For ten years (2009-2019), with Aviel Cahn at the helm as artistic director, Opera Vlaanderen has charted an exciting and original artistic course. Now, as general director of the Grand Théâtre de Genève, he is embarking on a new artistic adventure. The concert that closes the 2018-2019 season symbolises not only a farewell, but also new horizons.
Under Aviel Cahn, the programme covered all but two works belonging to Wagner’s 'Bayreuth canon': Der Ring des Nibelungen and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. With Wotans Abschied und Feuerzauber (Die Walküre) and the sumptuous overture to Die Meistersinger, we can now savour these 'missing links' as a bonus. The programme will be supplemented by Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony, the Patetitsjeskaja simfonia (the Pathétique). Because Tchaikovsky died just nine days after the premiere of this symphony, it is often interpreted as his intentional valediction to life. Yet the elegiac and sombre finale of Tchaikovsky's highly dramatic and theatrical Sixth Symphony lends itself more to interpretation as the sorrow of mortality and transience than as a premonition of death.
This sublime Wagner-Tchaikovsky line-up will be conducted by a maestro who developed exceptionally close ties with the house during the artistic tenure of Aviel Cahn: the Russian maestro and former principal conductor of Opera Vlaanderen, Dmitri Jurowski, who has conducted Russian masterpieces here as well repertory titles such as Tristan und Isolde and Der Rosenkavalier and forgotten oeuvre such as Der König Kandaules. One of the most sought-after Wagner voices of the moment, the German baritone Thomas Johannes Mayer, will interpret the role of Wotan.