Bluebeard's Castle and Erwartung
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All concerts and events through June 13, 2021 are cancelled. Learn more about our response to COVID-19. Support the Philharmonic by donating your tickets.

Calendar

Bluebeard's Castle and Erwartung

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Location

David Geffen Hall

Directions
Price Range

$29-79

Duration

2 hours with intermission

No Late Seating
Date & Times

26

Sep, 2019

Thursday, 7:30 PM

27

Sep, 2019

Friday, 8:00 PM

28

Sep, 2019

Saturday, 8:00 PM

Event Info

A woman wanders a forest at night desperately searching for her lover. Newlyweds Duke Bluebeard (Johannes Martin Kränzle) and Judith (2018 Birgit Nilsson Prize recipient Nina Stemme) tour the Duke’s dark castle, each of its seven rooms more shocking than the last. Jaap van Zweden conducts the US Stage Premiere of Bengt Gomér’s bold production of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle and Schoenberg’s Erwartung (Katarina Karnéus), both psychological one-act operas.

US Stage Premiere of Bengt Gomér’s production of Erwartung and Bluebeard’s Castle in collaboration with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra

Program

Schoenberg

Erwartung

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Bartók

Bluebeard's Castle

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Artists

Jaap van Zweden

Conductor

Jaap van Zweden

Conductor

Jaap van Zweden

Conductor

Jaap van Zweden began his tenure as the 26th Music Director of the New York Philharmonic in September 2018. He also serves as Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, a post he has held since 2012. He has conducted orchestras on three continents, appearing as guest with leading orchestras such as, in Europe, the Orchestre de Paris, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, and, London Symphony Orchestra, and, in the United States, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, and Los Angeles Philharmonic.

In the 2019–20 season, Jaap van Zweden conducted the New York Philharmonic in four World Premieres and symphonic cornerstones. As part of the launch of Project 19, the multiyear initiative marking the centennial of the 19th Amendment with commissions by 19 women composers, he led the premieres of works by Nina C. Young, Tania León, and Ellen Reid. Other highlights include a new, staged production of Schoenberg’s Erwartung and Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle; his first Young People’s Concert; and works by Beethoven, Mozart, Bruckner, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Barber, Björk, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Anders Hilborg, and more, including the school-age participants in the New York Philharmonic Very Young Composers Program.

Jaap van Zweden’s most recent recording is the 2020 release of the World Premiere of David Lang’s prisoner of the state, following the 2019 release of Julia Wolfe’s Fire in my mouth, both part of the Philharmonic’s partnership with Decca Gold, Universal Music Group’s newly established US classical music label. He conducted the first-ever performances in Hong Kong of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, the recordings of which are available on the Naxos label. His acclaimed performances of Lohengrin, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and Parsifal — the last of which earned him the prestigious Edison Award for Best Opera Recording in 2012 — are available on CD and DVD.

Born in Amsterdam, Jaap van Zweden was appointed at age 19 as the youngest-ever concertmaster of Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He began his conducting career almost 20 years later, in 1996. He remains Honorary Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, where he was Chief Conductor (2005–13), served as Chief Conductor of the Royal Flanders Orchestra (2008–11), and was Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (2008–18), where he is now Conductor Laureate. Jaap van Zweden was named Musical America’s 2012 Conductor of the Year and was the subject of an October 2018 CBS 60 Minutes profile on the occasion of his arrival at the New York Philharmonic. Recently, he was awarded the prestigious 2020 Concertgebouw Prize. Under his leadership the Hong Kong Philharmonic was named Gramophone’s 2019 Orchestra of the Year.

In 1997 Jaap van Zweden and his wife, Aaltje, established the Papageno Foundation to support families of children with autism. The Foundation has grown into a multifaceted organization that focuses on the development of children and young adults with autism. The Foundation provides in-home music therapy through a national network of qualified music therapists in The Netherlands; opened the Papageno House in 2015 (with Her Majesty Queen Maxima in attendance) for young adults with autism to live, work, and participate in the community; created a research center at the Papageno House for early diagnosis and treatment of autism and for analyzing the effects of music therapy on autism; develops funding opportunities to support autism programs; and, most recently, launched the app TEAMPapageno, which allows children with autism to communicate with each other through music composition.

Learn more about Jaap van Zweden
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Nina Stemme

Soprano (Bartók)

Nina Stemme

Soprano (Bartók)

Nina Stemme

Soprano (Bartók)

Swedish-born soprano Nina Stemme is considered a leading singer of the dramatic opera’s most challenging roles, including Isolde in Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde, Brünnhilde in Wagner’s Ring Cycle, Kundry in Par­sifal, and the title roles in Richard Strauss’s Salome and Elektra, as well as Puccini’s La fanciulla del West and Turandot. Since winning Plácido Domingo’s Operalia, The World Opera Competition in 1993, Ms. Stemme has furthered the tradition of her Scandinavian predecessors Kirsten Flagstad and Birgit Nilsson at leading opera houses, including The Metropolitan Opera, Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, the Bayreuth Festival, Vienna Staatsoper, and The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Her numerous other prizes, awards, and honors throughout her career include being named Swedish Court Singer and Austrian “Kammersängerin.” The German specialist journal Opernwelt crowned her Singer of the Year twice, in 2005 and 2012. She was awarded the prestigious Birgit Nilsson Prize in a ceremony attended by the Swedish Royal Family at the Royal Swedish Opera in October 2018. Nina Stemme’s future projects include Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle not only with the New York Philharmonic but also in Munich; Turandot at The Met; Tosca and Tristan and Isolde in Berlin; and the role of Brünnhilde in the Ring Cycle in Vienna.

Learn more about Nina Stemme

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Johannes Martin Kränzle

Baritone (Bartók)

Johannes Martin Kränzle

Baritone (Bartók)

Johannes Martin Kränzle

Baritone (Bartók)

Born in Augsburg, Johannes Martin Kränzle is a regular guest at major opera houses, including The Metropolitan Opera, Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, Paris Opéra, Teatro Real Madrid, Zurich Opera House, Grand Théâtre de Genève, and The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He has also appeared at the Salzburg, Bregenz, Glyndebourne, and Lucerne festivals and in Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, San Francisco, Cairo, Spoleto, Sofia, Tel Aviv, Tbilisi, and Tokyo.

Mr. Kränzle’s opera repertoire comprises 120 roles and includes works by Handel, Rossini, Verdi, J. Strauss II, Lehár, Henze, Rihm, Mozart, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev, and Janáček. His wide-ranging roles have included the Wagner roles of Alberich (Ring Cycle), Amfortas (Parsifal), Beckmesser (Die Meistersinger), and Wolfram (Tannhäuser); Mozart’s Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte), Don Giovanni (Don Giovanni), Count Almaviva (The Marriage of Figaro), and Papageno (The Magic Flute); as well as the title role in Berg’s Wozzeck, Duke Bluebeard (Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle), Tomsky (Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades), Prus (Janáček’s The Makropulos Affair), Griasnoj (Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tsar’s Bride), Bolkonski (Prokofiev’s War and Peace), Ford (Verdi’s Falstaff), Sharpless (Puccini’s Madama Butterfly), Eisenstein (J. Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus), and Danilo (Lehár’s The Merry Widow).

Mr. Kränzle’s projects in the 2019–20 season include Donizetti’s Don Pasquale in Zurich, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus and Klingsor in Parsifal in Munich, Messiaen’s Saint François d’Assise in Hamburg, and Beckmesser in Die Meistersinger in Bayreuth, in addition to his New York Philharmonic debut in Bluebeard’s Castle.

Johannes Martin Kränzle also regularly devotes himself to concert singing, recitals, and oratorio performances. He was nominated for the German Theatre Prize Der Faust 2010 and the Cologne Opera Prize in 2011. He was twice named Singer of the Year in the Opernwelt critics survey, in 2011 and 2018.

Learn more about Johannes Martin Kränzle

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Katarina Karnéus

Mezzo-Soprano (Schoenberg)

Katarina Karnéus

Mezzo-Soprano (Schoenberg)

Katarina Karnéus

Mezzo-Soprano (Schoenberg)

Born in Stockholm, mezzo-soprano Katarina Karnéus studied at Trinity College of Music and at the National Opera Studio. In 1995 she won the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. She has worked with leading conductors, including Ivor Bolton, Mark Elder, Charles Mackerras, Roger Norrington, Antonio Pappano, Simon Rattle, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Franz Welser-Möst.

Ms. Karnéus’s opera engagements have included The Metropolitan Opera, Gothenburg Opera, Stuttgart Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Liceu Opera Barcelona, Opera North, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Her repertoire includes the great mezzo-soprano roles in operas by Handel, Mozart, Rossini, Bizet, Wagner, and Richard Strauss, as well as major bel canto roles. In concert, Ms. Karnéus has worked with the Berlin Philharmonic, Hamburg’s NDR Elbphilharmonie, Vienna Symphony, and San Francisco Symphony orchestras; she has also appeared at the BBC Proms, Edinburgh International Festival, and Salzburg Festival. As a recitalist, Ms. Karnéus has performed at London’s Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw, New York’s Lincoln Center, Brussels’s La Monnaie, and Stockholm Concert Hall.

Katarina Karnéus is a member of Gothenburg Opera and acts as an international ambassador for the company. She was presented with the Litteris et Artibus medal by H.M. The King of Sweden.

Learn more about Katarina Karnéus

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Bengt Gomér

Director / Set and Lighting Designer

Bengt Gomér

Director / Set and Lighting Designer

Bengt Gomér

Director / Set and Lighting Designer

Swedish set designer and director Bengt Gomér works in opera, dance, theater, and other art projects. He studied the history of art and philosophy at Lund University, and has worked in set and lighting design at theaters throughout Europe since 1990. He made his directorial debut at Sweden’s Dalhalla Opera with Puccini’s Turandot in the summer of 2015, and recently he served as dramaturge for New York–based composer João MacDowell’s new opera, The Seventh Seal, based on Ingmar Bergman’s film of the same name.

Mr. Gomér has collaborated with directors including Staffan Aspegren, Sam Brown, Charlotte Engelkes, Mick Gordon, Sofia Jupiter, Håkan Lindhé, Åsa Melldahl, Mellika Melouani Melani, Nils Spangenberg, and Olivier Tambosi. His upcoming projects include working as set and lighting designer for Hummel, Barbarino, and Hauser’s operetta Ludwig II, sehnsucht nach dem Paradies at Theater Regensburg in Germany, and a staged version of Beethoven’s Fidelio with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra on tour throughout Europe. Both projects are directed by Sam Brown.

Upcoming next season is the world premiere of the opera Bly by Icelandic composer Karólina Eiriksdóttir and Swedish librettist Ann-Sofie Bárány, in collaboration with director Mellika Melouani Melani. The piece will tour Sweden with the Pitea Chamber Opera.

Learn more about Bengt Gomér

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Per Backjanis

Costume Designer

Per Backjanis

Costume Designer

Costume Designer

Per Backjanis was born in Sweden in 1965. He completed his studies in tailoring, cutting, and design at the Sankt Görans Gymnasium in Stockholm in 1985. Since then, he has worked in opera, ballet, musical theater, film, and fashion. Mr. Backjanis has been the head of the ladies’ costume department at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm since 2008.

Learn more about Per Backjanis

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Per Rydnert

Video Designer

Per Rydnert

Video Designer

Video Designer

Swedish video designer Per Rydnert has almost 20 years of experience using moving pictures in various artistic settings, specializing in the art of video projection and scenographic video design. He has worked with an array of talented artists and stage performers in venues ranging from traditional concert halls and opera houses to more unconventional settings, such as the Blue Hall while hosting the Nobel banquet in Stockholm, and the unique outdoor venue of Sweden’s Dalhalla amphitheater, with its impressive massive limestone rocks. Per Rydnert first met set and lightning designer Bengt Gomér in 2014 during a mise-en-scène of Sylvester Levay and Michael Kunze’s musical Rebecca at Malmö Opera. In the summer of 2015, Mr. Rydnert once again collaborated with Mr. Gomér in his directorial debut at Sweden’s Dalhalla Opera for Puccini’s Turandot. Since then, they have continued to work together on several projects.

Learn more about Per Rydnert

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