Weber: Der Freischütz, Wiener Staatsoper, 2018 (detail) View full image

Der Freischütz premieres in Vienna after a break of 19 years

Christian Räth

On Monday, 11 June 2018 audiences in Vienna witnessed the final première of the Wiener Staatsoper’s  2017-18 season: Der Freischütz, a romantic opera in three acts by Carl Maria von Weber. 

First performed just a few months after the opening of the Court Opera on 1 January 1870, the piece was last seen at the Staatsoper in 1999. Nineteen years later, the latest production brings a renovated and vibrant approach thanks to the elegant stage direction by Christian Räth, conducted by Tomáš Netopil and set and costume design by Gary McCann.

As dramaturg Andreas Láng explains in the Wiener Staatsoper magazine Prolog, "Räth’s approach to the score of Der Freischütz and its inherent interplay of beauty and depths places Max, the male protagonist, in a new setting, and at the same time expands his field of activity. In Räth’s case, the latter is not just a huntsman, but first and foremost an artist, or to be precise, a composer. The director breaks the action of Der Freischütz into a conceptual and narrative tradition according to which brilliant artists draw their creativeness from dark, forbidden sources. Reality and visions alternate with one another, overlapping and to some extent consciously separating from one another. Hence this new production plays out an artist drama in which the protagonist must decide between his responsibility towards the truth of his creativity and his responsibility towards the loved ones around him."

Performances will continue throughout June and September. Click here for information and tickets.