Ming Tsao, Die Geisterinsel, Interpreten: Tajana Raj (mezzosoprano); Claudio Otelli (bass); Daniel Kluge (tenor); Hans Kremer, Stefan Merki (speaking voices); Cecilia Vallinder (mezzosoprano); Seth Josel (guitar); Staatsoper Stuttgart; Orpheus Vokalensemble; Ensemble Gageego!; Stefan Schreiber (conductor); Rei Munakata (conductor), Includes booklet with texts by Ming Tsao and Stefan Schreiber as well as libretto, 0013372KAI - 2014
Die Geisterinsel (The Ghost Island) by Ming Tsao, after the eponymous singspiel by Johann Rudolf Zumsteeg, Kapellmeister at the Württemberg court and a contemporary of Mozart, is a chamber opera for singers and actors. But unlike in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail or Strauss’s prologue to Ariadne auf Naxos, the purpose of this combination of forces is not to set up a contrast. Here, the text spoken by the two actors who play Caliban is of a fragmented character and interlocks with the rhythmical and metric structure—thus seeming to arise directly from the kaleidoscope of sounds and noises in a more or less onomatopoetic way. And the singers, in the context of this work’s music, hardly ever manage an actual sung line, but instead respond to the complex world of sounds around them with speech-like musical lines that are quite peculiarily shaped indeed. In Prospero's very first words, »This island / was like / a wilderness - the wilderness became a garden«, the musified language no longer aims to carry its listeners on the waves of thoughts and feelings, as it would in a melo-drama, instead steering their attention to details of intonation and thus ecouraging intense concentration on the text.
Two pieces, Serenade for ensemble and if ears were all that were needed… for guitar solo are completing the potrait CD.
(01-13) Die Geisterinsel (2011-2011) 50:18
chamber opera based on works by William Shakespeare and Johann Rudolf Zumsteeg
(14) Serenade (2012) 12:24
for mezzosoprano and 12 musicians
(15) If ears were all that we needed... (2007) 2:26
for guitar solo