Change of Personnel in A HARLOT'S PROGRESS

The Finnish conductor Mikko Franck takes over the musical direction of the premiere

(C) Heikki Tuuli

(C) Heikki Tuuli

further information:

The British conductor Donald Runnicles has withdrawn from the post of conductor of the opera A Harlot’s Progress, which premieres on 13 October 2013, for personal reasons. The Finnish conductor Mikko Franck will take over the rostrum for the opera by the British composer Iain Bell which was commissioned by the Theater an der Wien.

Director Roland Geyer: “Donald Runnicles has asked me to release him from his engagement as conductor of the premiere for pressing family reasons because he will have to look after his daughter in Berlin the autumn.”
In the early noughties, Mikko Franck was regarded as THE Scandinavian wunderkind among conductors, and over the past five years he has devoted his operatic conducting activity entirely to the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki as general music director. This year marks the first time he has started conducting at other theatres again. At only 34, he is one of the best conductors of his generation, with experience of opera virtually unmatched by his peers.
I am eagerly looking forward to working with Mikko Franck, and anticipate exciting developments in the field of conducting at the Theater an der Wien which will bring forth several newcomers in the years ahead.”

Mikko Franck:
Born in 1979, Mikko Franck originally studied the violin before attending the legendary conducting class run by Jorma Panula at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. From 2002 to 2007 he was music director of the National Orchestra of Belgium. In 2006 he took on the post of general music director at the Finnish National Opera and since 2008 has also held the position of artistic director there. In 2015 he will take up the post of music director of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.
Mikko Franck has a large and varied opera and concert repertoire.
In recent years, the philharmonic orchestras he has worked with include the Berlin, Munich, New York, London, Israel and Los Angeles Philharmonics. In July 2007 he conducted Tosca and L’elisir d’amore at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera New York in December 2011. His recording of Sibelius’s En Saga and Lemminkäinen Suite with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra was nominated for a Grammy in 2001 and won the Diapason d’Or.

The Opera A Harlot’s Progress
The libretto of the six-scene opera, which is based on the series of pictures of the same name by William Hogarth, was written by the noted English author Peter Ackroyd. The Vienna Symphony Orchestra provides the music, and the Arnold Schoenberg Choir the voices. The German director Jens-Daniel Herzog, director of the Dortmund Opera, will be responsible for staging the premiere. Diana Damrau sings the tragic part of the naïve Moll who falls for the charms of the thief James, who is sung by the baritone Nathan Gunn. The Scottish soprano Marie McLaughlin plays the part of the procuress.

Premiere: 13 October 2013
Performances: 16 / 18 / 21 / 24 / 27 October, 7 p.m.
Introductory matinee: Sunday, 6 October, 11 a.m.

For further information please contact:
Sabine Seisenbacher
Corporate Communications / VEREINIGTE BÜHNEN WIEN GmbH
Linke Wienzeile 6
A-1060 Wien
Tel: +43-1-588 30-661
Fax: +43-1-588 30-650