Can a comical opera from the biedermeier era sweep a modern audience off their feet?? Yes, that's possible. The "martha-performance of the opera studio upper franconia in the stockach lindelberghalle has proven it. A single sentence from the opera is enough to set off a storm of laughter: "hither, hither, the market is free!" In the context of the discussion about the free market economy and its global consequences, such a sentence becomes even more topical and allusive.
And when the actors insert the grotesquely oversized image of a law enforcement officer in the form of a kind of fire chief towards the beginning and end of the piece, the socio-critical dimension of the opera becomes abundantly clear. While the composer friedrich von flotow directed it against the entrenched hierarchies of the time, today it is aimed at the abyss between winners and losers in the "capitalism" event.
"The hunt is free", he says later, and when flotow relates this sentence to the battle of the sexes and nancy calls on the female participants in the hunt to hatz on plumkett, one of the two male heroes of the opera – here, too, echoes of the present cannot be dismissed out of hand.
"Daring man! Huntresses aim! Put on!", she encourages her gender comrades, because she feels misunderstood by the landowner in her role as a respectable person belonging to the nobility. Although, together with her lady harriet, a royal "noblewoman, as whose confidant she appears, originally had hired out to him as a maid. Out of boredom with oversaturated noble sprinkles this deal came about. But now she calls on her female comrades-in-arms to rebel: "let's take revenge on the insolent / let's take revenge on the insolent / let's take revenge on the insolent. He's the wild one, / here's what it's all about! / to hunt him, / to plague him / be our goal, / be our game."
Flotow was critical not only of the status quo, but also of the fixed gender roles even then. And it is not without humor when lyonel, plumkett's adopted brother, who later turns out to be a nobleman and is finally able to marry lady harriet, demonstrates to her female counterparts the primitive female craftsmanship on spinning wheels, which they cannot master because they belong to the nobility, of which the men have no idea at the time.
Sad words cheerfully packaged
That sewing, mahen, saen, thread turning, bugeln, striegeln, masten, beefsteak rosten, haspeln, raspeln, glatten, platten, rocke stoppfen, ganse stoppfen, sticken, knit, roast spicken as an epitome of female virtue, at the end however the woman keeps the upper hand and asserts her goals, seems to have preserved itself at least in basic features still up to the present time.
Music is the link between then and now. Because she still appeals to the emotions of the audience, even if the musical means have changed.
And while at the beginning of the opera sad words are clothed in strongly contrasting cheerful music, the intensity of the music increases to the point of drama, when the lover, who believes himself to be engulfed, laments his sorrow. "The last rose", the well-known melody at the center, finally deeply touches the audience on a completely different level. Ramona friedrich as lady harriet, who performs superbly from start to finish and knows how to put the right expression into every single note, has played a decisive role in this.
As a diva, she does not let herself be disturbed by loudly banging glass bottles or by the loud air system that blows from the ceiling.
She fills the huge hall effortlessly with her organ, and so do the other soloists: susanne oehm-henninger as nancy, karl schineis as lyonel and michael wolfrum as plumkett. The entire ensemble of around 20 singers sings consistently convincingly. Anna baturina-riegelein, who is responsible for the musical direction, also demonstrates as a pianist that a grand piano is sufficient for musical accompaniment. The logical consequence: loud applause and many "bravo "s-calls of the stockach audience.