Strauss: Die Frau Ohne Schatten
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Arthaus presents a rare document of an early nineties operatic highlight: the Japanese premiere of Wolfgang Sawallisch's last production at the Bavarian State Opera. The Company's tour of Nagoya and Tokyo in autumn 1992 under director and principal conductor Wolfgang Sawallisch was a particularly important event. Sawallisch was celebrating both the twenty-fifth anniversary of his first appearance as visiting guest conductor of the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo and his departure, after twenty-one years, from his two principal posts with the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. Sawallisch - an acclaimed interpreter of the music of Richard Strauss - chose Die Frau ohne Schatten to commemorate these anniversaries. Through the many years that Sawallisch had worked in Japan, he had developed a profound affinity with the country and its people and his respect for, and intimate knowledge of, the Japanese art scene made him choose a Japanese production team around director and kabuki actor Ennosuke Ichikawa for the new production. Reviews of the performances in Nagoya and Tokyo were likewise enthusiastic. Asahi headed:"The wondrous harmony of form and singing: The sensuality of stage lighting and colour that is cultivated in Japan, together with the sensuality of the actors' movements, harmonizes well with the European expressiveness of the music."
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