Sunday, 20 May 2018

Theater Basel | The Rake's progress

The rake's progress by Igor Strawinsky plays at the Theater Basel now, produced by Lydia Steier who already produced Donnerstag aus Licht by Karlheinz Stockhausen at the Theater Basel.
The Rakes progress is inspired by the copperplate Series "A rake's progress" by the British painter and engraver William Hogarth.
The opera tells us the story of the young Tom Rakewell, who is in love with Anne Trulove, but still seeks more in the world, he wants to become rich and famous and find a life full of luxury. When Nick Shadow shows up and offers his services, promising him a fortune when he follows him to London, Tom abandons Anne and follows Nick, not considering what the price for his services might be in the end.
He follows him into a world of glamour, crazy parties, art and money and the longer he is in this world the more he realizes that it can not fulfill him. Rather than going back to Anne he continues to search for more and the real purpose of his life, always following Nicks advice. Anne tries to save him but Tom gets lost more and more, he even marries the beardy turkish lady Baba and never doubts anything his friend and servant advises him, until he asks for his tribute - Tom's soul.
The opera is very impressive, colourful and powerful and the singers are fantastic. It mostly takes place in a huge frame that is set up on stage, a reference to the original copperplate series.
The mix of pop art and baroque elements makes the tragic story more colourful and entertaining.
There is so much attention to detail in this production and we liked it a lot.
The music was -as all the characters- very versatile and beautifully played by the orchestra of the Theater Basel, conducted by Kristiina Poska.

musical direction: Kristiina Poska
production: Lydia Steier
stage: Katharina Schlipf
coworker stage: Thomas Unthan
costume: Ursula Kudrna
light: Andreas GrĂ¼ter
choir: Michael Clark
dramatic composition: Pavel B. Jiracek

Andrew Murphy as TRULOVE
Hailey Clark as ANNE TRULOVE
Matthew Newlin as TOM RAKEWELL
Seth Carico as NICK SHADOW
Theophana Illiewa-Otto as MOTHER GOOSE
Eve-Maud Hubeaux as BABA THE TURK
Karl-Heinz Brandt as SELLEM
Flavio Mathias as KEEPER OF THE MADHOUSE

© picture: Sandra Then

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