Hardly any German city can boast as great and vibrant a musical tradition as Leipzig. Clara and Robert Schumann, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Johann Sebastian Bach, Richard Wagner, Edvard Grieg, Gustav Mahler and many more left behind a rich musical heritage that is ubiquitous to this day. One of the great composers, Richard Wagner, was born in Leipzig in 1813, where he received composition lessons and honed his craft as a musician in the city. Leipzig Opera has always felt committed to his oeuvre, enjoying great success with its performances in the composer’s home town and abroad.
On 1 and 2 March 2019, Oper Leipzig will present Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser und der Sängerkrieg auf Wartburg at the Hong Kong Arts Festival. Wagner’s “great romantic opera” focuses on a central theme of life that was of equal importance to both the man and the artist: it is the conflict between love and lust, individual and society, art and politics, and the unconditional will to eliminate these contrasts in works of art. The musical direction will be in the hands of the General Musical Director of Oper Leipzig, Professor Ulf Schirmer.
The production is directed by Catalan director Calixto Bieito. Trapped between reality and illusion, the Minnesinger Tannhäuser pines for artistic freedom, although this is denied him by social constraints. Bieito takes up Richard Wagner’s fundamental idea, which sees the artist rebel against the rigid shackles of convention of a society that has become soulless and runs counter to human nature.
“It is a particular pleasure and honour for us to be a guest at the Hong Kong Arts Festival with Richard Wagner's Tannhäuser,” emphasises Professor Schirmer. Information: https://www.hk.artsfestival.org/en/programmes/opera-oper-leipzig-wagners-tannhauser/ and www.oper-leipzig.de