Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hans Peter Jannsens stars in avant-garde exploration of Wagner

A promo for Tragedy of a Frienship & Hans Peter Jannsens as Dracula
When we saw the promo and production photos from avant-garde artist Jan Fabre's Tragedy of a friendship at the Lille Opera, we were understandably intrigued. There is nothing like a sculpted male torso to get our attention and when there are two of them...expect a post. Throw in Hans Peter Jannsens as one of the voices and we're hooked.

The Guildhall School of Music graduate has a history with Jan Fabre, having toured in his The Power of Theatrical Madness. He also has a history with Wagner, which is the core of Tragedy of a friendship.  He performed the Knight of the Holy Grail  in the Flemmish Opera's production of Wagner's Parsifal.  Although he has now crossed over into a lot of acting and musical theater, he cut his teeth in opera, traveling for two years with the English Touring Opera company as Don Giovanni , Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutti and Sid in Britten's Albert Herring.

A promo shot for Tragedy of a friendship
Tragedy of a friendship deals with the complicated relationship between Richard Wagner and the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.  Their initial friendship and admiration for each other would eventually turn to hatred. Tragedy of a friendship poses the question of the relationship between artist and intellectual: fecund, intense, but also hazardous.

The Lille Opera has co-commissioned the piece with the Vlaamse Opera On the occasion of the 2013 bicentennial of Wagner’s birth. The final performance is tonight.

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