Event has already taken placeThis may be the season’s most grand project: Stravinsky’s neoclassical The Rake’s Progress, conducted by Barbara Hannigan – a captivating operadrama about a loser’s rise and fall.
Stravinsky’s opera premiered in Venice in 1951, and has since become a firm favourite in the opera repertoire of the 20th century. No wonder – the story of the rake looking for beauty, pleasure and wealth, forsaking his love for Anne to reach his goals, is as current now as it ever was.
The story takes place in 18th century London among tricksters and ladies of the night. Bearded lady Baba the Turk plays a dangerous game that ends dramatically at an asylum. The Rake’s Progress had its Swedish premiere at the Royal Swedish Opera in 1961, directed by Ingmar Bergman. The moral of the piece is: “For idle hearts and hands and minds, the Devil finds work to do.”
12 december the doors closes at the start of the concert, since the concert is filmed. Delayed audience will be let in during the break after about 1 hour 15 min.
In this unique and refined staging, director Linus Fellbom invites the audience to a journey in time and space, from a distant future to the present day, and on to 18th century London. An experience of the moment where a strange box opens its walls toward different destinies – all under the supervision of conductor Barbara Hannigan.
A love story
The Rake’s Progress is a labour of love for Barbara Hannigan, who has sung the role of Anne Truelove many times at the big opera houses. The young singer soloists were picked in 2017 at international auditions in Stockholm, Zürich, Paris and London, as part of Barbara Hannigan’s mentoring programme Equilibrium. The whole project and the concerts will be filmed for a TV documentary, here is a first trailer from the documentary:
Stravinsky The Rake's Progress
The Gothenburg Symphony, called "one of the world's most formidable orchestras" by the Guardian, has toured the USA, Europe, Japan and the Far East and performed at major music centres and festivals throughout the world. Chief conductor is Santtu-Matias Rouvali who started his tenure in 2017. Kent Nagano has been principal guest conductor since 2013. Already at the orchestra's very first years, the great Swedish composer Wilhelm Stenhammar was appointed principal conductor, contributing strongly to the Nordic profile of the orchestra by inviting his colleagues Carl Nielsen and Jean Sibelius to conduct their own works.
Subsequent holders of the post include Sergiu Comissiona, Sixten Ehrling and Charles Dutoit. During Neeme Järvi's tenure (1982-2004), the orchestra became a major international force. In 1997 it was appointed the National Orchestra of Sweden. The list of prominent guest conductors has included Wilhelm Furtwängler, Pierre Monteux, Herbert von Karajan, Myung-Whun Chung, Herbert Blomstedt and Sir Simon Rattle. The orchestra also runs extensive concert projects for children, and regularly releases digital live concerts free on www.gsoplay.se.
The orchestra has issued over 100 recordings on BIS, Deutsche Grammophon, Chandos, Farao Classics and several other labels, including the complete orchestral music by Grieg and the complete symphonies of Sibelius, Nielsen, Stenhammar and Atterberg, and most recently orchestral music by Richard Strauss. The Gothenburg Symphony is owned by the Region Västra Götaland.
Barbara Hannigan Conductor
Willam Morgan Tom Rakewell
Aphrodite Patoulidou Anne Truelove
John Taylor Ward Nick Shadow
Kate Howden Baba the Turk
Erik Rosenius Father Truelove
Göteborgs Symfonikers Vokalensemble
Linus Fellbom Regi och ljusdesign
Anna Ardelius costume designer