Thursday, February 14, 2019

Karl V: First full-length twelve-tone opera to be broadcast

Actor Janus Torp and Bo Skovhus (Photo: Bayerische Staatsoper)
Ernst Krenek's "Karl V," the first full-length twelve-tone opera will be broadcast from the Bavarian State Opera on February 23rd with barihunk Bo Skovhus in the title role. The opera can be seen live on February 16, 21 and 23. 

The opera revolves around the life the Holy Roman Emperor, Karl V, particularly the end of his life. In his life confession he defends his actions as ruler and his failure to establish a grand Christian empire to the monk, Juan de Regla.

Krenek’s opera Karl V has rarely been performed since its debut on June 22, 1938. The opera created a cause célèbre when the 1934 premiere in Vienna was cancelled after Krenek was blacklisted in Germany by the Nazi government immediately following the German parliamentary elections in March 1933. Krenek revised the opera in 1954. Krenek was wrongly named as a Jewish composer during the Third Reich and ended up fleeing to the United States due to constant threats from the Nazi regime.

Bo Skovhus (Photo: Bayerische Staatsoper)
It was performed at the Bregenzer Festspiele in 2008 and has previously been seen in Munich. Performances at the Bavarian State Opera run through February 23rd, but the opera will also be performed at the Munich Opera Festival on July 19th.

The current modernist staging was produced by Carlus Padrissa, a member and co-founder of the theatre group, La Fura dels Baus, with stage designs and costumes by artist Lita Cabellut.

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