I recently enjoyed a wonderful experience conducting Verdi’s Otello in Germany.
There is no doubt that Germany is considered to be a leader in the world of opera. There are numerous high level fully professional opera companies in Germany. While I have conducted in several different countries and for many companies across North America, this was my first experience conducting in Germany. I certainly was not disappointed. The quality of the production was very high, with a brand new production (sets, costumes, lighting) which was modern and clever. The professional chorus was terrific and the orchestra was an absolute joy to work with. They clearly enjoy playing for the opera and display an excellent collaborative spirit.
The principal singers were of a high quality as well, comprising mainly those that work at the theatre on a regular basis and the cast included a terrific guest artist, Marc Heller, in the extremely demanding role of Otello. These singers work hard with very long hours. There is much to be learned through their excellent work ethics.
The music staff were all amazing. Truly fabulous pianists, coaches and assistant conductors most of whom speak several languages fluently. In that sort of environment one may expect a culture of backstabbing but this was far from the case. Every single one of these people were fabulously supportive and helpful. I could not have imagined a better team.
The office staff as well are highly competent and friendly. My sincere congratulations to the wonderful people at Theatre Erfurt and my admiration for their Chief, Guy Montavon who is a fabulous Stage Director and an inspired leader. It was a great pleasure for me to be part of this amazing team.