Wiener Staatsoper To World Premiere ‘Orlando’

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Wiener Staatsoper)

On Dec. 8, 2019 the Wiener Staatsoper will present the world premiere of Olga Neuwirth’s opera “Orlando.”

The work, based on the novel by Virginia Woolf, was commissioned by Wiener Staatsoper Director Dominique Meyer in 2014 and will mark the first time the company collaborates with a female composer.

Written by Franco-American author and playwright Catherine Filloux and composer Neuwirth, “Orlando” is Virginia Woolf’s first big literary success which revolves around the central theme of interlocking gender identity, love and artistic creativity.

The new opera is set to be “in 19 scenes” with Neuwirth’s “music theatre opening a door into the realm of what has been simultaneously experienced, read and heard, of what is known and felt – in other words, into the realm of fiction shaped by memories.”

“Ever since I was a child I have been interested in everything from the arts to politics, from the sciences to architecture and human psychology (…) I have let myself be inspired by the small and big things that the world has to offer, by the wonderful diversity of life, and I see this reflected in ‘Orlando,'” Neuwirth noted in a press release. “For it is a love of oddities, of the paradoxical, the grotesque, virtuosity, exaltation and exaggeration that are the essence of this fictional biography, which aims to create a new morphology of a narration which is in a constant flow to create a fluid form.”

The production will include costumes by Rei Kawakubo, the legendary fashion designer and founder of the international fashion brand Comme des Garçons and will star Kate Lindsey, Constance Hauman, Anna Clementi, Eric Jurenas, and Agneta Eichenholz. Matthias Pintscher conducts Polly Graham’s production.

The world première of “Orlando” will be broadcast live on Radio Ö1 and the Dec. 18, 2019 performance will be broadcast in HD worldwide via on the company’s live stream service.