Because I do not speak French, I had to rely on some online translators to understand this. Am I correct that these shows in 2017 are workshops where audience can come and watch early rehearsals of the performances that will eventually be staged in 2018? Or are they discussions, rather than rehearsals?
It looks like there will be a number of discussions and workshops around April 27. I'm not sure whether there will be a performance of the whole thing or not. Seems like this is a sort of experimental model of opera production, which involves the audience over a longer span of time than usual. It certainly seems as though it is a mode of production which is a bit off the beaten track. Wondering if there is more information about this whole thing!
I'm back from Paris with a quick report on the production of DONNERSTAG. Following several delays, it looks like the entire opera will (tentatively) be mounted at the opera-comique on November 18, 2017. We have to wait a little longer until the opera-comique makes an official announcement to confirm that date.
In the meantime, the group LE BALCON has been posting videos of parts of the opera on YouTube and performing an ongoing series of children's concerts (yes -- that's right) based on some of the highlights in the opera. They also play to slightly older (student) audiences. I attended one such children's concert last week in the small hall below the Salle Favart.
After an excellent spoken introduction by conductor Maxime Pascale, nine musicians from LE BALCON performed for a group of about 60 grade-school children. The atmosphere was extremely positive. The performers, all former students at the Conservatoire, played nearly flawlessly from memory with appropriate movements around the space. The children were mostly entranced with the spectacle. They occasionally clicked their tongues along with the players and could be heard singing the Michael Formula afterwards. Of course, when the 30-minute show was over, the children swarmed the musicians with questions about their instruments.
There was a good balance of humor, seriousness and beauty in the performance. These young folks really have something great going on in Paris. Many of them have studied with Kathinka and Suzanne in Kürten after 2011 (sadly, the last year I attended Kürten).
The performance plans for the opera-comique have not officially been announced yet, as far as I can determine. But, from what I gathered, the group is planning to have most of the orchestra on stage since there may not be enough funding for an extravagant production. However this is somewhat up in the air and I definitely can't say for sure what will happen at this moment.
I'm planning on heading back to Paris for the show in November. What I saw already was very encouraging. The BALCON musicians know their music, their movements, and their theater very well already. Based on what I saw, it's worth a trip, for sure!
This all sounds very exciting and thank you for updating us on the Paris plans Paul. Maxim also comes to Australia (where I live) quite often to conduct at one of our yearly new music festivals. He is such an energetic and exciting conductor and it is so good to see, as you have described, young musicians coming to Stockhausen's music with such vigour and respect, and especially exciting that children are discovering it as well. I am travelling to Kürten this year both for the courses at the end of July and then again in December for the Gedenkkonzert (and also to do some study in the Archives), so sadly it will be impossible for me to make another trip in November to Paris, but I hope to come for the BALCON performances next year, which might possibly also be coming to Australia, although that is not yet finalised either.
Thanks, Paul, for this information. So maybe November in Paris! I never heard Le Balcon live, but what we can listen to via Youtube from DONNERSTAG, sounds really very good. And that they performed parts from DONNERSTAG for children - marvellous! From a project of Wiener Taschenoper with Carlus Padrissa & Co I know what a challenge that is! So we hope for the best!
My understanding is that these performances of the complete DONNERSTAG aus LICHT by La Balcon are actually not on 18 November 2017, but rather will be in November 2018. There are performances of selections of the music for schools and families this year, but the full opera will not be performed until November 2018. It will be a quasi-concert performance. I, too, thought that it was on 18th November 2017, and almost booked flights to attend (very expensive from Australia!!), and was discussing this with the conductor, Maxime Pascal, and then I suddenly realised, when he said 'in November 18', that he meant November 2018. I was getting confused, because I had been speaking to one of the dancers, who said that rehearsals for the movements do not start until next year. So, we have a little longer to wait, I think!
I feel that it could be useful to have a discussion-forum on the music of Stockhausen. There are so many people from all over the world, young and old, learned and eager to get into contact with this musical world: musicologists, composers, musicians, music lovers; people who plan concerts - who write books or have to give lectures and so on. So there should be much stuff, many ideas that we can share. And when we have open questions, there may be people who studied just that and could give a hint or a stimulus.
A problem might be the English language, but i feel that is the only possibility that many people who are interested can participate. And we can exercise tolerance to mistakes!