The OPERA and Forte Company present Bach pieces in a joint production
Featuring soloist István Kovács and the Hungarian State Opera Orchestra conducted by Péter Halász, the OPERA presents Cross Cantatas staged by Csaba Horváth borrowing elements from physical theatre. The new production premieres on 26 March 2022 at the Eiffel Art Studios.
Although Johann Sebastian Bach never wrote an opera, the vocal portion of his oeuvre is permeated with a profound understanding of and remarkable feel for dramaturgy. After a staging Celebration of Joy, a performance based on Bach's secular cantatas in 2018, Cross Cantatas was due to be presented in the 2019/20 season. However, due to the pandemic, the premiere of the piece compiled from Christian cantatas can only take place in 2022.
Following a concept by general director Szilveszter Ókovács, the performance that takes place at the new Eiffel Art Studios, home to experimental productions, is based on three cantatas Bach whose central motif is the cross and the bearing of the cross. The cantatas Christ lag in Todesbanden, Ich habe genug, and Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen can be heard in German and Hungarian, translated by János Lackfi and performed by István Kovács.
Choreographer and director Csaba Horváth and his 16-member Forte Company (founded in 2005) strives to capture the faith exuding from Bach's pieces as well as the inner spirituality resonant of a medieval approach to life: after the wandering amidst the suffering of this world, only death can bring eternal piece. The production's moving sets were created by Zoltán Kalászi and Benedek Kristóf Kiss, the costumes were designed by Mari Benedek.
The performance features musicians of the OPERA Orchestra on modern instruments including strings, three oboes, a harpsichord and an organ, and every day, a different church choir appears in the production conducted by Péter Halász and László Bartal (8 April).
Cross Cantatas premieres on 26 March 2022 at the Eiffel Art Studios, further performances take place on 27 March and 2, 8, 16, 18 April.