The Miracle of Heliane
By Erich Wolfgang Korngold
BIOSAusrine Stundyte (Soprano)
Among projects of Lithuanian soprano Ausrine Stundyte are: Renata in The Fiery Angel in Warsaw and at the Festival of Aix-en-Provence, Tosca in Helsinki and Zemlinsky’s Lyrische Symphonie and Schlussgesang in Götterdämmerung in Tokyo. In 2019 she will give her debuts at Opera National de Paris as Katarina Ismailova in Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District and at Vienna State Opera in the title role of Salome. She will return to Berlin State Opera for more Salome. In 2020 she will sing, among others, Renata in a new production The Fiery Angel at Theater an der Wien.
Recent highlights include her role debuts in the title role of Salome at Staatsoper Berlin and of Carlotta in Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten at Komische Oper, Heliane in Korngold’s Das Wunder der Heliane in Antwerp, Bianca in Zemlinsky’s Eine florentinische Tragödie in Amsterdam, Catalani’s Loreley at St. Gallen Festival, Renata in Zurich staged by Calixto Bieito and conducted by Gianandrea Noseda, in Munich and conducted by Kazushi Ono in Lyon, Venus in Tannhäuser staged by Calixto Bieito in Venice and Antwerp, Katarina Ismailova in Lyon staged by Dmitry Tcherniakov and conducted by Kazushi Ono and in Antwerp under Dmitri Jurowski and staged by Calixto Bieito, Montezuma in Rihm’s Die Eroberung von Mexiko in Peter Konwitschny’s production in Cologne and Madrid, Leonore in Fidelio in concert performances in Israel and fully staged at Vienna Volksoper and in Florence under Zubin Mehta, Margherita in Boitos Mefistofele in Munich, Judit in Bartok’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle at Komischen Oper Berlin (stage director: Calixto Bieito), the title role in Tosca in Seattle and Sao Paulo, Chrysothemis in Elektra in Antwerp, the title role in La Gioconda in St. Gallen or Cio-Cio-San in Puccini’s Madame Butterfly at the Savonlinna Opera Festival and in Seattle.
Ausrine Stundyte started her career with appearances at Oper Leipzig and as a member of the ensemble of Cologne Opera, she guested in Essen, Lübeck, Lisbon or - as Sieglinde in Die Walküre - in Palermo.
Born in Vilnius, Ausrine Stundyte studied voice at the Lithuanian Music Accademy with Prof. Irena Milkeviciute and at Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Leipzig with Prof. Helga Forner.
She received several Scholarships and awards, among them a special award of Chambre Professionnelle des Directeurs d'Opéra Paris, a special award of the Helikon Opera Moscow and 2nd price for operetta at the 25th International Hans Gabor Belvedere Competition in Vienna as well as the Offenbach award of the city of Cologne.
She is working with conductors such as Gianandrea Noseda, Zubin Metha, Fabio Luisi, Jeffrey Tate, Julia Jones, Julian Kovatchev, Marco Armiliato, Dmitri Jurowski, Markus Stenz or Gabriel Feltz and with stage directors like Calixto Bieito, Robert Carsen, Peter Konwitschny, Graham Vick, David Alden, Christof Nel, Pierre Audi, Tatjana Gürbaca or Anthony Pilavachi.
She sings a large concert and lied repertoire, which she performes at Gewandhaus Leipzig, as well as at the Philharmonie of Cologne and Essen.
With Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk Ausrine Stundyte recorded songs by Hermann Heyer.
Daniel Brenna (Tenor)
Der Neue Merker wrote on DANIEL BRENNA as SIEGFRIED at the Stuttgart State Opera. In 2011 Brenna already enthralled the The Times with his debut in this very role at the Longborough Festival ‘Daniel Brenna is American, and must be one of the youngest and most convincing Siegfrieds around ‘
Recently, DANIEL BRENNA sang SIEGFRIED in ‚Siegfried‘ and ‚Götterdämmerung‘ at the Washington National Opera in a Francesca Zambello production, in a special Ring-Trilogy’ at the Theater an der Wien, at the Budapest Wagner Days with Adám Fischer, at the Opéra Dijon and with the Odense Symphony Orchestra and Alexander Vedernikov. Daniel’s international career began in 2011 when he portrayed ARON in ‘Moses and Aron’ at the Zürich Opera House. Before, he already enjoyed huge success in this very role with the Budapest Philharmonics at the Miskolc Festival in Hungary and at the Palace of Arts in 2010. In summer 2012 Daniel Brenna made his widely noticed debut as DESPORTES in Alois Zimmermann’s ‘Die Soldaten’ at the Salzburg Festival. In 2014 he made his debut in this role at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and in 2015 at the Scala di Milano. The American born singer studied musicology at the Boston University and completed his studies with a „Master of Music and his opera diploma. First engagements brought him to the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra under the musical direction of Seiji Ozawa and Daniel Harding.
Guest engagements brought him to the Opera House Leipzig, the Komische Oper Berlin, the Aalto-Theatre Essen, the Festival St. Margarethen and the Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra. His repertoire includes such roles as SIEGMUND, THE FALSE DMITRY in ‘Boris Godunov’, BORIS in ‘Katja Kabanowa’ , PRINCE RADJAMI in ‘Die Bajadere’ or EISENSTEIN in ‘Die Fledermaus’. Besides, Daniel Brenna could be seen at the Stuttgart State Opera as the DRUM MAJOR in ‘Wozzeck’ and as AEGISTH in ‘Elektra’.
Daniel enjoyed huge successes as JIM MAHONEY on the occasion of the May Festival Wiesbaden . In the seasonal review of the German newspapers “WAZ” and “NRZ” and “Welt am Sonntag” he was voted the best singer for his first interpretation of TANNHÄUSER at the Dortmund Theatre.
Daniel Brenna performs with such renowned conductors and directors as Christoph von Dohnányi, Kirill Petrenko, Ádam Fischer, Ingo Metzmacher, Stefan Soltesz, Michael Schonwandt, Marc Soustrot, Achim Freyer, Jossi Wieler, Andreas Moses, Alvis Hermanis, Andreas Baesler, Peter Konwitschny…
In the season 14/15 he sang his first ALWA in 'Lulu' at the Dutch Opera Amsterdam. In autumn 2015 he made his debut in this very role at the Metropolitan Opera. This production was elected by the New York Times as THE BEST IN CULTURE 2015.: ‘Here was an ingenious staging…., with a superb cast…’. The November 21, 2015 HD performance of Lulu has been nominated for Best Opera Recording for the 60th annual Grammy Awards. In autumn 2016 he returned as LACA in ‘Jenufa’ to the Metropolitan Opera.
Christian Räth (Director)
A native of Hamburg, director Christian Räth is renowned throughout Europe, Japan and the USA. His work takes him to many of the world’s leading opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera New York, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, The Dallas Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto, Bregenzer Festspiele, Mariinsky Theatre St Petersburg, Opéra national de Paris, Opéra de Lyon, Teatro del Liceu Barcelona, Teatro alla Scala Milan, Wiener Staatsoper and the Royal Opera House London. He directs a large and diverse repertoire, ranging from Wagner, Strauss, Janáček, Puccini, Verdi, Donizetti, Mozart, Britten and Bartók to musicals and contemporary creations.
New productions in 2017-18 included Der Freischütz at the Wiener Staatsoper (now in repertoire) and Le Baron Tzigane at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, as well as the direction and design of Kiss Me Kate for the Haut école de musique de Genève, in collaboration with the Haute école de musique de Lausanne, le Conservatorio dell Svizzera Italiana and the Théâtre du Galpon, Geneva. Other recent projects include Macbeth at the Wiener Staatsoper (currently in repertoire), and L’Italiana in Algeri in Portland. Plans include Korngold’s Das Wunder der Heliane at the Bard Summerscape Festival as well as the creation of a new work for Opera Philadelphia.
Other work includes highly-acclaimed productions of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and the direction and design of Tristan und Isolde for The Dallas Opera, Verdi’s rarely-performed comic opera Un Giorno di Regno (King for a Day) for the Glimmerglass Festival, Falstaff at Washington National Opera, Roméo et Juliette at Houston Grand Opera, Fidelio, Luisa Miller at The Dallas Opera, Die Zauberflöte at Cairo Opera House, Carmen at the Grand Théâtre de Genève.
Christian collaborates with several of the world’s leading directors and regularly works alongside Laurent Pelly; he has been associate and revival director for many of his productions throughout the world, including Viva la Mamma!, Le Coq d’Or, Le Roi Carotte, Le Comte Ory, La fille du régiment, Manon, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, La traviata, La vie parisienne, La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein and L’elisir d’amore.
In 2014-15 Christian collaborated with Robert Carsen as associate director for Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame at Opernhaus Zürich, a co-production with Opéra national du Rhin. Other work with Carsen includes Il trovatore in Bregenz, Mitridate for La Monnaie, Brussels, Ariadne auf Naxos at Deutsche Oper Berlin, Det Kongelige Teater Copenhagen and JJR - Citoyen de Genève at the Grand Théâtre de Genève.
Christian Räth is Senior Associate Director for Francesca Zambello’s complete Ring for San Francisco Opera, a co-production with Washington National Opera, where it was revived in 2016. Other productions with Zambello include Billy Budd (Opéra national de Paris, Royal Opera House, London) Salome (Saito Kinen), West Side Story, Of Mice and Men (Bregenz, Washington, Houston).
Christian Räth obtained a master’s degree in Musiktheater-Regie from the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg. He studied musicology, literature and psychology at the University of Hamburg, and participated in masterclasses on opera directing with Harry Kupfer. In 1995 he was invited to join the Grand Théâtre de Genève, where he held the position of Staff Director until 2001.
Esther Bialas (Costume Designer)
Esther Bialas studied costume design in Hamburg. She has a longstanding collaboration with theatre director Nicolas Stemann, designing costumes for his productions of Hamlet (Schauspiel Hannover), Jelinek’s The Work (Burgtheater, Vienna) and Schiller’s The Robbers (Thalia Theater, Hamburg). Together with director Christiane Pohle, she founded the women’s theatre company LaborLavache, presented at the Schauspielhaus Zürich.
Esther has designed stage and costume designs for the Basel Theater, Vienna Burgtheater and the Deutsche Theater Berlin, for opera productions in Lucerne and Basel, as well as for film.
Her collaborations as a stage and costume designer with director Barrie Kosky include Strindberg’s A Dream Play (Deutsche Theater Berlin), Strauss’s The Silent Woman (Bayersische Staatsoper), as well as Ball im Savoy, Seven Songs/The Seven Deadly Sins, West Side Story and The Magic Flute(Komische Oper Berlin).
Other design credits: Les contes d’Hoffmann(Bregenzer Festspiele, dir. Stefan Herheim); Eötvös’s Three Sisters (Wiener Staatsoper); costumes for La cenerentola (Oslo Opera, dir. Herheim); costumes for La traviata (Theater Basel, dir. Daniel Kramer). Since 2004 she has taught costume design at the Lerchenfeld University, Hamburg.
The Miracle of Heliane
By Erich Wolfgang Korngold
July 26 – August 4
The Miracle of Heliane
By Erich Wolfgang Korngold
New Production / U.S. Premiere
The American Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Leon Botstein
Directed by Christian Räth
Set in an unnamed totalitarian state, The Miracle of Heliane (Das Wunder der Heliane) features an intricate, erotic triangle between a ruthless despot, The Ruler; his beautiful and neglected wife, Heliane; and a young, messianic Stranger. An allegorical tale, about the destruction of a dictatorship by a woman, Heliane premiered to great acclaim in Hamburg in 1927, and remains extraordinarily relevant today. This new production is directed by Christian Räth, with sets and costumes by Esther Bialas, both making their SummerScape debuts. The consistently excellent cast includes the stunning Lithuanian soprano Ausrine Stundyte in an all-too-rare U.S. appearance alongside rising star tenor Daniel Brenna, and the heralded bass-baritone Alfred Walker.
Opening Night Reception for Members
Friday, July 26
Opera Talk with Leon Botstein
Sunday, July 28 at noon
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Performance ScheduleJuly 26 at 7:30 pm
July 28 at 2 pm
July 31 at 2 pm
August 2 at 4 pm
August 4 at 2 pm
LocationFisher Center, Sosnoff Theater
Tickets start at $25
SummerScape Coach from New York City is offered on July 26 & 28 and August 2 & 4.