May 6, 2020
In this series of podcasts, Seattle Opera Dramaturg Jonathan Dean gives listeners a taste of nine different types of traditional opera. Singspiel (that’s German for SongPlay) mixes songs, dialogues, choruses, and marvelous orchestral writing with fun and fantasy for a lowbrow, family friendly art form—the ancestor of today’s Star Wars movies. Mozart’s ever-popular Magic Flute is the perfect introduction to Singspiel, as well as one of the most beloved operas ever written. Another wonderful Singspiel, Weber’s Der Freischütz, demonstrates the power of this form to send a wonderfully creepy chill down your spine.
Musical examples on this podcast drawn from Seattle Opera productions of The Magic Flute, 2017, conducted by Julia Jones and starring John Moore, Andrew Stenson, and Christina Poulitsi; Der Freischütz, 1999, conducted by Gerard Schwarz and starring Harry Peeters and Gabor Andrasy; Fidelio, 2003, conducted by Gerard Schwarz and starring Jane Eaglen and Kevin Langan; The Flying Dutchman, 2016, conducted by Sebastian Lang-Lessing; also Marschner’s Hans Heiling conducted by Ewald Körner (Marco Polo 1992); Fidelio starring Lucia Popp, Adolf Dallapozza, Gundula Janowitz, and René Kollo and conducted by Leonard Bernstein (Deutsche Gramophon, 1978); Der Stein der Weisen, Jane Giering-De Haan and Kevin Deas conducted by Martin Pearlman (Telarc, 1999); and the 1993 EMI recording of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch.
Stay tuned for one more podcast introducing another kind of opera next week!