2011 Bard SummerScape Festival Enriches Exploration of “Sibelius and His World” with NY’s First Fully-Staged Production of Die Liebe der Danae
Reviving an important but rarely performed opera is one of the ways the Bard SummerScape festival paints a nuanced portrait of the past, and this year’s exploration of “Sibelius and His World” is no exception. This year, Bard presents the first fully-staged New York production of Die Liebe der Danae (The Love of Danae, 1940), by Sibelius’s contemporary Richard Strauss. The production, starring soprano Meagan Miller, a grand finals winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, will be directed by dynamic young opera and theater director Kevin Newbury, both making SummerScape debuts. The opera’s five performances (July 29 & 31; August 3, 5, & 7) feature the festival’s resident American Symphony Orchestra and music director Leon Botstein, whose 2001 Telarc recording of the work won high praise; Botstein gives a free Opera Talk before the July 31 performance. This summer, Bard also presents nine performances of Noël Coward’s nostalgic operetta Bitter Sweet (1929) from the creative team behind last year’s production, The Chocolate Soldier – conductor James Bagwell and arranger Jack Parton – with director Michael Gieleta (August 4–14).