Stefan Herheim to open the 2012 Festival

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June 14, 2011

Stefan Herheim is regarded as one of the most significant and innovative opera directors of our time. Next year he will be opening the Bergen International Festival with the love drama Xerxes by Handel.

– With his analytical skills, creative imagination and deep musicality, Stefan Herheim has created ground-breaking performances that also reach a wide audience. We’re very happy that this guest performance from Komische Oper will be visiting the Festival next year, says Festival director Per Boye Hansen.

– For Den Nye Opera this collaboration with Stefan Herheim and the Bergen International Festival means that we can bring some of the world’s most exciting opera art to Bergen. We are looking forward to this production, says opera director Mary Miller. 

The performance will be shown 23 and 24 May 2012 and is presented in cooperation with Den Nye Opera.

The opera of Xerxes takes the famous Persian king as its starting-point, but is not about war and high-level politics. Instead Handel presents a typical baroque love drama with disguises, complications, desire and games.

– Xerxes is one of Handel’s most colourful and dramatic works, and shows people in the most extreme of situations. Few composers are able to create music that expresses greed for power, desire and jealousy, but also love, longing and sorrow, says the Festival director. 

The reviews of Stefan Herheim’s productions have been very positive. “He is successful in making the innermost nerve threads of the baroque opera come alive”, wrote the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter about Herheim’s production of the Handel opera Julius Cæsar.

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