Der Freischütz in Dresden

At first blush Axel Köhler’s 2015 production of Weber’s Der Freischütz for Dresden’s Semperoper seems entirely traditional but as it unfolds it reveals some real depth that pretty much restores the sense of horror that the original audience felt.  It’s set in an indeterminate time period in the aftermath of war.  The first act looks quite conventional but there’s a very tense air to it with both sexuality and violence just below, and occasionally above, the surface.  The atmosphere is greatly enhanced by our first look at Georg Zeppenfeld who is a very fine and rather plastic Kaspar.  There are echoes here of his König Heinrich in Bayreuth.

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