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Koohestani to Stage Wagner Opera in Darmstadt Theater

Around 100 thespians, along with choir and orchestra of Staatstheater Darmstadt will perform at the opera
‘Minstrel’s Contest at the Wartburg’ by Austrian painter Moritz von Schwind (1804-1871) and Richard Wagner‘Minstrel’s Contest at the Wartburg’ by Austrian painter Moritz von Schwind (1804-1871) and Richard Wagner

Theater director, playwright and stage designer Amir Reza Koohestani, 38, is to stage Wagner’s Tannhauser opera in Germany.

The romantic opera by German composer, conductor and theater director Richard Wagner (1813-1883) is slated for April 22, May 14 and June 15 at Staatstheater Darmstadt, a state-funded theater company and building in Darmstadt that presents opera, ballet, plays and concert, Mehr News Agency reported.

The title of the upcoming opera is the ‘Minstrel’s Contest at the Wartburg’ (in German: ‘Tannhauser und der Sangerkrieg auf Wartburg’). Koohestani who has been invited by Karsten Wiegand, 45, head of Staatstheater Darmstadt, will start rehearsals from March 6 for the event.

Tannhauser is an 1845 opera in three acts. Wagner wrote it on the basis of two German legends: Tannhauser, the legendary medieval minstrel and poet, and the tale of Wartburg Song Contest, a rivalry among minstrels at Wartburg castle in Thuringia, central Germany. Wagner was the first to merge the two legends.

Around 100 thespians, along with choir and orchestra of Staatstheater Darmstadt will perform at the opera. Designer of the sets is Iranian Mitra Najmabadi and video art is by German Philipp Weidmann. Both have collaborated earlier with Koohestani in Germany.

The story of the opera centers on the struggle between sacred and profane love, and redemption through love, a theme running through much of Wagner’s work. Koohestani sees the work as a struggle between two worlds, a challenge between West and East.

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