Christof Loy Stages Mozart's Work Of Youth

Mozart was only 16 years of age when he wrote Lucio Silla and it remains a mystery how a teenager could compose an opera with such great psychological depth and musical beauty. Lucio Silla brims with refined arias and recitatives which embrace the entire palette of human emotion from sombre gloom to jubilation, festivity, infatuation and rage.

To compose and opera of such calibre, Mozart not only needed an understanding of drama and the psychological and erotic experience it takes, he also had to master the art and technique of metre and singing as well as speaking Italian fluently. As the genius he was, Mozart mastered it all – while still a mere teenager.

German director Christof Loy, who has been hailed Director of The Year for two years running by the leading opera magazine Opernwelt, will stage the Royal Danish Theatre's first production of Lucio Silla. Loy has always held Mozart's operas close to heart, and his current Mozart undertaking is by no means his first encounter with the Austrian master. He has staged Idomeneo in Bonn, Don Giovanni in Graz, and Le nozze di Figaro and Die Entführung aus dem Serail in Brussels.

"I only stage works I'm interested in, but my special preference is with the three great music dramatists Monteverdi, Mozart and Verdi. They have a view on mankind I can absolutely identify with. They try to see human beings in a large social context, and their perspective is always understanding, never moralising. The question of who's to blame is not of importance. The questions posed to society are beyond those of common notions of morality, which only serve to make one's life more convenient." Christof Loy, director.

Conducting the Royal Danish Orchestra is Andreas Stoehr, who first held his debut on the podium in the season of 1985/1986 when conducting the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Wiener Kammeroper, in performances of a cycle of Mozart's operas. He has nurtured a special relationship with Mozart's musical oeuvre ever since. In 1996, he was appointed chief conductor of Opéra Comique in Paris and principal conductor of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, a position he still holds. He has furthermore headed orchestras such the Vienna Symphony, the MDR Orchester Leipzig, and the Munich Symphony Orchestra.

Lucio Silla features a dynamic team of singers that combines outstanding Danish interpreters of Mozart with intriguing international Mozart soloists. The title role as the tyrant Lucio Silla will be performed by Michael Kristensen, whose versatile talent has embraces such disparate roles as emperor, chain-smoking gossip journalist, and raunchy manservant. Michael Kristensen has performed a great number of roles in Mozart operas, including the title role in La clemenza di Tito, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, and Ferrando in Così fan tutte.

Giunia will be performed by German soprano Simone Kermes, who has performed a great many Mozart roles, such as Konstanze, Donna Anna and Fiordiligi. She features on a number of recordings, including Haydn's Die Schöpfung on the BMG label, (awarded the 2003 Echopreiz), Handel's opera Deidamia on the Virgin label (awarded the 2003 Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik), and her first solo album (Vivaldi – Amor sacre) on the Deutsche Grammophon label. The role as Giunia will be her debut at the Royal Danish Theatre.

Mariselle Martinez will hold her debut at the Royal Danish Theatre in the role as Cecilio. Mariselle Martinez was born in Chile and has won a host of international awards and worked with leading conductors such as Marcello Viotti, Maurizio Benini, Jacques Delâcote, Peter Schneider, Carlo Rizzi, Marco Armiliato and Jan Latham König.

Lucio Cinna will be performed by the young and talented Agneta Eichenholz, who has recently appeared in the role as Iphigenie in Handel's Orest at Komische Oper in Berlin. Susanne Elmark will perform the role as Celia – a role she recorded on the Lucio Silla release by the Danish Radio Sinfonietta, conducted by Adam Fischer. Bo Kristian Jensen, who earlier this season appeared as Ottavio in Mozart's Don Giovanni, will perform the role as Aufidio.

The set design is created by Herbert Murauer, who this season designed the sets for the performance of Les contes d'Hoffmann at the Opera Main Stage and who later this season will create the sets for Ingmar Bergman's Autumn Sonata at the new Royal Danish Playhouse.

The lighting design is by Reinhard Traub, who is a trained graphic artist and licensed pilot but who since the early 1990s has created lighting designs for plays and opera performances. He has worked at the opera houses of Zurich, Stuttgart, Brussels, Hamburg, Vienna and Berlin, and at such prestigious events as the Saltsburg and Glyndebourne Festivals. -- www.kglteater.dk

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