Hildegard Behrens as THE WOMAN "R"


She ignites the memory, and it is through her voice that events unfold.

She is seen and heard in various degrees of presences: she participates, she narrates, she observes, she comments, she interrogates, she is there, and yet she is not there.

It is an intriguing dramatic role inspired by the biblical figure Rahab: harlot of Jericho, protectress of enemy spies, seeress, symbol of femininity, strong woman.

Scenes from CRONACA del LUOGO



Commissioned by the Salzburg Festival
World Premiere: July 24, 1999

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SET 1 SET 2SET 3
Photos: © FC except where indicated

CRONACA DEL LUOGO (Chronicles of a Place)

an AZIONE MUSICALE by LUCIANO BERIO; libretto by Talia Pecker-Berio

consisting of a Prologue and Five Scenes:

L'assedio (The Siege) / Il campo (The Field) / Il torre (The Tower) / La casa (The Home) / La piazza (The Plaza)

This is an opera not of plot but of situations, of memories reminiscent of biblical events that come back to life in a special place - the Felsenreitschule: a space carved out of a rock on a mountainside in Salzburg, made up of a wall that in the opera serves a multiplicity of functions (wall of music, home, depository of memories...), and a stage - the piazza - upon which the memories unfold.

The Prologue is comprised of music that evokes memories:
of the siege of Jericho, of an unnamed field of ill omens,
of the Tower of Babel, of people fleeing from home,
of a place of impending ruin

The events are chronicled through music resounding from the wall and through the solitary voice of the woman R.


The world premiere ' was a BIG success! The audience cheered and stomped and yelled.

Of Luciano Berio's music, they said:

"...arresting and beautiful..."

"...a sensational prelude to the Festival..."



And of Hildegard Behrens:

"GRANDIOSE!"

" ...even in the most extreme passages, the voice did not give up any of its white-hot splendor, her acting and hypnotic presence beyond description."

HILDEGARD BEHRENS: she makes music worth seeing!

PROFILE     PORTRAITS     PERFORMANCES     DISCOGRAPHY     AWARDS     QUOTES
BRÜNNHILDE     ELEKTRA      SALOME      FIDELIO     ISOLDE     MARIE     SENTA
THE KOSTELNICKA      THE WOMAN 'R'       KUNDRY     DIE LUSTIGE WITWE

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HILDEGARD BEHRENS
dramatic soprano

Saddened by her passing,
we celebrate her life.
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