In the Shape of Art

Going to the opera can mean hours of fidgety boredom in the dark or an experience of rapture in a magical space outside space, where gravity and causality do not apply. If there is a message, it is in disguise, transmitted through the music, the drama and the sets. For some, opera is a realm full of wonder. For others, it is pointless and antiquated, only kept alive with infusions of public money as entertainment for the wealthy. Still, opera has been going strong for more than four centuries now, and Munich too has a long operatic tradition. Its opera house burned down in 1823, was rebuilt and then destroyed by bombs in 1943. It was rebuilt again after the war and reopened in 1963 with a performance of Richard Strauss's Die Frau ohne Schatten. To mark the fiftieth anniversary of that rededication, the Bavarian State Opera is premiering a new production of the same opera on 21 November 2013. Astrid Bscher's new film for Bavarian Television shows how the production takes shape, recounts the emergence of the work itself and explores the collboration between Strauss and his librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal, with re-enactments in which the two are played by Rainer Bock and Alexander Beyer. Bscher talks to the general manager Nikolaus Bachler, to Brigitte Fassbaender, Jürgen Rose and other greats of the older generation with strong ties to the opera in Munich, as well as to current stars such as Adriana Pieczonka, Jonas Kaufmann and Wolfgang Koch.

First broadcast in Free-TV:
on 21st November, 2013 at 11.15 pm on BR