|Stage Direction | Lighting Design||Sebastian Ritschel|
|Musical Director||Basil H. E. Colemann|
|Set Design | Costume Design||Heike Mirbach|
|Dramaturgy||Swantje Schmidt-Bundschuh | Ronny Scholz|
|Premiere||14.04.2012 | Landestheater Niederbayern|
|Graf Theodor Waldner||Nikolaus Meer|
|Zdenka||Mandie de Villiers-Schutte|
|Graf Elemer||Albertus Engelbrecht|
|Graf Dominik||Oscar Imhoff|
|Graf Lamoral||Konrad Peschl|
|Eine Kartenaufschlägerin||Elisabeth Immelman|
Previews April 14 2012
Michaela Schabel – Mittelbayrische Zeitung
Behind the cold front blaze the feelings
[...] With backwards tilted glass fronts Sebastian Ritschel's production locates Richard Strauss's lyrical opera "Arabella" timeless and yet, here and now: in an increasingly distant, hermetic world without feelings and intimacy. People are degraded to bizarre marionettes, driven by their own idiosyncrasies. Against this backdrop "Arabella" becomes highly topical. […]
By Sebastian Ritschel's sophisticated use of light the stage makes the diverse emotions of the actors visible synchronously to the music. At the same time the modern scene contrasts the antiquated man-woman relationship in the libretto by Hugo von Hofmann. The operetta plot is caricatured by the ironically trenchant game, symbolically intensified by the bright blue symbolizing loyalty and the green of hope in the costumes worn by Arabella and the three counts. The last act creates a romantic forest scenery, in front Arabella, not with a blue flower, but with a blue radiant light vessel like a priestess. The "blue hour" of fulfilled love approaches by starting to take off her dress.
The staging balances in dramatic tension between great emotions and comical playing, modern sobriety and romantic nostalgia.
Gerhart Stoiber – Wochenblatt
Inspiring performance of Strauss' Arabella:
Happy End with magnificent voices
Many bravos from the premiere audience for the Richard Strauss' opera Arabella staged by Sebastian Ritschel at the Stadttheater in Passau. The curtain rose on Saturday for the premiere of Richard Strauss' lyrical comedy Arabella - in a production by Sebastian Ritschel - and the audience was immediately impressed by the set design by Heike Mirbach which stands out in its simplicity with depth and breadth. [...]
Musically challenging in the composition, this opera was quite demanding for the performers on stage. The often abruptly changing moods from comedic to tragic have been worked out accurately.
The audience in the sell-out house was thrilled by the performance. Bravos for the actors in the lead roles and enduring applause over several curtains clearly demonstrate this.
Edith Rabenstein - Passauer Neue Presse
The triumph of feelings
Chamber play about two sisters [...]
Director Sebastian Ritschel convinced as well as the Niederbayerische Philharmonie conducted by music director Basil E. Coleman and a joyful and vocally excellent ensemble. [...]
The director does not succumb to the temptation to stage the plot of "Arabella" in the Vienna of the 19th Century in an actuality with gambling and speculation. Even the Viennese humour does not occur. Ritschel orientates himself on the characters and their emotions - and he goes well with it. The result is an almost literary, very intelligent chamber play about two sisters and their contrasting ideas of womanhood and love. Every minute is exciting, partly because Sebastian Ritschel stages the minor characters just as seriously as the two couples. [...]
For the reconciliation scene at the end the director finds an impressive image. The scene opens, forest - Mandryka's dominion - is visible, Arabella paces in plain white and brings her beloved a glass of water, the sign of the engagement in public - and bares all, ready to spend the night with her beloved. Thus, she confesses herself - as previously Zdenka - to her feelings.