Opera and Classical Music to Experience in Europe This Winter

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By Usa Express Daily

“Rusalka,” Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Feb. 4-22

Antonin Dvorak’s 1901 opera “Rusalka” hovers on the edge of the standard repertoire. The lyrical and soaring aria “Song to the Moon” is better known than the rest of this dark and symbolically rich adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid.” The Hungarian filmmaker Kornel Mundruczo directs the first new production of “Rusalka” at the Berlin Staatsoper in over half a century. The British maestro Robin Ticciati, music director of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, conducts the lush and frequently melancholy score.

“Animal Farm,” Wiener Staatsoper, Feb. 28-March 10

The Russian composer Alexander Raskatov’s “Animal Farm” arrives at the Vienna State Opera in late February, in a production by the Italian director Damiano Michieletto. Reviewing the work’s world premiere in Amsterdam earlier this year, Shirley Apthorp, the Financial Times’s opera critic, praised Raskatov’s “violent, compelling sound-world, percussive and angular, full of unpleasant truths” in this operatic setting of Orwell’s famed allegory of the Russian Revolution. The British conductor Alexander Soddy leads the work’s Viennese premiere.

Franz Welser-Möst and the Wiener Philharmoniker, Feb. 22-26

In the first of five February concerts with the Vienna Philharmonic, Franz Welser-Möst, the former general music director of the Wiener Staatsoper and longtime leader of the Cleveland Orchestra, tackles Mahler’s towering and elegiac Ninth Symphony at the Wiener Konzerthaus. On subsequent programs, performed in the Musikverein, the Austrian maestro leads the Viennese in works by Ravel, Hindemith, Schoenberg, Berg, Bruckner and Richard Strauss.

West Side Story, Volksoper Wien, Jan. 27-March 24

In late January, music by Leonard Bernstein will resound through Vienna’s opera houses. Shortly after the American director Lydia Steier unveils her “Candide” at the MusikTheater an der Wien, a new “West Side Story” arrives at the Volksoper, the city’s traditional operetta and musical stage on the other side of town. (The house’s other productions this season include “Die Fledermaus” and “Aristocats.”) For the director Lotte de Beer’s rendition of the quintessential American boy-meets-girl musical, performed in a mix of German and English, the Puerto Rico-born, New York-raised choreographer Bryan Arias updates Jerome Robbins’s classic dance moves.

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