NICOLA RAAB
General Management
Nicola Raab has in recent years gained recognition internationally as a director of great sensitivity, detailed character work and visual flair.

Most recent productions include von Einem’s Jesu Hochzeit at the Carinthian Summer Festival, Written on Skin for Theater St. Gallen, John Adams' A Flowering Tree at Gothenburg Opera and the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon, Boris Godunov at Savonlinna Operafestival, Lohengrin and Verdi’s Otello at the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen (the latter won the Arets Reumert Price 2013 for best Danish opera production), Parsifal, a co-production of the Estonian National Opera and the European Cultural Capital project in an industrial venue at Tallinn Harbor, Dorian Grey in Bratislava, Tristan und Isolde at the Novaya Opera Moscow, as well as Massenet’s Thaïs at the Gothenburg Opera, Finnish National Opera, Los Angeles Opera and Valencia, together with designer Johan Engels.

Elsewhere, Ms Raab has staged Beatrice and Benedict by Berlioz and A Flowering Tree for Chicago Opera Theatre, Soldier and Dancer by Martinu for Statni Opera Praha, Der Kuss with Opera Theatre Company Dublin, Zora D. with IOCN Amsterdam, Kammeroper Wien and BEMUS Belgrade, Death and the Maiden and The Cunning Little Vixen at Theater St. Gallen, Don Chisciotte by Francesco Conti and Artaxerxes by Leonardo Vinci for Musikwerkstatt Wien, The Marathon by Isidora Zebeljan for Bregenz Festival and Neue Oper Wien. For Neue Oper Wien she also staged Detlev Glanert’s Scherz, Satire, Ironie und tiefere Bedeutung.

For Kammeroper Wien she has produced Moskau, Moskau by Shostakovitch, a double- bill of When she died… by Jonathan Dove and Eight Songs for a Mad king by P. Maxwell Davies, The Io Passion by Harrison Birtwistle and Owen Wingrave.

Highlights this season include Written on Skin in Bolzano, which received the coveted Premio Abbiate by the Guild of Italian Music Critics, I Capuleti e i Montecchi in Bergen, Der Zwerg at Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon, Semiramide at the Opéra national de Lorraine.

Future plans include Lakmé at Malmö Opera, Francesca da Rimini for the Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg, Elektra for the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon, Semiramide for the Opéra de Saint-Étienne and a return to the Teatro Comunale Bolzano for La Wally.
 
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NICOLA RAAB: J. Adams, A Flowering Tree, trailer Göteborg Opera

"....auf der Bühne mediterranes Chiaroscuro, hartes Dunkel durchkreuzt von flirrendem Licht, weisse Wände wie mit schwarzer Tinte bespritzt - Kontraste, scharf wie die Rapiere der Fechter, die sich mit Agression aufpumpen gegen den nachbarlichen Feind. Aus solcher Enge quasi im rechten Winkel herausstechend die grossen Gefühle zweier Liebenden, so unbegrenzt wie schmerzhaft und tödlich. Liebe in Zeiten des Wahnsinns. (...)"

" Nicola Raabs Inszenierung...in ihrem Spiel mit dem Chiarooscuro wirkt sie ästhetisch klug disponiert. (...)"

" Raab sorgt für stupende Coup de Théatre..."
Opernwelt (Gerhard Persché), I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Nationaloper Bergen, January 2017

Focused and vibrating at the same time

 

The director Nicola Raab  … (has) created an artistically harmonious and consequently executed vision of Massenet’s magnificent work. It is an interpretation that focuses on the double layered in Massenet’s dream of beauty, an ambivalence that is also somewhat of the life nerve of decadence. It is simply a wise choice to move the story from fourth century Egypt to the Paris salons of the 1890’s. That’s how the excessiveness, the orientalism and the over heated feelings become part of the thoughts around symbolism. The deep red velvet drapery as well as the golden, overly sensuous shimmering belongs to the kind of transgresses and intoxications that can be seen in pictures by Odilon Redon, Fernand Khnopff and Edvard Munch from the same period. It is with amazing finesse and creative richness of detail that the worlds in these pictures are transferred to the stage and it is not unlikely for the viewer and listener to land in an almost narcotic state. It has become a performance of dreams, at the same time sharply focus and with blurred vibrations.

All in all, this is one of the most successful productions at the Göteborgs Opera of the past several years.


Göteborgs Posten (Magnus Haglund), THAÏS / MASSENET, March 2010

Opera for body and soul

 

In Nicola Raab’s (…) production the story is moved from fifth century Egypt to Paris and the time when the opera was written. This enhances the degradation from theatrical luxury to desert and impoverished nakedness as well as sharpens the purpose typical of its time: the unmasking of the ego. The scene when Thaïs leaves behind her creative existence and steps out of her boudoir, in which she has been completely emerged (you can almost not tell where she ends and the interior begins), is also one of many magically beautiful moments.

 

The final phrases cut through everything such as mirrors and names and contours – in order for something else to appear. A human being in all her undefined fullness.

Let us call her Thaïs.


Dagens Nyheter ( Martin Nyström), THAÏS / MASSENET, March 2010

Thais’ brilliance lingers

 

(…) Nicola Raab’s intelligent production.

 

(…) a theatre-experience that gives you goose bumps.

 

The meditation at the end of the second act tells the story both of Thaïs last moment in the footlights and the moment when she meets something that may be God – but could also be Art.

 

Finally one last diva goes up in smoke, but the brilliance around her art has an amazing ability to linger.


Svenska dagbladet (Sofia Nyblom), THAÏS / MASSENET, March 2010

Elegant Thaïs without inhibitions

 

Nicola Raab’s genial direction …

 

We have long since stopped feeling shy in front of intimacy, so when GöteborgsOperan now presents an elegant salon  production we can look through the superficiality and allow ourselves to see and enjoy that life’s biggest questions are treated in a fantastic production sparkling with colors and without inhibitions.


Boras tidning (Helen Axelsson), THAÏS / MASSENET, March 2010

Nicola Raab

Bio English

Nicola Raab

PR photo 38

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