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Posted by on Jul 30, 2010 in News | 0 comments

Production of Franz Schreker’s Opera The Distant Sound (Der ferne Klang)

Production of Franz Schreker’s Opera The Distant Sound (Der ferne Klang)

First Fully-Staged North American Production of Franz Schreker’s Haunting 1910 Opera The Distant Sound (“Der ferne Klang”)

Opens This Friday, July 30, at Bard SummerScape 2010

SummerScape 2010 Includes 21st Season of World-Renowned Bard Music Festival, “Berg and His World”,
and New Production of Oscar Straus’s Operetta The Chocolate Soldier (Aug 5–15)

“Summerscape at Bard College … Ever a hotbed of intellectual and aesthetic adventure.”    – The New York Times

BardSummerScapeAnnandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. – The eighth annual Bard SummerScape’s opera presentation, Franz Schreker’s The Distant Sound (“Der ferne Klang,” 1910), though familiar in Europe, has never yet – in the century since its composition – been fully staged in North America. Schreker, whose music synthesized elements from Romanticism to expressionism, was hailed early in his career as the most significant musical dramatist since Wagner, and The Distant Sound is a key work of Viennese modernism. Thaddeus Strassberger, visionary director of last season’s lavishly praised Huguenots presentation and winner of the 2005 European Opera Directing Prize, returns to direct the landmark production, with set designs by Narelle Sissons, whose credits include Babes in Toyland at Lincoln Center (2008), and costume design by Mattie Ullrich, who created the costumes for SummerScape’s productions of The Sorcerer (2007) and Les Huguenots (2009).  Tenor Mathias Schulz, a Pavarotti International Voice Competition finalist, stars as Fritz, and soprano Yamina Maamar plays Grete, in which role the New York Times described her performance as a “triumph.”  The Distant Sound’s four performances (July 30, August 1, 4, & 6) feature the festival’s resident American Symphony Orchestra under music director Leon Botstein, who gives a free Opera Talk before the August 1 performance.

Bard offsets this gravitas with an authentic taste of Vienna’s lighter side, offering nine performances of Oscar Straus’s charming operetta The Chocolate Soldier (1908), based on George Bernard Shaw’s play Arms and the Man.  An international success, The Chocolate Soldier was the hit of the 1909 Broadway season, while its London premiere ran for 500 performances.  Directing the new production is award-winning director and choreographer Will Pomerantz, with sets and costumes by Carol Bailey, who previously collaborated with Pomerantz on Of Thee I Sing at SummerScape 2008.  Leading a first-rate cast, Lynne Abeles, praised by the New York Times for her “standout” performance in DiCapo Opera Theatre’s Emmeline, will star opposite baritone Andrew Wilkowske, whose recent Papageno for Virginia Opera “stole the show” (Washington Post).  The production will be conducted by James Bagwell, Bard Music Festival’s Director of Choruses since 2003, who inspired glowing praise when he led SummerScape 2005’s production of The Tender Land.  Opening for the first of nine performances on August 5, the new production will be sung in English (Aug 5–15).  Before the performance on August 8, Bagwell, who also serves as Music Director of the Collegiate Chorale, will give an Opera Talk.

Opera and operetta at Bard SummerScape 2010

Franz Schreker (1878–1934)

The Distant Sound (Der ferne Klang, 1910)

Libretto: Franz Schreker

American Symphony Orchestra

Conducted by Leon Botstein, music director

Directed by Thaddeus Strassberger

Grete: Yamina Maamar

Fritz: Mathias Schulz

Old Grauman: Peter Van Derick

Grauman’s wife: Susan Marie Pierson

Innkeeper: Matthew Burns

Actor: Jeff Mattsey

Dr. Vigelius: Marc Embree

The Count: Corey McKern

The Chevalier: Jud Perry

Sosnoff Theater

July 30 and August 6 at 7 pm

August 1 and 4 at 3 pm

Tickets: $25, $55, $75

Opera Talk with Leon Botstein
August 1 at 1 pm
Free and open to the public

Oscar Straus (1870–1954)

The Chocolate Soldier (1908)

Libretto: R. Bernauer and L. Jacobson; English libretto: Stanislaus Stange

Conducted by James Bagwell

Directed by Will Pomerantz

Nadina: Lynne Abeles

Bummerli: Andrew Wilkowske

Alexis: Glenn Seven Allen

Masha: Camille Zamora

Aurelia: Madeleine Gray

Massakroff: Jason Switzer

Theater Two

August 5–7 and 12–14 at 8 pm

August 8, 11, and 15 at 3 pm

Tickets: $45

Opera Talk with James Bagwell

August 8 at 1 pm
Free and open to the public

For tickets and further information on all SummerScape events, call the Fisher Center box office at 845-758-7900 or visit

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