Que sera sera or an open-ended fairy tale

One wants eternal youth, the other is content with eternal beauty. The extra boost in competition is also a nice bonus, even if you know you’re the absolute best. The fact that there is a price, with your soul being the main prize, isn’t usually an issue, just look at Faust and Dorian Gray. It is very tempting to suddenly have the inaccessible and elusive at hand. And the soul – we’ll see that later.

Pascal Petit as Max V Freischütz . monastery By Opera Compact Photo: © Sanne Linssen

Young fisherman, Max, in Der Freshütz By Carl Maria von Weber, He has everything his heart desires – success and recognition, good comrades and my beloved Agahi. However, he risks everything for a few magic bullets that will always hit his target and guarantee him victory in the target and Agathe’s hand. It’s a dangerous game, he knows, but how dangerous it really is, he doesn’t find out until later, when he drops his sweetheart instead of the white dove, which he thought was in his eyes. The devil also has his own plans for “free” bullets.

Anyone familiar with the opera Webber’s romantic plot knows that Agathe and Max will be fine in the end after admitting his “step” and losing the spell. However, there are some other potential twists and turns in the story, such as the very plausible ending in the staging of Opera Compact and Het Productionhuis Valkenburg. Here the repentant shooter is not easily frightened, and Agathi’s last song (and the fog in which it slowly disappears) leaves little hope for a happy ending.

outside the scene Freischütz . monastery By Opera Compact Photo: © Sanne Linssen

With this intriguing ending, the well-known opera changes in a short time from a romantic fairy tale into a human drama full of real suffering. Before that, all references to what is to come cheerfully are ignored, such as Agathe’s bad dream or the arrival of the bloody veil. Sybrand van der Werf’s festive parade is so atmospheric, colourful, light and vibrant with life that the oppressive feeling of impending doom arises so slowly that it is ignored by all. Everyone prefers to enjoy the cheerful chatter (in German of course, with subtitles that can be followed up in real time via the QR code) and the cheerful music. This last one looks like golden years From Broadway shows and Hollywood movies with All that jazz, swing and glitter. It’s surprising to hear the colors of Weber’s orchestra take on a new shape and well-suited to an arrangement of Jesse Bassiner’s quartet of saxophone, brass band, trumpets, flute, double bass and percussion. (performed by Mosa saxophone quartet, Southern Brass, Maastricht Conservatory trumpet class, flute, double bass, and percussion; and Civic guard Sint Urbanus Montfort).

Enrico Delambue conductor Photo: © Sanne Linssen

Under the direction of Enrico Delamboye, the musicians show an entirely different side of Weber’s infectious music, one that sometimes reminds us of Gershwin, but certainly works in that arrangement. Pascal Beatty’s voices as Max and Thomas Boni as his friend Caspar color very well with the orchestral accompaniment, while Vina Ojrajensek and Baby Ortgens as Agatha and her niece Onchin respectively, lightly and happily lie against the wind section. Ograjensek is also very strong in height, with a beautifully dramatic undertone that fits best in Agathe’s development, as the glamor disappears from the picture. She’s very persuasive in the wedding song “Und ob die Wolke,” which she sings here as Kavatina’s last.

Fenna Ograjensek on the right as Agathe and Bibi Ortjens as Ännchen in Freischütz . monastery. Photo: © Sanne Linssen

The evergreen By Weber “Schöner grüner Kranz” and a very beautiful Jagerskoor voice with trumpets. Who should not be mentioned is Satan himself, who together with Weber is simply called Samiel. Brilliantly dyed Gere Koopmans (Former Politician) is having a lot of fun with his heavyweight writing “Que sera sera” and “Whatever will be, will be”.

Ger Koopmans as Samiel in Freischütz . monastery By Opera Compact Photo: © Sanne Linssen

The atmosphere around the Valkenburg open air theater, the really beautiful costumes, as well as the special effects (fairly realistic fire, lots of smoke and even a thoroughbred horse, if you can count that among the special effects) make this performance a special theatrical experience. Story of the Der Freshütz It’s still, of course, a fairy tale, but it’s more loaded than it seems at first glance.

Freischütz . monastery By Opera Compact and Het Production House Valkenburg It can still be seen on September 3 at Montfort Castle. It starts at 20.30

Keep reading, watching and listening

An impression of the full performance by Steve Great.

In 2018, Francois van den Anker wrote a beautiful picture of the opera Compact

Earlier this season, the Dutch National Opera caused a stir with a completely differently adapted production of Freischütz . monastery.

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