Saturday, September 7, 2013

Trio of barihunks in contemporary opera in Vienna

Tomasz Pietak
A regular reader of ours in Austria alerted us to a performance of Šimon Voseček's Biedermann und die Brandstifter at the Neue Oper Wien and its trio of barihunks. The opera opens on September 17th with additional performanes on the September 19, 21 and 22. Tickets and additional information are available online.

The first of the trio is Tomasz Pietak who sings the role of Josef Schmitz. The talented 33-year-old was born in Skarżysko-Kamienna, Poland where he began piano lessons at age 10. After graduating from the Academy of Music he focused on voice and joined the Warsaw Chamber Opera.

From 2005-2009 he was the cantor and organist at the St. Anne's Church in Warsaw's Old Town. In 2009, he took second place at the International Song Competition in Sofia and was awarded the Minister of Culture's cholarship.

He is currently continuing his studies in Vienna with the great bass-baritones Robert Holl and Peter Edelmann. He has previously appeared as Orestes in Gluck's Iphigenia in Tauris and the title role in
Mozart's Marriage of Figaro at the Schönbrunn Castle. 

Till von Orlowsky 
25-year-ols Till von Orlowsky was born in Freilassing Germany. He began his vocal studies at the Lübecker Knabenkantorei before continuing at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna. While there, he performed in Puccini's La bohème and Gluck's Iphigenia in Tauris.

He will be singing the role of Wilhelm Eisenring in Biedermann und die Brandstifter.

Christian Kotsis

Christian Kotsis is performing the role of the Feuerwehrmann. He is a former member of the Vienna Boys Choir where he was often chosen to sing solos.  He has appeared on recordings of Leo Fall's operettta Der fidele Bauer and Franz Lehar's Frasquita. We don't know too much more about him, but we'll be keeping our eye on this GQ looking singer.

The opera Biedermann und die Brandstifter is based on the play by Max Frisch. It's a parable on the bourgeois understanding of morality in which all rules of reason are suspended. This is also reflected in the music: while it is initially oriented toward the language of classical opera, more and more elements of this language are lost over the course of the evening. At the end the end of the opera, with the protagonists having nearly run out of room to maneuver—the music is rendered entirely “speechless.”

Šimon Voseček is a Czech-born composer who now resides in Vienna. Biedermann und die Brandstifter was recognized with an award from the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture in 2008.

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