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Heinz Holliger’s “dream opera” Lunea which was premiered, to great acclaim, at Opernhaus Zurich, interweaves strands from the life and mind of Nikolaus Franz Niembsch (1802-1850), the Hungarian-born Austrian poet who wrote under the name Nikolaus Lenau. Lenau’s last, fragmentary writings have fired Holliger’s imagination and led to the creation of an intricately inventive work with a marvellously evocative lead role for baritone Christian Gerhaher. Neue Zürcher Zeitung: “Here Gerhaher can display his full sensitivity in dealing with the finest nuances of language and bring to bear his almost unlimited spectrum of tonal-dynamic gradations in the intonation. The poet Lenau speaks most directly from the sounds and notes...” The 2-CD set, in slipcase, is accompanied by an an extensive 120 page German-English booklet with the full libretto by Händl Klaus and synopses of each of the opera’s 23 scenes, as well as a liner essay by Roman Brotbeck, a performer’s note by Christian Gerhaher, score fragments, performance photography, and more.

 

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