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The Arts Intel Report

A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler
A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler

Carl Orff: Die Kluge

Anna Handler and Giulia Giammona, respectively the conductor and director of Die Kluge, share a chat on a terrace in Salzburg.

July 26 – Aug 25, 2024
Hofstallgasse 1, 5020 Salzburg, Austria

A peasant out plowing turns up a golden mortar. Just the thing to gift the king, he says to himself. He’ll give me a reward! No, no, no, says the peasant’s daughter. He’ll accuse you of squirreling away the matching pestle and throw you in the dungeon. Does Dad listen? He does not. If you know Carl Orff’s faux medieval blockbuster Carmina Burana, you’re sure to recognize him in the words and music of his by turns rambunctious and ultrarefined operatic fable Die Kluge, subtitled The Story of the King and the Wise Woman. In truth, the eponymous though anonymous peasant’s daughter is not so much a “wise woman” as she is a smart cookie—a wily judge of character blessed with a life-saving head for riddles as well as a loving heart. The cast for this revival is drawn from this summer’s class at the spiffy Salzburg Festival’s Young Singers Project. Pre-performance, children are cordially invited to an operatic workshop from which parents are cordially banished to the adjacent restaurant. —Matthew Gurewitsch

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