Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Der Freischutz (The Maskman), a German romantic opera by Carl Maria von Weber, will premiere at the HCM City Opera House this weekend.
The performance is a co-production of the HCM City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera (HBSO) and Goethe Institute in Việt Nam.
German director David Hermann has produced two operas in Việt Nam, including Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Johann Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus (The Bat).
The three-act Der Freischutz was composed in 1821 to a libretto by German dramatist Freidrich Kind. It premiered in the same year at the Schauspielhaus Berlin concert hall in Germany.
The opera is about a group of foresters who engage in a shooting contest. Max, an assistant forester, is forced to win the game if he wants to marry his love, Agathe, a daughter of Cuno, a forester.
Hermann’s version will be set in contemporary Việt Nam.
In the play, Max must win a game of billiards. Max agrees to accept the help of Kaspar, an unreliable character who is in league with the devil.
Kaspar persuades Max to use magic billiard balls that can help him win every game. There are seven magic balls. Some are used by Max, and some by Kaspar. But Max does not know that the seventh balls belonging to the devil.
The play will be sung in German and have dialogue in Vietnamese.
The performance will feature tenor Phạm Trang as Max and bass-baritone Đào Mác as Kaspar.
Agathe will be played by South Korean soprano Cho Hae Ryong on the first night and Phạm Duyên Huyên on the second night.
German conductor Askan Geisler, who worked with HBSO in the two operas The Magic Flute and The Bat, will lead the orchestra with the assistance of choirmaster Trần Nhật Minh.
The play’s choreographer will be Trần Nhật Minh, while Nguyễn Mạnh Duy Linh will be the stage manager.
The costume is sponsored by famous Vietnamese designer Quỳnh Paris, who has presented collections at fashion weeks in Việt Nam, New York and Los Angeles.
She designed the costumes for the opera and gifted them to HBSO.
Der Freischutz will be presented on July 28 and 29 at the Opera House at 7 Lam Sơn Square in District 1.
Tickets are available at the venue or at www.ticketbox.vn. — VNS