Die Soldaten at the Royal Theater

The soldiers en el Real Teatrom

Die Soldaten at the Royal Theater

Die Soldaten at the Royal Theater

the Soldaten5

the Soldaten6

the Soldaten7



There are many artistic expressions that have tried to reflect one of the main features of the twentieth century in its most negative, the horror, aberration and evil man is capable of generating almost infinitely. And there have been many artists, tragically influenced by having lived firsthand the cruelty of World War II. One of them was the German composer Bernd Alois Zimmermann is, definitely, one that has best reflected the vivid violence.

Zimmermann received direct influences of the musical vanguard that was haunting Europe. Entre ellos Schoenberg, Bartok, Webern, Stravinski o Kagel. Die Soldaten has as great inspirational source Alban Berg's Wozzeck. Both start from the same literary origin, the play by Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz, poet and writer of the eighteenth century and one of the greatest exponents of Sturm und Drang movement. Lenz committed suicide with just 23 years after a troubled and full life imbalances. Zimmermann also ended up committing suicide, just five years after the premiere of Die Soldaten.

The similarities are evident Wozzeck, not only in the origin, Also in the musical structure and, as base, dodecaphonism. Die Soldaten is dotted with lyricism and jazzy moments. This mixture of styles Zimmermann called “pluralistic approach”, which it is nothing but a collage made up of different musical concepts and structures.

Upon entering the room we expected the projection of a giant portrait child. It is the innocence of the protagonist, Marie, before falling prey to the tragedy and the moral degradation of other characters. The girl will reappear at the end of the work, dead after a heartbreaking end that shows the annihilation of innocence in a sleazy and destructive world.

Behind the curtain a huge ready industrial architecture appears in several planes in which are housed the 120 Teachers Orchestra. All in uniform and militarized for the occasion. 18 drum sets and 25 timpani fall within this orchestral mechano thunder, which it occupies almost all of the stage dramatically, leaving little space for the singers in the place normally occupied by the moat. This provision so far from some instruments has led to its amplification with mixed results, because it ends up not listening, for example, the harp.

On the other hand, the proximity of the singers to the public creates an effect close-up that enhances the vocal result and, especially, theatricality. The fact that the singers are outside the visually director requires only have a repeater manager to input voices. A complicated task that Vladimir Junyent performs with reliability and precision.

It is not easy to create a work that produces stupor, restlessness, and unrest and tear, both, the feeling of having witnessed a colossal work. The unique and compelling description of human gap through a score and a booklet that has passed, to be an impossible work, to be one of the references of twentieth century music. All thanks to the joint effort and herculean all who participate.

The scenery of Bieito do not need in this production of the excesses that both like and characterize this controversial director, whether or not justified. This time, excessiveness of the work exceeds the set designer, that's saying. But any more hype would have collapsed scenery overload.

It has placed the orchestra on stage to give it the prominence it has, all. A music that literally crushes the characters by dragging them to exhaustion, using the instruments almost as ammunition in the middle of this musical and scenographic violence.

Pablo Heras-Casado gets a performance of extraordinary orchestra. The arrangement of the musicians makes his very complex work. Zimmermann included in this work all unimaginable difficulties taking it to the limit. The Heras-Casado himself warned: "Die Soldaten is the most extreme challenge that any musician can face". Listen this score is not easy, but getting materialize reading with a huge orchestra, He is fronting the work for the first time in the scenic provision has been raised, It is almost miraculous.

As for the vocal score, Die Soldaten is an extraordinary demand for its extreme tessitura. Susanne Elmark plays Marie. A complex and diabolical character in his vocal and interpretative difficulty. Starts being naive and a bit naughty to transform, as they move tragedies, a woman destroyed after being brutally raped and turned into prostitute of the soldiery. Elmark perfectly reflects the emotional and psychological depths of Marie. vocally impossible, Danish soprano gives everything on stage.

Leigh Melrose's Stolzius is the perfect replica for Marie. We could see recently in Britten's Gloriana and both shows his great vocal and dramatic ability.

Uwe Sticker brings to life a highly complex Desportes vocals, full of treble, Rushing to safely Sticker. He had a major role in this impossible score.

Julia Riley as Charlotte, Iris Vermillion as Mother of Stolzius and Noëmi Nadelmann as Countess de la Roche, They showed his good acting skills, in this work that requires best actors singers.

The surprise of the evening was the great Hanna Schwarz. This veteran interpreter, their 76 years, He filled the stage with his deep bass in an unforgettable performance. His characterization of the elderly mother of Wesener, connected to their serum to demonstrate the weakness of character, filled with concern the whole plot.

Stellar, once again, the choir Intermezzo, choir for the Teatro Real, under the direction of Andrés Máspero.

The musical language of this work is not for everyone, bold and adventurous ears are required, but these qualities can also be trained. That is why Die Soldaten is a necessary work, almost mandatory, and not well understood that there are still large audience that takes advantage of breaks to flee when they represent some of these contemporary operas. Patience has its rewards, and this premiere at the Royal Theater, it has been expected, but it's very worthwhile.

The soldiers

The soldiers (1965), considered in its day 'unrepresentable' for its complexity, demand and monumentality, It is a landmark in the history of twentieth-century opera and a huge challenge for a theater.

The Royal Theatre will offer 7 Opera functions between days 16 May and 3 of June, in a new production originally created by the Opera de Zúrich (September 2013) and the Komische Oper de Berlín (June and July 2014).

Scene address calixto Bieito not hide or disguise the harshness and violence of the opera, confronting the viewer with the senselessness, abjection, the horror and despair extolling wartime.

Pablo Heras-Casado It will be responsible for the musical direction of the very difficult score, written for 16 singers, 10 actors, dancers, choir, an orchestra with more than 100 ─ which it includes musicians and jazz band 13 percusionistas─, In addition to using chairs and tables as percussion, magnetic stripe, Sounds of War, projections, etc.

The Titular Orchestra of the Teatro Real It ─con characterized as musicians and soldiers wielding their instruments like armas─ play at center stage, with the performers acting on the moat, near the public.

In the ensemble cast of The soldiers It emphasizes the leading quartet with soprano Susanne Elmark (Marie), baritone Leigh Melrose (Stolz), the bass Pavel Daniluk (Wesener) and tenors Uwe Stickert Y Martin Koch, which turns on the interpretation of Desportes.

The 7 functions The soldiers They will alternate with 5 representations Street Scene, two operas that explore, from times, spaces and very different languages, the brutality of gender violence.

Inabarcable to deepen the musical and metaphysical richness of The soldiers, ─ there will be a colloquiumEnfoques─ he 9 of May, a lecture on the opera, he 11 of May, and brief presentation of the production, Prior to each function, Hand José Luis Téllez, also available online.

Functions The soldiers They are sponsored by the BBV FoundationA.

The premiere in Spain, the next 16 of May, from The soldiers, from Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970), coinciding with the anniversary of the composer is, definitely, one of the great landmarks of programming Bicentenary of the Royal Theatre.

Released in Cologne 1965, after a long and troubled gestation ─ and several adjustments to make viable the interpretation of the partitura─, The soldiers It has since become a benchmark in the history of opera, although the vast means needed to put on stage each new production become an artistic event.

Bernd Alois Zimmermann, that nation Bliesheim, Colonia, in 1918 within a bourgeois deeply Catholic family, He was forced to enlist in the army 21 years to participate in the Second World War, from which he emerged with lungs full of lead and deranged mind.

Su brief and intense carrera, suicide truncated by the 52 years, It developed in the turbulent times of war, when Europe, lacerated, He is trying to heal the wounds with walls and iron curtains.

Based on the work The soldiers, the visionary writer Jakob Lenz (1751-1792), champion of the Romantic movement storm and stress (Storm and momentum), Zimmermann uses the path of destruction of Marie, soldiers become a homeless prostitute, as a metaphor for moral and ethical degeneration of humanity to cross the threshold of endurance and the expressible: a terrifying journey to the darkest corners of the human being, inhabited by a monster that is excited with the perversity and rejoices with pain.

The soldiers rupturistas drinks from the musical currents of the second half of last century, Polarized in Darmstadt, but also of Western musical tradition, jazz, del pop, Of the radio, film and the technical possibilities offered direct recording and sound processing.

All that realizes The soldiers, a colossal 'collage' vertical and horizontal, Performing multiple layers, that part of a structure 12 notes (serialismo) structured by ─chacona recognizable musical forms, chopped, to research, nocturno─ associated with each of the 15 scenes and fed by an unlimited universe of sound, It is incorporating from Bach chorale and jazz rhythms to the sound of bombs and shrill cries of agony.

This radical and incomprehensible opera, classical theater that transcends boundaries weather ─las past scenes superimpose, present and futuro─; from place ─con actions (Up To Eleven!) simultaneous in different espacios─; and action ─con narrative drive permanent disintegration and recomposición─; He arrives at the Royal Theater in stark production conceived by calixto Bieito and released a huge impact on the Zurich Opera House in 2013.

Based on the guidelines Zimmermann, It is urging the orchestra and performers put on a central stage surrounded by the audience, Bieito placed the orchestra in the center of the scene, in an installation designed by scenographer Rebecca Ringst simulating a barracks where musicians 'armed' with their instruments are partakers of barbarism.

The public is summoned to contemplate scenes of barracks and attacks that are articulated and mingle with familiar staccato dialogue and vacuous military talks by screams and gunshots sprayed, in a mosaic painstakingly constructed with bursts of lives intertwined in a spiral leading inexorably into the abyss and stupor. Two hours of hard reality translocated to the stage: art not to die of truth.

The soldiers It was finally released in Spain, 53 years after its creation, without losing its cathartic strength and a disturbing today.


3, 8 Y 10 of May, of the 19.00 to 21.00 hours | Teatro Real, Sala Gayarre

monographic course The soldiers taught by Gabriel Menendez Torrellas

9 May at 20.15 hours | Teatro Real, Sala Gayarre

approaches: meeting with artists participating in The soldiers and Joan Matabosch, artistic director of the Teatro Real
11 May at 12.00 hours | Teatro Real, Sala Gayarre

ConferenceThe soldiers': quaver of a tragedy, by Arnoldo Liberman
27 May at 12.00 hours | Teatro Real, Great room

Chamber Sundays, by soloists of the Orchestra of the Teatro Real Owner
part I

Erwin Schulhoff: Duo for violin and cello
André Jolivet: Concerto for flute and string orchestra

part II
Benjamin Britten: Tear
Luciano Berio: Folksonges for voice and 7 instruments