Karoline Gruber (stage director), Simone Young (conductor) - With Bo Skovhus (King Lear), Katja Pieweck (Goneril), Hellen Kwon (Regan), Siobhan Stagg (Cordelia)...
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Karoline Gruber — Stage director
Roy Spahn — Set designer
Mechthild Seipel — Costume designer
Hans Toelstede — Lighting designer
Kerstin Schüssler-Bach — Dramaturgy
Anja Krietsch — Assistant stage director
Bo Skovhus — King Lear
Katja Pieweck — Goneril
Hellen Kwon — Regan
Siobhan Stagg — Cordelia
Erwin Leder — Actor (Fool)
Lauri Vasar — Earl of Gloucester
Andrew Watts — Edgar
Martin Homrich — Edmund
Christian Miedl — Duke of Albany
Peter Galliard — Duke of Cornwall
Jürgen Sacher — Earl of Kent
In 1961, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau asked Benjamin Britten to compose an opera version of Shakespeare’s tragedy King Lear. Unfortunately, the English composer refused. Although the complexities of the Bard’s play had put Britten off—much like Berlioz, Verdi, and Debussy previously—the legendary baritone saw his wish come true thanks to the German composer Aribert Reimann and librettist Claus H. Henneberg. Premiered in 1978 in Munich, their adaptation tightens the plot and concentrates on its essential elements, notably retaining the relentless pace of the play. The expressive range of the score is a credit to the composer, remarkable in his unique musical depiction of characters and an orchestral architecture to challenge even his predecessors Schoenberg and Berg.
In this impressive production by Karoline Gruber at the Staatsoper Hamburg, the plot is transported to the modern business world. The cursed king, masterfully portrayed by Danish baritone Bo Skovhus, is no longer a victim of his senility, but of his oversized ego. Maestro Simone Young conducts the resident orchestra, joined by a fantastic cast revolving around the protagonist and his three daughters, played by the superb Katja Pieweck, Hellen Kwon, and Siobhan Stagg.