Check out website www.lansdownsummer.com and book direct via firstname.lastname@example.org then come and discover Carl Maria von Weber's operatic masterpiece, 'Der Freischütz', one of the most often performed German operas, and certainly the most often performed German romantic opera. Tickets are thirty dollars each. The Narropera Trio (founded 2013) of Dorothee Jansen, soprano, Cathy Irons, violin, and Haydn Rawstron, piano and narrator, give two performances of the opera, in narropera format, in the much-admired concert-hall, The Golden Room of Lansdown(e) Homestead. Der Freischütz first appeared in 1821, and this year is the opera's bicentenary. After its triumphant first night in Berlin, Der Freischütz swept through every European opera house like wildfire. Its onward journey to North and South America, South Africa and Australia was completed within one generation, and it finally reached New Zealand in 1875, with a grand production in Wellington. For the following fifty years it was performed from Auckland to Invercargill, before falling out of NZ's opera repertoire between the World Wars, due to the unpopularity of things German. Unfortunately, Der Freischütz was never part of New Zealand Opera's repertoire in the 1960s, and since then no regional company, understandably, has risked a production of what is, by now, in New Zealand, a totally unknown opera. Narropera's format of narrating the story and dropping a dozen pieces from the opera into the storyline at the appropriate moments, is a perfect way to rekindle awareness of an opera which has something for all ages and all tastes. If Der Freischütz has enjoyed great popularity over the last 200 years, one should remember, also, just how influential 'Der Freischütz' has been in the history of German culture, and how influential Weber, as a composer, was on the generation of composers who followed him: Wagner, Liszt, Chopin, Mendelssohn, and countless others. Weber was born into an extremely musical family: his mother and his four first cousins were all professional opera singers. Mozart fell in love with one of the four Weber cousins, was rejected, and married another of the cousins instead, Constanze. Weber was a virtuoso pianist, one of the fathers of modern conducting, and Musical Director of the Royal Saxon Theatre in Dresden. He died in London, aged only 40, when premiering his last opera, Oberon, specially written for Covent Garden. Weber was initially buried in London. Richard Wagner, himself, later arranged for Weber's remains to be taken back to Germany and buried in Dresden.
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