In 2012, Barrie Kosky opened his first season as head of the Komische Oper Berlin by staging adaptations of three Monteverdi operas. Alongside using more familiar forms of adaptation, Kosky commissioned Elena Kats-Chernin to adapt the scores, focusing on instrumentation. While opera-to-opera adaptation is comparatively rare today, it has a long and rich history. The article first proposes three categories of reasons for opera-to-opera adaptation in the past. It then sets Kosky and Kats-Chernin’s Monteverdi productions in the context of this largely forgotten history, arguing that a historical awareness allows the Monteverdi Trilogie to be understood in terms of continuity rather than rupture, and clarifies some of Kosky and Kats-Chernin’s approaches in terms of a vigorous but respectful engagement with opera and its place in the modern city, in terms of recuperating aspects of operatic reception now frequently lost, and in prompting a reconsideration of localization and community inclusion. The article argues that the combination of Kats-Chernin’s adaptation for a variety of western and non-western, classical and non-classical instruments, and the visibility of the instrumentalists, including migrant musicians, that Kosky’s staging enabled set the tone for Kosky’s tenure at the Komische Oper, especially in terms of community and inclusion.
|Number of pages||19|
|Journal||Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Mar 2022|
- Barrie Kosky
- Elena Kats-Chernin
- Komische Oper Berlin
- operatic adaptation