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Offenbach Edition Keck: 5 years on

(June 2004)

The Offenbach Edition Keck, edited by Jean-Christophe Keck and published by Boosey & Hawkes, is celebrating its first five years and this summer reaches the point when all seven of the composer’s great operas-bouffes are available for performance in the new edition.

The edition was launched in 1999 with Brigitte Fassbaender’s Orphée aux Enfers production in Innsbruck, followed by acclaimed OEK premieres of La Périchole (Basel, 2000), La Vie parisienne (Stockholm, 2001), Barbe-bleue (Halle, 2003) and La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein (Strasbourg, 2003). Next month the set of major Offenbach stageworks is completed with the OEK premieres of La Belle Hélène (Trier, 2 July) and Les Brigands (Gelsenkirchen, 10 July).

The first five years have also garnered an impressive collection of accolades and awards for the OEK, including being a double winner of the prestigious Best Edition Prize of the German Music Publishers’ Association, for the full score, vocal score and documentary CD-ROM of Orphée aux Enfers (1858 version) in 2002, and for the similar publication of La Vie parisienne in 2004. Leading artists have embraced the OEK, including Anne Sofie von Otter and Marc Minkowski who recorded an admired recital of Offenbach arias using the edition for Deutsche Grammophon (also released on a TDK DVD), while directors who have staged OEK performances include Jerôme Savary, Jean-Louis Martinoty and Laurent Pelly.

Another achievement of the OEK has been the rediscovery and rehabilitation of Offenbach’s romantic opera Les Fées du Rhin, severely truncated at its premiere in 1864 and restored to its full glory at the Montpellier Festival in 2002. The resulting Universal Accord recording (472 920-2) won a Diapason d’or, and a Prix Michel Garcin from the Academie du Disque Lyrique for the best recording initiative of the year. Les Fées du Rhin receives its first complete stage production in Bolzano on 26 December, travelling onwards to St Pölten and Ljubljana in the New Year, with the German premiere production scheduled in Trier for April 2005.

The OEK has also been exploring Offenbach’s non-operatic repertoire, including the revival of his Grand Concerto for cello and orchestra, a work which draws on the composer’s own experiences as a leading virtuoso cellist in his early career. The new OEK edition of the concerto was unveiled on 3 April in Paris with soloist Xavier Philips and the Pasdeloup Orchestra, and Marc Minkowski and cellist Jerôme Pernooas have scheduled performances with the Essen Philharmonic (January 2005) and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra (April 2005).

Marc Minkowski is also conductor of Laurent Pelly’s new OEK staging of La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein with Felicity Lott in the title role, opening in Grenoble on 21 September and transferring to Paris for an extended run at the Châtelet from 5 October, followed by recordings for CD and DVD video.

Further information can be found on the OEK website at www.offenbach-edition.com. Originally launched in German, expansion of the website with English and French material is now underway.

A new English-language brochure, summarising the first five years of the Offenbach Edition Keck, and giving details of repertoire, future publications and performances, is available upon request from composers.uk@boosey.com

> Weitere Informationen zur Reihe: OEK (Offenbach Edition Keck)

Photo: Alan Kaiser/Opera national du Rhin

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