Ella Milch-Sheriff has written an opera about an affair between two philosophers, Hannah Arendt and Martin Heidegger. The work opened in Regensburg and I will have more to say about it before long.
Last night’s performance was the fourth in a run of 12. It was taken over at short notice by the company’s junior conductor Levente Török.
He knew that the singers had last performed this work three weeks ago but there was no time for an extra rehearsal. He had no more than a quick conversation here or there to suggest a few of his own ideas before entering the pit last night and doing the best he could.
Which was impressive.
For two hours and a quarter there was no hint of a doubt in any musician’s mind that this opera was in safe hands. So refreshing when that happens, and so rare.
Levente learned his trade from his father, head of Italian repertoire at Budapest Opera, and spent a brief spell as assistant to the chorus director at the Vienna Opera.
On the strength of this jump-in, I think he will go far.