Work of the Week - Christian Jost: Rote Laterne

Christian Jost’s new opera Rote Laterne ("Red Lantern") will receive its world premiere on 8 March 2015 at Opera Zurich in a production directed by Nadja Loschky. The opera, with a libretto written by Jost himself, is based on the Chinese writer Su Tong’s novel "Wives and Concubines" depicting a girl broken down by the concubine system in 1930s China. The novel was turned into a successful film of the same name.

The subject of Asia has been a recurrent theme in Jost’s compositional career. He has long-established connections with Chinese orchestras and more recently was Composer in Residence in Taipei during their 2012-13 season. In several of his works Western musical training is merged with his passion for Eastern musical traditions – with Rote Laterne a prime example. The work is part of an opera trilogy together with Die arabische Nacht and Rumor, and in a theme common to Jost’s operatic output, the key role is played by a young woman typified by her modernity.

Song-Lian is the opera’s protagonist who marries into the traditional Chinese household of Master Chen as his fourth wife. In this remote and competitive house the ultimate goal is to be favoured by the Master, a status signified by the red lantern. Each time the lantern shines in front of one of the wives’ rooms, she climbs one step higher in the hierarchy of the house. Song-Lian however, refuses to accept a life where her sole aim is waiting for the lantern:

Song-Lian has more ambitious aims than merely succumbing to the finely spun web of intrigue and passion of Master Chen. The year she spends with him becomes a nightmare in which the seasons alter as they please and lust and jealousy dictate the hours of the day. As if in a dream she falls into a sequence of events, realising that the secret to her world lies at the bottom of a well. – Christian Jost

Later in March another work by Christian Jost will receive its world premiere: his BerlinSymphonie performed by the Konzerthausorchester under the baton of Iván Fischer on 20 and 21 March 2015 at the Berlin Konzerthaus.

Photo: Opera Zurich / Monika Rittershaus

(03/02/2015)

 

Archive

03/02/2015

Work of the Week - Christian Jost: Rote Laterne

Christian Jost’s new opera Rote Laterne ("Red Lantern") will receive its world premiere on 8 March 2015 at Opera Zurich in a production directed by Nadja Loschky. The opera, with a libretto written by Jost ...

more

02/18/2015

Work of the Week - Hans Werner Henze: Pollicino

Hans Werner Henze’s children’s opera Pollicino opens at the Teatro Goldoni in Florence on 24 February 2015, conducted by Alessandro Cadario with the Orchestra del Conservatorio L. Cherubini di Firenze and the Coro di ...

more

02/17/2015

Work of the Week - Peter Eötvös: Angels in America

This month, the University Theatre in Boston, MA will stage Peter Eötvös' opera Angels in America in a production by Jim Petosa and directed by William Lumpkin, running from 19 to 22 February 2015. Angels in ...

more

02/06/2015

Work of the Week - György Ligeti: Le Grand Macabre

On 14 February 2015, a new production of György Ligeti’s opera Le Grand Macabre will receive its premiere at Aalto-Musiktheater in Essen, Germany, directed by Mariame Clément and with music conducted by Dima Slobodeniouk. ...

more

01/30/2015

Work of the Week - Stewart Wallace: Harvey Milk

On 7 and 8 February 2015, Stewart Wallace’s opera Harvey Milk will receive its Australian premiere at St Kilda Town Hall in Melbourne in a concert performance by the Melbourne Gay and Lesbian Chorus under the direction ...

more

More news of category Work of the Week