Reimann's Lear

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

Program notes

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.

This is just one of hundreds of stunning operas available on medici.tv, the web's leading classical music streaming platform!

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