Operetta Research Center
11 September, 2014
Did you know that the word „zapping“ comes from Wild West times and originally meant shooting down your opponent? Today, it mostly refers to the way we watch TV; or anything else, including operetta. Looking at the program of the season’s opening concert at the Musikalische Komödie Leipzig, you could think that the person who put it together must be a sworn “zapper,” or on speed. It’s certainly not every day that you get Weber’s Freischütz (five numbers!) mixed with Mariah Carey, the Russian ballet Don Quichotte by Minkus with Benatzky/Charell’s Im weißen Rössl. And as a grand finale, one of the most famous DDR operetta titles, In Frisco ist der Teufel los (1962).
Yes, that’s what will be on offer this Friday and Saturday, at 7.30 pm in Leipzig. The title of the concert is Ich bin, was ich bin (“I am what I am”), a nod at La Cage aux Folles, which is also included. In addition, there is the musical Sekretärinnen. Another „zap“ in the arrangement.
From an operetta perspective, getting two numbers from Frisco – the famous “Seemann” song and the Finale II – is a treat, because this work by Guido Masanetz is being completely ignored by the West-German operetta scene, and it is hardly remembered by the former East-German theaters. Not so in Leipzig, though. This concert highlight with Frisco will be a celebration of Masanetz’s 100th birthday earlier this year. Then, next year the Musikalische Komödie will offer the complete Frisco in a concert version. Save the date: 27 June, 2015!
There is the faint possibility that Mr. Masanetz might show up in Leipzig too, if his health permits the journey from Berlin. In any case, it’s great to know that someone somewhere is giving these once popular socialist shows a second chance so that a next generation can discuss the merits of post-WW2 operetta and compare the DDR works to what happened in the West. (Not much, as you might remember.)
The concerts this week will be conducted by Stefan Diederich and Tobias Engeli, soloists are Lilli Wünscher, Nora Lentner, Sabine Töpfer, Radoslaw Rydlewski, Jeffery Krueger, Milko Milev, Kostadin Arguirov, Fabian Egli, Michael Raschle, Patrick Rohbeck. Apart from the chorus and orchestra of the Musikalische Komödie, there is also the ballet. And, you get Patrick Rohbeck as your Master of Ceremonies. For all we care, “zap” away through operetta history. And if a little bit of Carl Maria von Weber gets thrown together with Mariah and Jerry Herman, we have no problem with that at all; on the contrary. Welcome to the 21st century.
For more information and tickets, click here.