World Premiere in cooperation with the
Deutsche Oper am Rhein Duesseldorf-Duisburg
and Robert Schumann Hochschule for Music Düsseldorf 
Production: Michael Leinert
Conductor: Prof. Thomas Gabrisch
Stage design and costumes: Walter Perdacher.
Libretto: Michael Leinert after Chechov's novel.

Der Hund der Komtess Anastasia
Walter Perdacher's design


    Success in Duesseldorf:

    Jürg Baur's new Chamber Opera  after a short story by Chechov

   Libretto and production: Michael Leinert ; Stage design and costumes: Walter Perdacher

Review in: OPERA / London, March 2006 Vol. 57 No. 3

The 87year-old Jürg Baur, a native and resident of Düsseldorf, has just written his first opera. One of the stimuli was his link to the ROBERT-SCHUMANNKONSERVATORIUM, where the premiere was staged an November 24. In Michael Leinert's production a narrator related Chekhov's short story The Romance of the Double Bass; the eponymous instrument took a lead role in Baur's opera, Der Roman mit dem Kontrabass, with the 22-year-old Szymon Marciniak playing it fabulously.

Konzeptionsgespräch:  Bühnenbildner Walter Perdacher zusammen mit Regisseur Michael Leinert in München

On his way to a concert, the double bass player Smychkov goes for a swim in a river; he spots the lovely Anastasia, who has fallen asleep while fishing. They discover that their clothes have been stolen and they have to introduce themselves to one another in the buff. Smychkov offers Anastasia the case of his double bass to protect herself, but while he is transporting her, there is a mishap and the young couple lose touch. The melancholy nature of the finale is emphasized by Hermann Hesse's poem Im Nebel.

Baur's music deals sensitively with the action, using dissonant material largely for colour and engaging in emotionally wide-ranging harmonies. The rising generation of Düsseldorf singers coped excellently; the conservatoire orchestra, conducted by Thomas Gabrisch, did well; Leinert's production and Walter Perdacher's attractive, restrained sets were both inspiring and serviceable. A very pleasant addition to the repertoire.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            -Thomas Luys-


Photos: Eduard Straub, Germany

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