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Two Operatic World Premieres From Christian Jost

Feb. 01, 2020

Two Operatic World Premieres From Christian Jost

A new opera by Christian Jost for Vienna's Theater an der Wien, Egmont, will receive its world premiere on February 17 in celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth this year. Egmont takes as its starting point Beethoven's incidental music to the Goethe play.

Jost’s music frequently involves reimaginings of canonical works. In Egmont, he and librettist Christoph Klimke have created a new libretto that follows the same narrative image as Goethe’s original, focusing on themes applicable to our own society. 

Jost describes his tenth opera and second operatic premiere of this season, Reise der Hoffnung – Voyage vers l’espoir, as ‘a modern drama concerning refugees that should be understood as one act of a complex human catastrophe’. The opera, which will premiere at the Grand Théâtre de Genève on 30 March, follows a family from Anatolia as they flee across Italy into Switzerland.

Despite the formal three-act structure, Reise der Hoffnung rethinks how an opera can function dramatically. The story was conceived as a ‘road movie’, but Jost explains ‘the real action onstage is contrasted by a virtually independent orchestral score. The subsequent tension creates the real drama of the work and its propulsive heartbeat’. 

More information about Christian Jost’s ten operas can be found on the Schott website.  

Additionally, Christian Jost’s song cycle Dichterliebe for tenor and nine instrumentalists will receive its US premiere later this month with two performances in Washington, DC on 14 and 15. The work, which was first performed in 2017, is set to receive further national premieres in Turkey and China later this year.

Dichterliebe is one of a number of vocal works in Jost’s catalogue, alongside the large-scale Phoenix resurrexit for narrator, soprano, choir and orchestra, and where our heads lived and were, an intimate setting of words by e.e. cummings for mezzo-soprano and string quartet. 

Listen to Christian Jost's Heart Sutra (2012):
(Heart Sutra/Christian Jost/National Symphony Orchestra Taiwan Philharmonic/Christian Jost, conductor)

To learn more about Christian Jost, visit:

Christian Jost
Egmont (2018-2019)
opera in 15 scenes
libretto (Ger) by Christoph Klimke and the collaboration of the composer
using texts by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Graf Egmont, Tenor - Herzog Alba, Baritone - Clara, Soprano - Margarete von Parma, Alto - Ferdinand, Albas Sohn, Mezzo-soprano - Machiavell · Baritone - Six-voice choir

Reise der Hoffnung (2019)
opera in three acts
libretto (Ger) by Kata Wéber
Haydar (Father), High Baritone - Meryem (Mother), Mezzo-soprano - Mehmed Ali (young boy), Soprano - Fatma, Güney (Child), speaking role - Bauer, Character Tenor - Matteo (Truck Driver), Lyric Baritone - Doctor, Soprano - Haci Baba (Mafioso), Character Tenor - Policeman, Bureaucrat, Bass-baritone

Dichterliebe (2017)
based on "Dichterliebe" op. 48 by Robert Schumann on texts by Heinrich Heine
Version for high voice (tenor or soprano) and 9 instrumentalists