Hans Werner Henze - Das verratene Meer
'I find myself increasingly occupied with matters of the human soul, its sublimation and spiritual abyss. Certainly my opera The Ocean Betrayed betrays this preoccupation. This music has been to Hades and back, with Monteverdi and myself. ‘Hans-Werner Henze based the story for Das verratene Meer (‘The Sea Betrayed‘) on Japanese writer Yuko Mishima‘s 1963 novel, Gogo no Eiko (‘The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea‘). The book offers an unsettling scenario' in which the struggle for normality is doomed to failure‘. A young widow, Fusako, falls for a merchant navy officer, Ryuji, creating tension with her son, Noboru, who belongs to a violent gang that will exact revenge on the widow‘s lover. Through symphonic interludes, the ‘angry, betrayed sea‘ becomes the drama‘s witness and its narrative voice in Henze‘s painfully dark and brutal opera.
Jaromir Weinberger - Frühlingsstürme
Czech-born composer Jaromír Weinberger, best known for his opera Schwanda the Bagpiper, was forced to flee to America in order to escape Nazi terror. Frühlingsstürme, staged in 1933 but soon closed down by the Nazi government, was the last operetta of the Weimar Republic. It is filled with cultural complexity, combining serious operatic style with light comedy, and presents a thrilling story involving a doomed love affair set against war between Japan and Russia. This lavish production is staged by the award-winning Australian director Barrie Kosky.
Hans Werner Henze - Die Bassariden
His opponent Pentheus is excellently sung by Russel Braun with carved diction and vocal focus. How Tanja Ariane Baumgartner and Vera-Lotte Böcker portray Agave and Autonoe is “an art of singing and playing of the highest order” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung).
Beethoven - Symphony No. 9 & Shostakovich: Symphony No. 13
Michael Sanderling, Dresdner Philharmonie, Torben Jürgens (bass vocal), MDR Rundfunkchor, Bernhard Berchtold (tenor), Kristina Stanek (alto), Vera-Lotte Böcker (soprano), Estnischer Nationaler Männerchor (RAM), Mikhail Petrenko (bass vokal)
Hans Werner Henze -
Der Prinz von Homburg
"Her soprano radiant and fresh, her top notes lovely, the awkward pitches in her vocal lines clearly and precisely placed, Vera-Lotte Böcker is marvellous as Natalie." - Opera magazine