As a boy Georg Nigl was a soloist with the Wiener Sängerknaben, later becoming a student of Hilde Zadek. Today he is internationally renowned as a specialist of early/baroque music and also as a highly proficient interpreter of contemporary music. He also regularly performs works of the late eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries. This season sees him in the title roles of Monteverdi’s L’orfeo at Teatro alla Scala, Wozzeck at the Bolshoi Opera and the Wiener Festwochen, and Peter Eötvös’s Die Tragödie des Teufels in its world premiere at the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich. He also continues his complete cycle of Bach Cantatas at the Wiener Konzerthaus and appears in recital at the Salzburger Festspiele and the Kölner Philharmonie.
If asked to name his favourite opera roles, Georg Nigl would respond without a moment’s hesitation: Monteverdi’s Orfeo, Mozart’s Pagageno and Berg’s Wozzeck, all of which exhibit genuine human qualities but possess inherent disfunctionality. Nigl’s ability to lend his highly expressive personality to these and other roles have resulted in recent successes at Teatro alla Scala, Staatsoper Berlin, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Festival Aix-en-Provence, Salzburger Festspiele and Wiener Festwochen.
Nigl’s interpretations of roles in contemporary opera have earned particular praise, for example Pascal Dusapin’s Faustus, The Last Night and Passion, and Wolfgang Rihm’s Jakob Lenz. On the opera stage the list of distinguished directors with whom Nigl has collaborated includes Andrea Breth, Frank Castorf, Andreas Homoki, Jürgen Flimm and Peter Mussbach. He has also performed under Daniel Barenboim, Daniele Gatti, Michael Boder, René Jacobs, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Jordi Savall, Thomas Hengelbrock and Giovanni Antonini.
Nigl’s extensive discography on the ECM, col legno and Naïve labels includes Richard Dünser’s Radek, Wolfgang Mitterer’s Im Sturm, Heiner Goebbels Landschaft mit Entfernten Verwandten and Pascal Dusapin’s Faustus, The Last Night (on DVD).
Highlights of recent seasons include Dusapin’s Passion at the Festival Aix-en-Provence, the Cité de la Musique in Paris and at the Holland Festival; Mercurio in Cavalli’s La Calisto at La Monnaie; and Schoenberg’s Von Heute auf Morgen at La Fenice.
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|Andreas Kriegenburg's Wozzeck: A true masterpiece|
|The plight of the introvert, stigmatised by society despite the many benefits of their contemplative natures and inner strength, is an important part of the contemporary Zeitgeist, but it is in fact nothing new. In the early to mid 20th century, fuelled by Freud and psychoanalysis, this concept was particularly strong, and fed into the works of artists of many different stripes, producing some of the greatest works of 20th-century opera.|
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|Wolfgang Rihm's Dionysos makes Nietzsche sing|
|Friedrich Nietzsche’s life was not that of an isolated contemplative but rather full of personal frustration, eventually ending in syphilitic madness. While his work has been often linked with music--most notably in his relationship with Wagner and Richard Strauss’s tone poem based on Also sprach Zarathustra--making his life into an opera may seem a dubious proposition. But that is exactly what Dionysos, a new music theater work by Wolfgang Rihm that is currently being seen at the Holland Festival, attempts to do.
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