Monday, October 3, 2016

Daniel Schmutzhard creates sensation in The Sandman

Daniel Schmutzhard
Austrian barihunk Daniel Schmutzhard has been creating a sensation as Nathanael in composer Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini's Der Sandmann at Opera Frankfurt, which has additional performances on October 3, 8, 13 and 23. The psychologically troubled character is a difficult vocal feat, accompanied by virtuoso orchestration and powerful choruses. He also has to sing much of the role clad in his scivvies

Based on E.T.A. Hoffmann's well known story The Sandman (1815), Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini and the librettist Thomas Jonigk combined essential elements from the story with creepy, romantic motifs for their opera. Nathanael's state of being, a psychotic trip in the homelessness of one's own self, is depicted in ten scenes. To him the sinister seems, in a Freudian sense, a chimera which shines light upon the known and surpressed. Jonigk's figures are our contemporaries: they speak our language, know the feelings of self doubt.

Daniel Schmutzhard
The story of E.T.A. Hoffmann and his conflict between artistic dreams and reality is not new to opera goers, with Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann and Hindemith's Cardillac being the best known. Other adaptations include Busoni's Die Brautwahl, Alfred Thompson's The Girl with the Glass Eyes, Adolphe Adam's La poupée de Nuremberg, Walter Braunfels' Prinzessin Brambilla and Jacques Offenbach's Le roi Carotte.

The cast also includes barihunk Daniel Miroslaw, who appears as Lothar. Tickets and additional cast information is available online.

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