Slow-Motion Lehár: “Giuditta“ At Bayerische Staatsoper In A Staging By Christoph Marthaler

Kevin Clarke
Operetta Research Center
10 June, 2021

There are those who consider stage director Christoph Marthaler a genius, because he takes the speed out of stories and presents them like a trance. Which can be a wonder for some, or deadly boring for others. We’ll leave the personal verdict to you. After various excursions into the field of operetta – most notably with Grand-Duchess of Gerolstein in Basel – he now returns to the genre at Bayerische Staatsoper Munich with Lehár’s Giuditta.

Sheet music cover for Lehár's "Giuditta."

Sheet music cover for Lehár’s “Giuditta.”

The new production is part of Serge Dorny’s artistic vision as incoming intendant, replacing Nikolas Bachler. Mr. Bachler, in turn, had presented a new production of Aribert Reimann’s Lear staged by Marthaler.

The glamorous Lehár operetta, which originally premiered at the State Opera in Vienna in 1934 with superstars Richard Tauber and Jarmila Novotná, opens in Munich in 18 December with Gábor Káli conducting and Daniel Behle tackling the Tauber role. Always a daring enterprise, especially since Mr. Behle was a rather lackluster Lehár hero in Der Graf von Luxemburg in Frankfurt which is available as a CD and special because of the great conducting by Eun Sun Kim from Korea.