Claus Guth on Messiah: "What are emotional stages that prompt us to ask ourselves questions about God? Burial, unfaithfulness, abandonment, life crisis."
In his 2009 staging of Händel´s Messiah, these are more and less the life crises he takes us through via the circular stage. Centrally stands the funeral of a man. A businessman. This man, we learn, was cheated on by his wife with his brother?/ his friend? around the time of the baptism of his child, which, together with a failed business presentation leads him on the road to suicide.
Physically, we are inside a hotel/office building with many doors leading to and from places we know nothing us. And, not uncommonly for Claus Guth, he adds a couple of non-singing characters - a business man and an angel?/hotelmaid?, which adds to create an almost trandescending impression.
Claus Guths narrative is compelling, the themes are the eternal: Guilt, fear, rejection, loneliness love.
A genuine ensemble piece, non mentioned, non forgotten. All acted, sang and played with committment. For those interested in a staged version of Messiah, Claus Guths version is not to be missed.
The trumpet shall sound:
Overall impression: 5