March 28, 2019
When will Lyric Opera present Der Freischütz?
I have been a Lyric subscriber since 1968, Khovanshchina was the first opera I saw at Lyric. Der Freischütz is one of the most important German operas of the 19th century. It is often performed in Europe. I am still waiting to see it at Lyric.
Khovanshchina is a pretty exciting way to begin (especially with the cast that Lyric had in '68)! I think you're probably right re: Der Freischütz; its popularity has waned almost totally in this country, for reasons that remain unclear. I think perhaps it's a matter of plot; it's tough to care particularly about the two girls (the one so morose and worrying, the other terminally perky) or for the leading man! Plus, maybe directors are perplexed about how to stage the Wolf's Glen scene, which is pretty tricky.
The music is terrific, needless to say, so I think the reasons have to be dramatic ones. It's certainly not for casting reasons that it isn't done; there are any number of singers out there who could do splendidly in this opera. The Met tried it in '72, the production was unsuccessful, and they haven't tried it again at any time since then. Sad!
As you see, it's still popular in Germany (in case you happen to be traveling there).