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"A Masked Ball" as a hallmark for Eutin's opera.

Director Dominique Caron has set her sights high: "This will be the last production of my tenure in Eutin. It will be an impressive visiting card for the opera at the festival."

The opera ensemble of the Eutin Festival met for a conceptual discussion on the rehearsal stage.
The opera ensemble of the Eutin Festival met for a conceptual discussion on the rehearsal stage.

Director Dominique Caron has set her sights high: "This will be the last production of my tenure in Eutin. It will be an impressive visiting card for the opera at the festival."

Dominique Caron has chosen a cast for this task, whose artistic quality she praised to the skies at a press conference on 17 June. Literally: "I am happy that wonderful singers have promised me for the demanding roles. Most of them even make their debut here in Eutin with their masquerade ball games. I'm really looking forward to working with them."

This is especially true for Hilary Griffiths, the musical director of "Maskenball". Caron: "The two of us were able to work well together for the first time at the 2018 Gala Evening. It was my wish to have this experienced conductor by my side at the opera this year as well".

Hilary Griffiths has already been on the podium in Cologne, Oberhausen, Hanover, Prague, Hong Kong and Tenerife during his long career with Verdi's "Un ballo in maschera". And in 2002 in Eutin, in the second production of this opera after 1961 in the long history of the festival. Griffiths still remembers the circumstances 17 years ago: "The dress rehearsal had to be stopped because part of the set was torn away by the stormy gusts! Nevertheless, the piece is very suitable for the open-air stage, especially the 2nd act, which takes place outside on a lonely hill. I especially love the ensembles and the grandiose closing scene in this opera."

With Hale Soner as Page Oskar, the Turkish singer returns to the lake stage, which enchanted the audience in 2018 as Violetta in "La Traviata". Since 2013 ("Carmen") the mezzo-soprano Milana Butaeva has performed several times with great success at the festival. This time she will embody the fortune teller Ulrica. For the first time the soprano Signe Ravn Heiberg from the Lüneburg Theatre will be the Amelia courted by the Swedish monarch.

For the male leading roles Dominique Caron has mainly engaged new singers at the Seebühne. The role of the king is performed by the Greek tenor Angelos Samartzis, a permanent member of the Saarländisches Staatstheater since 2017. The assassin Count Ankerström is played by chamber singer Tomohiro Takada from Kiel, other solo parts are performed by Milcho Borovinov (Bulgaria), Philip Björkqvist (Finland) and Junggeun Choi (South Korea), who won the Festival Prize at the Maritim Singing Competition in 2018.

In her production Dominique Caron can rely on the assistance and choreography of Olaf Reinecke. Jörg Brombacher is responsible for the stage design, Martina Feldmann for the costumes. Rolf Essers is responsible for the lighting and Anna-Luise Hoffmann for the production management. Romely Pfund conducts the immensely important choir in the "Maskenball"; the répétiteur is Francesco de Santis again.

The only question that remains for the director is how she wants to stage this Verdi opera on the lake stage? Dominique Caron smiles: "Music has its own power. I'm just trying to counter the work with its identity. My aim is always to give people joy in the festival. If this succeeds, I can be proud of what I leave behind in Eutin".

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

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