Staatsoper Stuttgart to Present Anna-Sophie Mahler’s ‘Pilgrimage with Messiaen’s Saint Francis’

By Afton Wooten

Photo credit: Matthias Baus

Anna-Sophie Mahler’s new production of Olivier Messiaen’s “Saint François d’Assise” will make its premiere at the Staatsoper Stuttgart on June 11.

The piece will be presented in an unconventional manner. The audience will be led on a journey from the opera house to the Killesberg open-air stage and back. The nearly four-hour opera becomes an “eight-hour communal experience.” Scene I – III will take place at the opera house followed by a trip via public transit to Wartbergpark in Stuttgart where the fourth scene can be heard on headphones as they travel by foot to the Killesberg open-air stage for scenes V and VI.  The final two scenes will take place on the Staatsoper stage.

American baritone Michael Mayes will make his title role debut. Beate Ritter, Moritz Kallenberg, Danylo Matviienko, Elmar Gilbertsson, Gerhard Siegel, Marko Špehar, Carlton Hines, and Anas Séguin are among the cast. Titus Engel, the 2020 “Conductor of the Year” leads the cast and Staatsorchester Stuttgart.

The remaining performances will take place on June 22 and 25, as well as July 2 and 9.

The audience will be led by trained guides for all travel. Comfortable and sturdy shoes are suggested. A rain plan has been put in place.