Scary Weber starts Devil's Trilogy at Geneva opera

Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:26am EDT
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By Jonathan Lynn

GENEVA (Reuters Life!) - Geneva's Grand Theater has kicked off an ambitious trilogy featuring diabolic themes in opera with a scary new production of Carl Maria von Weber's Der Freischuetz.

Over the next month Geneva will premiere new productions of Hector Berlioz's Damnation of Faust and Jacques Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann to create the "Devil's Trilogy."

The productions in the mini-opera festival are staged by Olivier Py, playwright and director of the prestigious Odeon theater in Paris.

The cycle could have been called the romantic trilogy or the fantastic trilogy, but those terms have been weakened, Py said.

"The Devil, however, has been devalued less," he told an audience discussion at Thursday night's premiere. "The Devil attracts people."

The supernatural makes frequent appearances in opera, where the combination of music, lighting and drama are well suited to conjuring up an atmosphere of foreboding.

But the trilogy also traces the way romantic composers dealt with evil.