New Productions

THE RAKE'S PROGRESS
Igor Strawinsky
1882 – 1971

Opera in three acts
Libretto by W.H. Auden and Chester Kallman
First performed September 11th 1951, Teatro La Fenice, Venice

Sung in English with German surtitles
Duration: c. 2 hrs. 45 min., including one interval

About the piece

Igor Strawinsky was a revolutionary man: the son of one of the most important opera singers in Tsarist Russia, he soon showed a re ...
Igor Strawinsky was a revolutionary man: the son of one of the most important opera singers in Tsarist Russia, he soon showed a remarkable talent for improvisation. After studying with Rimsky Korsakov he went on to cause a storm in the music world when his ballets were performed in Paris, where he became great friends with Pablo Picasso and Coco Chanel. He spent half a century in exile as a French and American citizen before visiting his home country again in old age, after it had been liberated from Stalinism.
   The highly successful world premiere of The Rake’s Progress took place in Venice in 1951. It was inspired by William Hogarth’s well-known series of satirical engravings and tells of a young man seized by restlessness. Tom Rakewell can’t take his leave from his »better half« Ann Truelove quick enough when a stranger, Nick Shadow, promises him a large inheritance and an exciting future far away from his easy idyll of love. Tom Rakewell wants travel, freedom, happiness, money and success – and stumbles from one disappointment to the next. Torn between different expectations, contrary conceptions, euphoria and melancholy, he is finally engulfed by great weariness. In the end everything was nothing more or less than the theatre of life.
   This Tom, with his shadow, annoys and stimulates us because he confronts us with our own, often abstruse, designs on life. Strawinsky leads us on an adventurous journey through operatic history. The work contains eye-twinkling references to prominent predecessors. Parodies on Handel and other musical echos abound but it is still pure Strawinsky.

Synopsis

Tom Rakewell turns down Anne Trulove’s father’s offer of finding him employment in London. Tom wishes for wealth. Nick Shadow appe ...
Tom Rakewell turns down Anne Trulove’s father’s offer of finding him employment in London. Tom wishes for wealth. Nick Shadow appears saying that he worked for Tom’s uncle, who has died and left him everything. Tom suggests that Nick now work for him. They are to leave for London immediately. Nick’s wage is due in a year and a day. Tom takes his leave from Anne. Tom is soon sucked into a life of vice. Anne decides to go after him. Tom wishes for happiness. Shadow appears again and suggests that marry Baba the Turk, who is causing a sensation in the city. Anne sees Tom arrive at his house. He tells her to go home. At breakfast Tom is sulking but Baba in good cheer. He pushes her away. She flies into a rage, believing that he still loves Anne, and smashes things. Tom explodes, silencing Baba, then falls asleep. Nick wheels in a device that which appears to turn broken china into bread. Tom tells him that he dreamt of the same contraption. Nick: They set off to make their fortune.Tom is ruined and his possessions up for auction. The sale begins. Baba is outraged by the auction. Anne arrives. She and Baba join forces. Baba urges her to try and save Tom and leaves. Nick demands his wages. Tom is penniless but it is his soul, due on the 12th stroke of midnight, Nick wants, not his money. On the 9th stroke Nick proposes a deciding game of cards. He will cut the pack 3 times and Tom must guess the exposed cards. He thinks of Anne and guesses correctly. Nick is beaten but makes Tom lose his mind before he leaves. A lunatic asylum: Tom thinks he is Adonis. Anne arrives. He takes her for Venus. She sings. He falls asleep. She bids him farewell. Tom awakes and collapses. All characters reappear reminding the audience that the Devil finds work for idle hands.
Performances

Sunday 20.05.2012

Further performances:
24.05.2012  | 26.05.2012  |
28.05.2012  | 01.06.2012  |
03.06.2012  | 09.06.2012

Cast

Conductor
Constantinos Carydis
Director
Axel Weidauer
Stage Designer
Moritz Nitsche
Costume Designer
Berit Mohr
Lighting Designer
Joachim Klein
Dramaturge
Agnes Eggers
Chorus Master
Matthias Köhler

Trulove
Alfred Reiter
Anne Trulove
Brenda Rae
Tom Rakewell
Paul Appleby
Nick Shadow
Simon Bailey
Mother Goose
Barbara Zechmeister
Baba the Turk
Paula Murrihy
Sellem
Peter Marsh
Keeper of the madhouse
Vuyani Mlinde

Chorus and Orchestra of Oper Frankfurt

Video

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