Orpheus and Eurydice, designed by Frank Gehry

Orpheus and Eurydice, designed by Frank Gehry

Jenna Simeonov

I read some exciting news about the Berliner Staatsoper’s upcoming season: Canadian architect Frank Gehry will design a production of Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice, to be directed by Jürgen Flimm, the Staatsoper’s Intendant. At the podium will be Daniel Barenboim, in case the idea wasn’t impressive enough. I know not everyone is a Frank Gehry fan, but I really am, and I’m thinking of planning my next overseas trip for March 2016 to catch this show.

Gehry has designed once before for opera, when he created installations for a cool-looking production of Don Giovanni, directed by Christopher Alden, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (in Walt Disney Hall, of course). Here’s a quick look:

Don Giovanni with the L.A. Philharmonic, designed by Frank Gehry, directed by Christopher Alden, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, 2012.

Taking a look at Jürgen Flimm’s aesthetic, it appears that he and Gehry will have little trouble getting on the same page with this Orpheus. Flimm’s work is quite architectural, with looming sets and eye-catching lines. He directed the Salome with Karita Mattila at the Metropolitan Opera in 2004, which was definitely striking. Take a look at his Fidelio at the Royal Opera House

A scene from Jürgen Flimm’s Fidelio at the Royal Opera House.

Or his Manon Lescaut in St. Petersburg in 2014:

A scene from Manon Lescaut, directed by Jürgen Flimm, 2014. Photo: mikhailovsky.ru.

While I always hope an opera production shows off the singers and the story, at the very least, I doubt this Flimm/Gehry Gluck project will be bland.



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