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Les Fées du Rhin in Budapest
On 24 February 2018, Jacques Offenbach’s romantic opera Les Fées du Rhin ("Die Rheinnixen / The Nymphs of the Rhine") experienced its Hungarian first performance at the Budapest State Opera. The new production, which will be taken up again next year, is a harbinger of the events in honor of Offenbach’s 200th birthday in 2019.

Les Fées du Rhin was premiered in 1864 in a rather mangled version and afterwards fell pretty much into oblivion. The reconstruction and revival under the auspices of the Offenbach Edition Keck OEK not only brought a musical gem back to light, it also fundamentally altered the picture that one generally had until then of its composer. It became clear that throughout his life, Offenbach had attempted time and again to achieve fulfillment in the romantic genre, and was much more (or even: entirely different) than a master of musical social satire and frivolous travesties of legends.

Les Fées du Rhin tells a story from the time of the wars spawned by the Reformation – brutality, suffering, and delusional aberration are healed at the end through the intervention of nature spirits, and through steadfast love. In its anti-chauvinist, pacifist stance, composed from the perspective of a German composer who defected to the "hereditary enemy," Les Fées du Rhin is an extraordinary testimonial to European romanticism.

After the highly acclaimed revival at the 2002 Montpellier Festival, which was also recorded for CD, the work has been staged a number of times: in 2005 at the Slovenian National Theater (with performances in Ljubljana, Winterthur, St. Pölten, and Bolzano), that same year at Theater Trier, in 2006 at the Cottbus State Theater, and in 2007 at the Bremerhaven State Theater. The current new production at the Hungarian State Theater is directed by its artistic director Ferenc Anger and under the musical direction of Gergely Kesselyák. Further performances are scheduled for 25 February as well as 1 and 2 March 2018.

Stage productions season 2017/18
Orphée aux Enfers
Staatsoperette Dresden, Germany
(Stage director: Arne Böge; conductor: Andreas Schüller)
Reprise fr 09 Sep 2017

La Vie parisienne
Opéra National de Bordeaux, France
(Dir: Vincent Huguet; cond: Marc Minkowski)
Premiere: 23 Sep 2017

La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein
Gerhart-HauptmannTheater Görlitz-Zittau, Germany
(Dir: Steffen Piontek; cond: Ulrich Kern)
Premiere: 07 Oct 2017

Orphée aux Enfers
Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern, Germany
(Dir: Sebastian Welker; cond: Anton Legkii)
Premiere: 21 Oct 2017

Grand Théâtre de Genève, Switzerland
(Dir: Thomas Jolly; cond: Gergely Madaras)
Premiere: 03 Nov 2017
Take-over at Opéra de Rouen Normandie fr 26 Jan 2018

La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein
Theater Hof, Germany
(Dir: Ansgar Weigner; cond: Walter E. Gugerbauer)
Premiere: 22 Dec 2017

Orphée aux Enfers
Staatstheater Stuttgart, Germany
(Dir: Armin Petras; cond: Hans Christoph Bünger)
Reprise fr 22 Dec 2017

La Belle Hélène
Hamburgische Staatsoper, Germany
(Dir: Renaud Doucet; cond: Nathan Brock)
Reprise fr 25 Dec 2017

Les Fées du Rhin
National Theatre, Budapest
(Dir: Ferenc Anger; cond: Gergely Kesselyák)
Hungarian premiere: 24 Feb 2018

Komische Oper Berlin, Germany
(Dir: Stefan Herheim; cond: Clemens Flick)
Premiere: 17 Mar 2018


Introduction, Prière et Boléro
Camille Thomas, cello / Orchestre National de Lille / Alexandre Bloch
DG 47975205


Piano-vocal score (French)
236pp, paperback