Saturday, 9 August 2014


Sometimes a little jealousy, despite being a deadly sin, in the guise of flattery, is good. Hans Schavernoch deserves complete and utter admiration for his set in The Salzburg Opera House for Strauss's opera Rosenkavalier, part of the Salzburg Festival. Talented, stunning, the set honestly touched me. The photography, video design  combined the poetry, music, the story and made us enter the stunning world of these people. The story remains the same, man in love with a woman, who is too old, but has great love for him,  gives him to a younger woman. There is real expertise, to keep us all awake in our chairs, in what could be a very long opera despite its brilliant musicality, is of course topped off by the excellent singing by  Sophie Koch.  Franz Welser-Most's conducting takes us through the trials and tribulations of the story, and keeps the whole evening alive.  Of course I am a lover of Strauss, The four last songs, Elektra and my favourite Salome which I once saw with the wonderful Behsat Ahmet who helped me with my film, The gun the cake and the butterfly. The Amadeus Week end in Salzburg is definitely the place to be, and where music is at its best. It is the brainchild of Eva O'Neill and she does it so well. I was so happy to be included. With Il Trovatore with Anna Netrebko, everything was extraordinary but in any case these wonderful young singers will be the stars of the future, I saw that last night. The talent and energy is there.


The Salzburg Festival has so many operas on at one time, and quite frankly I am as happy seeing students as professionals. Sometimes more so. The students have a passion that is lost often in mainstream opera, which is why it is not as popular as it should be. The Magic Flute two days ago is one such example, put on  by the brilliant Franco American Vocal Academy, FAVA, the group is truly worth catching if you can.  Their mission is to give expert tutoring to young talent under the guidance and directorship of the energetic and imaginative William Lewis. I know about it because my son Charles Eliasch is often included in their programme. This time he plays Papageno in The Magic Flute and in Bastien ind Bastienne he plays the part of Herr Colas, weaving his magical wand over the audience making us all squeal with laughter. Others were brilliant too, Brandon Dale has a promising voice, but I don't want to mention individuals as they were all good, just some were excellent. My son  Charles loves theatre and opera. Youth has life, and although the performances maybe young, there is spirit of adventure in the students demeanour that  I love.
Of course they don't have the resources to be able to benefit from Hans Schavernoch's set, but hopefully one day, as the students make the hills come alive around the ancient city of Salzburg.


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