Thu, Jun 20, 2013 - Page 11 News List

On 200th birthday, Wagner premiere wins over Moscow
華格納兩百年冥誕 歌劇莫斯科首演受歡迎

An actor and an actress perform in Richard Wagner’s opera Tristan and Isolde at the Novaya Opera (New Opera) in Moscow, Russia on May 24.
男女演員們五月二十四日在俄羅斯莫斯科新歌劇院,演出理察‧華格納的《崔斯坦與伊索德》。

Photo: AFP
照片:法新社

Two centuries after the birth of Richard Wagner (1813-1883), audiences in Russia are beginning to overcome decades of suspicion shadowed by the horror of World War II and embrace the music of the great German composer.

The Novaya Opera (New Opera) in the Russian capital Moscow scored a major triumph with a new production of Wagner’s blazingly intense opera of doomed love Tristan and Isolde that was, astonishingly, the Moscow premiere of one of the cornerstones of Western music.

The gaping absence of the opera first heard in 1865 is explained by both the huge technical demands of a piece that lasts almost five hours and the suspicion with which the German titan was held after the Soviet victory over Nazism in World War II.

“This has long been a dream of mine to present Tristan in Moscow,” the Novaya Opera’s British chief conductor Jan Latham-Koenig said. “Neither before, or after, did Wagner reach such levels of intensity in his writing.”

So far all three stagings of Tristan in Russian history have been in St. Petersburg at the Mariinsky Theatre.

The Russian premiere took place in 1899 and this was followed in 1909 with a staging by the legendary director Vsevolod Meyerhold, the innovative theater genius who was murdered in the Stalin purges.

The opera was never performed in the Soviet period (1922-1991) but in 2005 the Mariinsky’s director Valery Gergiev — one of the few Russian musicians to champion the music of Wagner — conducted a new production that is now rarely performed.

While Gergiev this summer will perform Wagner’s Ring tetralogy in St. Petersburg, the best known opera in Moscow, the Bolshoi, currently does not have a Wagner opera in its repertoire.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. suspicion n.

猜忌;懷疑 (cai1 ji4; huai2 yi2)

例: I had a strong suspicion that the paparazzi had secretly taken photos of the actress around the corner.

(我很懷疑狗仔就在某角落偷拍該名女演員。)

2. legendary adj.

著名的;傳奇的 (zhu4 ming2 de5; chuan2 qi2 de5)

例: Dave Brubeck, who passed away last year, is one of the legendary figures of American jazz.

(去年過世的戴夫‧布魯貝克,是美國爵士傳奇人物之一。)

3. flavor of the month idiom

受歡迎的人事物 (shou4 huan1 ying2 de5 ren2 shi4 wu4)

例: When it comes to online games, Candy Crush Saga may be the flavor of the month nowadays.

(「糖果大爆險」可能是當前受歡迎的線上遊戲之一。)


For Latham-Koenig, the reasons for Russia’s treatment of Wagner go back to the promotion by the Nazis of a composer adored by Adolf Hitler and lauded by the Third Reich as the standard-bearer of a new German music.

“There were the political considerations after the Second World War. Wagner was not flavor of the month after 1945,” he said.

Latham-Koenig said that this is the fifth occasion he has conducted Tristan and such was the importance of the Moscow premiere that “I would not be taking the responsibility if it was the first one.”

(AFP)

理察‧華格納(一八一三~一八八三)誕辰兩世紀後,俄羅斯觀眾正開始走出數十年來壟罩在二戰恐怖的陰影、放下心中的猜忌,開始接納這位偉大德國作曲家的音樂。

俄羅斯首都莫斯科的新歌劇院,剛推出華格納描述熾烈孽緣歌劇《崔斯坦與伊索德》的全新製作,這部堪稱西方音樂史上重要的作品,以驚世之姿在莫斯科首演,並大獲全勝。

這部一八六五年問世之作,之所以在俄羅斯舞台上銷聲匿跡一段時日,可以有以下兩個解讀:一是這齣長達五小時的歌劇有龐大技術上的需求;二是俄羅斯人對這位德國巨擘,在蘇聯於二戰打敗納粹主義後,所存留的陰影。

新歌劇院英國籍首席指揮簡‧拉森─柯尼格表示:「在莫斯科演出《崔斯坦與伊索德》一直是我的夢想。」他說:「華格納在譜寫這部作品時,其所投注的情感,達到一種過去與未來皆無能及的強烈程度。」

目前為止,俄羅斯歷史上的三場《崔斯坦與伊索德》,皆在聖彼得堡的馬林斯基劇院演出。

該劇一八九九年於當時的俄國首演。之後一九○九年由著名導演弗謝沃洛德‧梅耶荷德執導。但這位富有創意的劇場天才,卻在史達林的肅清運動中被謀殺。

這部歌劇自此未曾在蘇聯時期(一九二二~一九九一)演出。直到二○○五年,馬林斯基劇院總監瓦勒力‧葛濟夫,指揮一個今日已罕見的新製作。在俄羅斯音樂家中,葛濟夫是少見擁護華格納作品的音樂家。

在葛濟夫即將在今年暑假於聖彼得堡指揮華格納《指環》四部曲的同時,夙負盛名的莫斯科大劇院卻至今未有華格納歌劇的自製演出。

拉森─柯尼格認為,俄羅斯對於華格納歌劇(的抗拒),源自該作曲家因受到希特勒賞賜,大受納粹推崇,並且被「第三帝國」讚頌為德國音樂的代表。

他說:「在二戰後的政治考量下,華格納(的音樂)於一九四五年以後,不再受時下歡迎。」

拉森─柯尼格表示,這已是他第五度指揮《崔斯坦與伊索德》。因有過去指揮的經驗,他才得以勝任莫斯科首演。他說:「若這是我首度指揮該作品,我將不會接下此一重責大任。」

(法新社/翻譯:林亞蒂)

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