action in a grey, loveless world, and by combining visual echoes of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis with modernisms such as dressing The Stranger in a Guantanamo-style orange jumpsuit, he manages to look backwards while shining a mirror on our own troubled times..... The real genius, however, is Räth, a director who really seems to understand what the music “means” and in particular how that can be used to clarify and illuminate the densely expressionistic storyline. He’s sensual when he needs to be sensual while turning dark and dangerous when the music indicates it. At every turn he senses the proper focus while encouraging his intelligent singers to act their socks off.
the staging is valuably crisp, the singing solid.