© Matthias Horn
Calixto Bieito will be recipient of the 2012 Franco Abbiati Prize for Best Direction by the Italian National Association of Music Critics for his mise-en-scene of Carmen at Teatro Massimo de Palermo in November 2011. Abbiati Prizes, Italy's most distinguished music awards, are given annually by the Italian National Association of Music Critics, comprised of Italy's more than 150 critics and journalists. The Prizes were established n memory of Italian musicologist Franco Abbiati (1898-1981) and music critic for Corriere della Sera. The Award Ceremony will be held May 29 at 5 pm in Bergamo, Italy (home city of Franco Abbiati)
Since it was first premiered in 1999 in the Festival de Peralada, Bieito’s version, which locates the action in the 70’s of the twentieth century in a military barrack in the border between Spain and Morocco, has been revived and produced in different cities through Holland, Ireland, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Colombia. Bieito also received the 2011 Lyric Award Teatro Campoamor for his staging of Carmen. In the spring of 2012, Carmen will be premiered in La Fenice of Venice, and in autumn in Teatro Regio in Torino and in London on a new production of the English National Opera.
Foto: Franco Lannino / Archivio del Teatro Massimo
Desaparecer was presented in the context of La Biennale de Venecia 2011. Later that year, it was showcased in MC93 Bobigny in Paris and it toured all around Spain. This is a show created and directed by Bieito himself upon Edgar Allan Poe’s poems and played by Juan Echanove and the singer and composer Maika Makovski. Currently, it is taking part of the 13rd Festival Iberoamericano of Theatre of Bogotá. It is going to showcase 5 shows between the 30th March and the 2nd of April in Teatro Gilberto Alzate Avendaño. First created 24 years ago and with an audience which exceeds two million and a half people, the Festival Iberoamericano of Theatre is one of the major cultural events in Latin America, and it showcases every single form of Performing Arts, as well as concerts, urban shows, ateliers and conferences.
Desaparecer was first opened up in Teatre Romea in July 2011, in the context of Grec Festival of Barcelona 2011, as a farewell to Calixto Bieito and his duty as the artistic director in Romea. It is a coproduction of BIT, Teatre Romea and Grec Festival in Barcelona 2011.
The international press said:
‘The fantastic plastic strength which derives from the set design and its unreal atmosphere impress for its perfect match with the mysterious writing from the American novelist.’ Toute la culture.com (París)
‘It derives an authentic poetry which traps.’ Martine Silber, Médiapart (París)
‘Bieito’s staging (…) is the fantastic reproduction in essence, from sense to madness.’ Gabriele Francioni, Kinematrix (Venece)
‘Maika is an excellent musician and singer. So is Juan Echanove (…) An exciting show.’ Maristella Tagliaferro, Leggo (Venece)
Ten years have passed since Bieito directed his highly acclaimed version of Calderon de la Barca’s Life is a dream in the Brooklyn Academy of Music, in New York. Now, he directs the most personal but least represented of the Tennessee Williams’ plays, Camino Real. Opened in 1953 in Manhattan, he did not achieved as much success with it as with his previous shows; this play is some kind of allegory inspired on the Divine Comedy which mixes up fictional characters with personalities from history and literature, such as Casanova, Quixote, Lord Byron and Maguerite Gautier, and he locates them in a city on the Mexican border, whose inhabitants await with anxiety and they are not capable of getting away from there. Bieito and his usual collaborator, the playwright Marc Rosich, have freely worked on text by adding some passages of Williams’ memories.
“I discovered that Williams saw ‘Camino’ as a kind of testament, a summation of all that he was thinking about for the theatre. He was a man who was fighting until the end — against himself, against his society, against his country, which he simultaneously loved and hated. And this play is so personal, complex and extremely tender. It has come closer to me than the work of Federico Garcia Lorca, or Ibsen, or many others I’ve directed. It is Williams’ version of Dante’s ‘Inferno’ — brutal, but also very fragile.”
Calixto Bieito has directed Der Freischütz (The Marksman), an opera in three acts with Carl Maria von Weber’s music and Friedrich Kind’s libretto in German, which is opening in the Komische Oper of Berlin. First opened in the Schauspielhaus of Berlin the 18th June of 1821 under the musical direction of the composer himself, Der Freischütz is regarded as the first great German romantic opera. The story line, which is based on a traditional legend about a devil in the woods who is capable of delivering magic bullets which always get right, tells the miserable story of the young hunter Max. He must win a good shot competition in order to marry Agata, the forest rangers head’s daughter of the kingdom of Bohemia. This opera also provoked the musical The Black Rider in 1990, with Tom Waits’ music and William S. Burroughs’ libretto.
Heinrich Heine wrote in 1822 in his Letters from Berlin, “Weber touches the raw nerve of his age: the desire for the terrible, which distracts from day-to-day fears and yet which still strikes the very core of fear in uncertain circumstances.” This has been Bieito’s starting point to find a psychological thriller in the libretto of Der Freischütz.
© Wolfgang Silveri
Bieito’s mise-en-scene of Carmen, by Bizet, has just premiered with success in Teatro Massimo in Palermo.
Since it was first premiered in 1999 in the Festival de Peralada (in a co production with the Zuid Opera of Maastricht), Bieito’s version, which locates the action in the 70’s of the twentieth century in a military barrack in the border between Spain and Morocco, has been revived and produced in different cities through Holland (Opera Zuid, 2000), Ireland (Opera Ireland, Dublin, 2002), Belgium (Flanders Opera, 2004) as well as in Madrid (Teatro Auditorio de San Lorenzo del Escorial, 2009), Barcelona (Gran Teatre del Liceu, 2010), and, now, the time has come for Italy. In December 2011, a brand new production will be opening in the Theatre of Basel, and, in 2012, it is going to be seen in Bogotá (Colombia), in the English National Opera in London, in Teatro Regio in Torino and in La Fenice of Venice. In the story of Carmen, Bieito encounters ‘a story of love and death and the first opera which meets a story of gender violence between a soldier and a woman who aims to be free above all.’
Foto: Franco Lannino / Archivio del Teatro Massimo
Calixto Bieito and composer Carles Santos gather up once again after the success of Tirant lo Blanc (2007) to create The great theatre of the world for Barcelona Internacional Teatre, a contemporary cantata based on Calderón de la Barca’s play and performed in German and Castilian by international artists. The opening will take place next Thursday 10th November in Germany, in Theater Freiburg. In the cast, there are singers such as the Catalan tenor Xavier Sabata or the Serbian mezzo-soprano Leandra Overmann alongside actors from the company of Theater Freiburg. Previous to the opening, there will be a meeting with the press in the theatre.
The great theatre of the world (1635) is Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s auto Sacramental and it is considered to be the masterpiece of this genre as well as being the maximum expression of the baroque aesthetic and one of the author’s best works. The text is based on the moralist and allegorical interpretation of the human life of the time: every person, from the King to the Poor, performs a play on the great theatre of the world. Bieito and Santos’ show, with Josef Mackert’s libretto (Head of Dramaturgy of the Theater of Freiburg) and Marc Rosich, co author alongside Bieito of the stage adaptation of Tirant lo Blanc, means a synthesis of the two big European baroque traditions: the Spanish, with authors such as Calderón, and the German, with composers like Haendel.
Regarding the fact of working again with Santos and Rosich on a brand new creation based on a classic of the Spanish literature, Bieito claims: ‘The show will differ much from Tirant lo Blanc. This was a Mediterranean party, very sensual, whereas Calderón’s text comes straightforward from the deep Spain and it is much more severe. It will be a great liturgy about the meaning of life, with hints of humour, yet with a tragic sense too. The music will have an important role in here: Santos has composed many scripts and operatic arias. The Mortals have spoken roles, in German most of the time; God, the World and the Child express themselves by singing in Castilian.
Foto: M. Korbel
The Flanders Opera, the most important cultural institution in Flanders, opens up the season 2011-2012 under the motto “A new world’ with The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, with Bertolt Brecht’s script and Kurt Weill’ music, and under the artistic direction of Calixto Bieito. This is a coproduction with Oper Graz.
Bieito places the action of this biting satire on capitalism in a beach campsite (giving a cunning wink to the city he lives in, Castelldefels). By doing so, he reduces the huge city of Mahagonny to a small site of amusement where the most elemental and animal misfortunes of the human being flow in a satirical and cynical sort of way “as in the Springfield of Hommer Simpson.” Bieito, who declares having taken inspiration on the sense of humor of Monty Phyton, has aimed to build up a cruel divertimento about the intrinsic evil of man. “I am tired of listening to the daily news concerning the economic crisis. It is obvious that money is very important, but money itself does not exist anymore in reality, there is just plastic left for us, and the banks, which used to be sacred temples, have turned into hospitals for the greedy.”
Under the musical direction of Yannis Pouspourikas, the soprano Noëmi Nadelmann and mezzo-soprano Leandra Overmann will be returning to the Flanders Opera. The role of Jim Mahoney is in the capable hands of John Daszak, who is one of the most celebrated tenors at work today.
Premiere Ghent | 21st September
Premiere Antwerp | 5th October
Dramaturgy & Direction by Calixto Bieito based on texts by Edgar Allan Poe. Music composed by Maika Makovsky. Spanish translation of Poe’s tales by Julio Cortázar
Calixto Bieito has created Disappear as a farewell to Teatre Romea, where he has been the artistic director for eleven years.
Disappear is based on Edgar Allan Poe’s work and it is presented to the audience in word and in music. Juan Echanove’s outstanding performance and Maika Makovski’s heartily music, which she has composed from Poe’s verses, unfold how the evil attracts the human being and how the loneliness can drag out thoughts and unmentionable attitudes. The Black Cat, The Raven or Ms. Found in a Bottle, among others, and the music adaptation of Poe’s poetry transport us throughout this journey to the unmentionable side of the human brain.
After it has been exhibited in Barcelona, the show will start international tour at La Biennale in Venice in October 2011.
Bieito is the artistic director of Barcelona Internacional Teatre (BIT), a brand new platform for the show creation with an international production, equipment, circuit and funding. According to Bieito, BIT emerges from “The need to channel a substantial part of the artistic drives of Barcelona, which is an extremely important cultural capital in Southern Europe and whose artistry is very often diluted and the need to create a framework in which these synergies can materialize and develop in a free and creative manner and, in short, the cultural relations between people and creators from diverse locations and disciplines.” Bieito also has a Board of Advisers made up of Sir Brian McMaster, Patrick Sommier, Josep Ramoneda and Gerardo Vera.
BIT is an initiative by Grup Focus under the direction of Borja Sitjà, an expert in international collaboration in the field of the performing arts. The very first partners of this project are: Theater Freiburg, Birmingham Repertory Theatre (The Rep), Barbican Center (London), Baryshnikov Arts Center (New York), Betty Nansen Teatret (Copenhagen), Bergen International Festival (Norway), Centro Dramático Nacional (Madrid), MC93 Bobigny, Schauspiel Stuttgart, Teatre Romea, National Theater Mannheim (Germany), Teatro San Martín in Buenos Aires and Young Vic Theatre (London).
In his new production Opera director Calixto Bieito confronts a moralistic reflection on life itself: Georg Friedrich Handel’s oratorio Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno – The triumph of Time and Disentchantment premieres on Saturday May 28, 2011 at the Staatsoper Stuttgart. The opera is conducted by Sébastien Rouland, an expert on the 17th and 18th century’ s operatic repertory.
Handel wrote his musical work at the beginning of his life as a composer at the age of 22 in Rome, a city then considered as one of the musical oratorio’s spiritual centers. The story is based on the four allegories Bellezza (Beauty), Piacere (Amusement), Tempo (Time) and Disinganno (Disentchantment). Bellezza pledges eternal loyalty to Piacere who eulogizes Bellezza’s merits – until Tempo and Disinganno succeed in convincing Bellezza of their own superiority. Calixto Bieito depicts the four allegories as real characters: the woman Bellezza believes in her eternal beauty. Estranged from her lover Tempo, she seeks solace in Piacere, but is then forced to confront Disinganno, Tempo’s former love interest. “A highly up-to-date metaphor for the world in general” is Calixto Bieito ’s conviction of the ensuing philosophical discourse. His interpretation of Handel’s composition shows humankind with its deepest hopes, dreams and fears, who finally looks back on life with humility. Susanne Gschwender (stage design) and Anna Eiermann (costumes) have placed that complex arrangement of entangled relationships in a transitory world, where the merry-go-round – symbolizing the flow of life – continues to create new constellations of time and space.
Calixto Bieito has been awarded with the Premi Ciutat de Barcelona 2010 (Barcelona City Prize 2010) on International Scope for his outstanding and successful work on the international stage throughout his career, especially on 2010, a year in which he staged opera and theatre productions in Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark and Argentina. The jury of the prize, which is given by the Institut de Cultura de l’ Ajuntament de Barcelona (Barcelona’s City Hall Culture Institute), has also highlighted Bieto’s capacity to disseminate Barcelona Theater and his professionals all around the world.
© Manel Socias
Film director Vadim Jendreyko’s documentary The Singing Town (Die Singende Stadt) about the development of a new production staged by Calixto Bieito at the Staatsoper Stuttgart opens in the cinemas. In Stuttgart, the film is launched on January 20, 2011 at the cinema "Atelier am Bollwerk". Simultaneously, the film opens in Freiburg at the cinema "Harmonie", in Mannheim at the "Odeon", in Karlsruhe at the "Schauburg" and in Heidelberg at the "Gloria" whilst nationwide the documentary’s launch is set on February 10, 2011.
Swiss director Vadim Jendreyko, whose documentary The Woman with the 5 elephants was nominated for the German Film Awards 2010, based his film project around stage director Calixto Bieito’s Parsifal production in March 2010. By following the wake of the various rehearsing processes, Jendreyko was able to immerse into the complex universe of a large opera house, thereby observing all the participants and their daily work closely. For 12 months Vadim Jendreyko together with co-screenwriter Thiemo Hehl and cinematographer Lothar Heinrich accompanied the various stages of rehearsal: at the end 120 hours worth of film material had accumulated, waiting to be edited.
The 90 minute long documentary captures engaging moments – intensely fascinating, occasionally comical, but always humane snapshots of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. The film stays firmly in the lee of Calixto Bieito’s working style and lets itself be pulled along by the creative and human dynamics of all participants whilst finding moments of peace and quiet by focusing on the detailed work in the workshops and work areas off the epicentres.
The documentary was produced by Filmtank GmbH in cooperation with Staatsoper Stuttgart, co-produced by ZDF/3sat and supported by MFG Filmförderung Baden-Württemberg. The Parsifal production is back on the Staatsoper stage from March 6 onwards. Calixto Bieito’s next project in Stuttgart is G.F. Handel’s Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno and will open in Stuttgart on May 28, 2011.
Calixto Bieito directs a new production of his version of Calderon de la Barca’s Life is a Dream opening at Teatro San Martin in Buenos Aires in July 2010.
For further information www.teatrosanmartin.com.ar
Further information: STAATSOPER STUTTGART
Andrew Richards as Parsifal. © Martin Sigmund
Calixto Bieito rehearses Parsifal. © Martin Sigmund
Bieito is also the author, along with Philipp Berweger, of the set design which includes a real plane above the stage. The musical direction is by Gabriel Feltz.
This is the 4th show that Calixto Bieito presents with great success at Theater Basel, following the operas Don Carlo, by Verdi in 2006 and Lulu, by Alan Berg in 2009, besides an anthology of Spanish operettas, Pasión, staged in collaboration with Joan-Anton Rechi in 2008.
This is also the second time Bieito stages an opera by Janácek. Bieito premiered Jenúfa at Stuttgart Theater in 2007 and at Weimar National Theater in 2008.
Calixto Bieito, Artistic Director of Teatre Romea in Barcelona, was awarded this summer at Basel with one of the European Culture Awards, granted by the Pro-Europa foundation, because of his innovative contribution to operatic field.
Theater Basel has been chosen "Opera house of the year 2009" by prestigious German magazine Opernwelt.
Calixto Bieito stages the classical opera Armida, for the Komische Oper of Berlin. The premiere took place in April, 2009.
Armida, heroic opera in five acts, of the great innovator of classical opera (XVIII century) - Christoph Willibald Gluck.
This is the third production of Calixto Bieito at the Komische Oper. Previously he directed in Berlin The Abduction from the Seraglio by Mozart in 2004 (with several revivals) and Madama Butterfly by Puccini, in 2005, which is still in the repertoire of Komische.
For further information:
Photo by David Baltzer