Here you will find excerpts from reviews of our events.


Verdi’s “La Traviata” at Gut Immling hits right to the heart

“La Traviata,” in German translation “Die vom Wege Abgekommene,” is back on track. And not only them: In the first premiere of the Immling Festival near Halfing in Upper Bavaria, the pre-pandemic glamor seems to have been recaptured in picture-book summer weather.

The “grande dame”, Diana Alexe as Violetta, of petite figure, in hot leopard look pantsuit, moves seductively from behind through the audience towards the stage with swinging hips – wow, what a performance. Cornelia von Kerssenbrock (musical director) and the festival orchestra Immling know how to use this theatrical opportunity, which is promptly discharged musically in the following. Right into the heart again.

(….) Desperate helplessness and the certainty of Violetta’s approaching death from tuberculosis: the mood tilts, this love has no chance, but not the Immlinger production, which in the third act takes off again strongly with a glittering return to the glamour of the Paris carnival. The death scene, at its finest, goes to the heart again. Bravo!

Kirsten Benekam, Passauer Neue Presse, 26.6.2022


Verdi’s “La Traviata” on its way to the present day

This year’s opera festival at Gut Immling in Chiemgau deliberately focuses on three prominent female title roles in opera history: “Traviata”, “Norma” and “Madame Butterfly”. But how do you show women as strong when in opera literature they always end up dying and are often broken? In Verdi’s “La Traviata” it is rather by means of the music than by the direction, says Rita Argauer.

The Traviata begins in Immling not with the gently whirring prelude, but with the sound of engines. On a projection screen above the stage, all kinds of loud and expensive cars drive up. One finds oneself in a noble club of the present. There’s champagne, glitter and the now-current trappings of big money and pleasure. Alfredo arrives on a bicycle – that’s how much slapstick there has to be before Cornelia von Kerssenbrock has the Immlingen Festival Orchestra start Verdi’s overture. And that’s where it becomes clear: the music intercepts what often comes across as a little clumsy in the staging. Because von Kessenbrock rehearsed with this orchestra – and rehearsed properly. The musicians play gracefully, vividly and highly differentiated, together as a separate body of sound. At the same time rhythmically and dynamically incredibly precise. A finely spun picture emerges, told through the music – and a high level, which is also transferred to the singers. (…)

Nevertheless, the tragedy of history takes its course. And somewhere it corresponds to this tragedy that Diana Alexe’s Violetta gains enormously musically with increasing illness. The consumptive is frighteningly fulfilled in her silvery soprano brilliance, it comes close. Conductor von Kerssenbrock and the orchestra provide the fine foundation for this.

BR Classic 25.06.2022 by Rita Argauer

From the region OVB July 15, 2022

Hope for peace and humanity

The second performance was the actual premiere: Huge applause for Vincenzo Bellini’s “Norma”.

(…) Enlivened, delighted and in a positive sense intoxicated, the opera guests of the Immling Festival left the Festspielhaus after the second performance of Bellini’s bel canto opera “Norma” could go over the stage there.

The stage design (Nikolaus Hipp), between implied tree placement for a grove and a modest mini-landscape with a cuddly sofa for the “little ones” – not too much, but also not too little. While the choral production (Volk) and the actions of the soloists seem rather static and somewhat awkward, the ear gets all the more its money’s worth: even the overture is a feast. The festival choir sings magnificently, hymn-like and powerful, while Cornelia von Kerssenbrock serves up one musical delight after another with the Immlinger Festival Orchestra, which acts in precise fine-tuning. (…)

So the visit of the Immling Festival is absolutely recommended, so that these highly ambitious opera makers also have the chance to live up to their motto: “Right into the heart” they want to aim, so without detours, not from behind through the chest into the eye, but the other way around, from the front via ear and eye into the heart.


Norma review Orpheus Magazine 5.7.2022

In the Druid Academy

Bellini’s “Norma” as a roller coaster of emotions

(…) This is movingly dramatic devised by Seollyeon Konwitschny-Lee for this year’s new production of the Bellini opera at the Immling estate in Upper Bavaria. Conceived, then, for bourgeois sound art on an idyllically situated individual farmstead. Nowhere are spruce, corn and tall crops so close together

(…) Thus results – as in the work itself – an alternating bath of feelings at a premiere, in which also effort, devotion and ardor join hands. This also applies musically: Elodie Hache in the title role shines with a powerful voice, delights with exquisitely placed coloratura, but also occasionally forces and explodes in the high notes. Substitute Sung Kyu Park as Pollione is no less powerful, but reduced to vocal colors. Niina Keitel as Adalgisa, second last-second recast, sings her part devotedly from the orchestra, while director Konwitschny-Lee mimes the role silently on stage. Evan Alexis Christ in front of festival orchestra and choir proves the most rounded musical performance, also on jumping in fast: How he sets dramatic impulses, carefully directs and sensitively-sublimely stirs up the tragedy of Norma, this amounts to a main salvation of the evening full of charm and full of edges.

BR Classic 09.07.2022

The (nightmare) dream of the New World

An American naval lieutenant seeks pleasure without commitment, a Japanese geisha seeks great love – this constellation leads to disaster in Giacomo Puccini’s opera “Madama Butterfly”. The opera festival in Immling (Chiemgau) flaunts a fascinating orchestral performance and a sensational interpreter of the title role.

Decorative direction – interesting interpretation

On stage, at first, the usual Japan clichés: a small table, a few seat cushions, a rocking chair, on the back wall large-scale pale pink projections with implied branches, in the center of the stage a little house with practical, abundantly used and decoratively illuminated sliding doors. Director Ludwig Baumann, the landlord of Immling, presents us with a museum – and makes an emancipation story out of it. His Cio-Cio-San is anything but docile geisha doll. She knows what she wants. Lieutenant Pinkerton may not be her great love, but he will take her to the New World – away from her family clan, which has disowned her anyway.

Soprano Yana Kleyn: a discovery

The Russian-Danish soprano Yana Kleyn is a discovery in performance and a sensation in singing. Slightly metallic-herb her soprano, perfectly focused and overwhelming in the dramatically shining heights – without signs of fatigue until the last notes of this murderous part. By the second act, she’s already living her American dream – in white costume and high-heeled shoes, smoking a cigarette and holding a drink. On Pinkerton’s return, she will only throw on her kimono loosely, because she has long since finished with her life as a Japanese woman.

Strong ensemble without Puccini perfume

This production lacks the heavy, powdery Puccini perfume. But one does not miss the over-sugaring that is otherwise often served with this composer. The Festival Orchestra Immling under Evan-Alexis Christ played delicately and transparently; dosed, powerful accents made all the greater effect. Strong Irina Maltseva as Suzuki. Of elemental force was her tercet with the fabulous Jiří Rajniš as Sharpless and Pinkerton, whom the tenor-like Jenish Ysmanov provided with an all-too-confidently served permanent forte. However, that matched his portrait as a shoulder-slapping Donald Trump – with a reddish-blond mane, jovial grin and slightly better manners than the original. Fabulously rehearsed the Immlingen Festival Choir, whose ladies boldly and successfully ventured into the vocal stratosphere in the Summchor.

Culture OVB home newspaper on July 30, 2022

“Centuries of endurance”.

IMMLING FESTIVAL Dvorák’s “Symphony from the New World” and Orff’s “Carmina Burana” thrill audiences

Under the musical direction of Cornelia von Kerssenbrock, Antonin Dvorák’s four-movement Symphony No. 9 in E minor Op 05 and Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” were performed. (….) Thus Symphony No. 9 sounds (even today!) like a departure for something new. Exciting and incredibly spectacular, it unites the tonal language of Czech folk music with Native American music. It sounds, especially in the great interpretation of the Festival Orchestra Immling, like a declaration of love to the music itself: A miraculous thing that manages to move the “unmoved”.

(…) The second part of the concert was filled with one of the most popular works of recent music literature: “Carmina Burana” by Carl Orff, a cantata based on the texts of a collection of medieval songs.(…) Even the popular hymn-like opening chorus “O Fortuna”, the invocation of the goddess of fate, is stunning. The Festivalchor Immling celebrated it in powerful overall sound, belted, well articulated, and breathed it in invigorating freshness.

From the region OVB Heimatzeitung

In the pas de deux with “Coco” Chanel

Much applause for Peter Breuer’s ballet “Mythos Coco

The Immling Festival reinvents itself again and again with great creative power (…). (…) Choreographer Peter Breuer presented a biographical story ballet “Mythos Coco” with the company of the Europaballett St. Pölten.

When it comes to Coco privately, i.e. her inner emotional world, the ballet scores. Emotions are touchingly conveyed after fateful losses, such as grief and despair after the death of Arthur (“Boy”) Capel. The choice of music is absolutely successful, including compositions by Eric Satie, Dimitri Shostakovich and Igor Stravinsky. (…)

Rosenheimer Land OVB Friday, July 15, 2022


“Fantasy creatures in another world”

INTERVIEW: How director, conductor and costume designer stage The Magic Flute for children

In the OVB interview, director Ludwig Baumann, conductor Iris Schmid and costume designer Lilli Hartmann talk about the piece “The Magic Flute” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: a journey through landscape images reminiscent of “Game of Thrones” and “Lord of the Rings”.


How do you want to introduce children and young people to opera?

Ludwig Baumann:

“I think it’s important to plant a seed. That the children say as a teenager or young adult: I once saw something beautiful on Immling, I want to go there again. For me, it’s primarily about the future. I want to make opera accessible to a broad audience, because opera is still an elitist event.”


As a conductor, how do you make the “Magic Flute” suitable for children?

Iris Schmid:

The story of the “Magic Flute” is a bit convoluted. We have therefore created an identification figure in the form of the young Mozart. He explains what happens. The children can make connections si easier. It’s a really funny story. Things that children can identify with more, we left in the piece and left out the Masonic intellectual aspects.


What was Mr. Baumann’s vision for your costumes?

Lilli Hartmann:

Mr. Baumann concocted an idea with his son, who designed the set: a kind of fantasy world, natural landscapes that are a bit beyond our understanding. And that’s where the costumes have to fit in.

Local OVB 25.7.2022

“There’s dancing again in Immling”

INTERVIEW Lukas Gehabka, musical director of the musical “Footloose,” is excited about the spirit.

(…) After years of postponement, the time has finally come: the young musicians of Immling are allowed to sing and dance again. Lukas Gahabka tells OVB’s local newspapers what a liberation it is to finally be able to perform the musical.

For the past three years, the Immling Academy has wanted to perform the musical “Footloose”. Are you happy that the time has finally come?

It’s incredibly liberating – for all the singers who play along. For those rehearsing the play for the first time and, of course, for those who have had the musical in front of them for three years. There’s a whole different spirit inside. Our singers are drawn to the stage and they want to show their part.


Why is it important for Immling to appeal to a younger audience with a youth choir and the musical performances?

The youth choir, the entire academy, is a unifying element. The operas are the highlight in Immling, what Immling is known for. But getting young people excited about opera can happen through the youth choir. We attract a different audience.


Why should you go to see “Footloose” in Immling?

“Footloose” in Immling delivers exactly what the word musical promises. It is for all ages. It is incredibly active. There are an insane number of dances and many different styles of music are played. There is a lot of energy on stage, which is transferred to the audience.


“Intendant Ludwig Baumann, who in the past had already brought an excellent “Bohéme” and a bombastic “Turandot” to the stage, shows a tradition-conscious escapist opera world in his third Puccini. Just as a large part of the public probably longs for in these times. […]

[Dirigentin Cornelia von] Kerssenbrock consciously counteracts the well-worn clichés of the cloyingly overloaded Puccini, cultivating a transparent sound free of operatic schmaltz and thus restoring a human touch to the pathetically tragic story.”

Tobias Hell, Münchner Merkur


“[…] the reduction of the visual [wirkt] out like a burning glass on the acoustic melodrama of Puccini’s music. Surprisingly, just this kind of staging is excellent for proving the dramatic “overload” Puccini’s opera has to offer – almost too much of a good thing for an emotionally starved post-Corona audience. The fact that the idea works out so well is due to the outstanding musical quality. [ – indispensable for such a puristic concept. […] The second crown of this evening, besides the singer of the title role, however, clearly belongs to the rousingly playing Festival Orchestra Immling, which under the direction of Cornelia von Kerssenbrock makes this Puccini what it is: two and a half hours of Italian dramatic summer festival opera at its best!”

Iris Steiner, orpheus


“A rich and thus saturating cosmos of sound takes up space, while the eye can hardly get enough of the stage action. Ludwig Baumann’s production stringently narrates Butterfly’s drama, which unfolds in tasteful and not overloaded stage scenery (Ludwig Baumann) and at the same time conjures up mood nuances that transport the audience to 20th century Japan. Matching costumes (Gretl Kautzsch) and video technology (Maximilian and Walter Ulrich) are more than just decorative accessories.

Vocally, the choristers give their best, singing pleasingly homogeneously and thus contributing to the production’s glorious overall effect. Empathic, almost cautious, but nevertheless powerful, the festival orchestra under Kerssenbrock’s conducting makes the refined Puccini colors shine and crowns the emotionally rich composition, in which Puccini explored new musical stylistic means, as a top class. The highly motivated ensemble of eleven singers obviously has “butterflies in their stomachs” and thus, with virtuoso vocal performances, gives wings to long-lost operatic desires. […] Thumbs up for an all-around dazzling opera premiere.”

Kirsten Benekam, Passauer Neue Presse

“In the course of the quarter century in which Ludwig Baumann and Cornelia von Kerssenbrock have been celebrating their opera festival at Gut Immling, the riding hall there has developed into a real Bavarian bel canto stronghold. And this rank is now underpinned on the occasion of the anniversary by the excellently cast “La Cenerentola”, in which hardly any wishes remain unfulfilled in terms of vocal acrobatics.”

Tobias Hell, Münchner Merkur


“Hollywood scenes flickered on the back wall of the stage, between which the characters gradually became physical reality – a work of art within a work of art (stage design Klaus Hipp, video technology Maximilian Ulrich), grandly realized and lovingly presented. […] An opera evening like in a fairy tale.”

Kirsten Benekam, Passauer Neue Presse


“Musically, the evening runs smoothly, Rossini’s music sounds fast-paced and full of energy. Evan-Alexis Christ has the festival orchestra and the chorus, consisting of amateurs and extra choristers, who have a good job of acting, under control. And at the end? Oh, how nice to know that everything will end well. Prince and cleaning lady get along in front of an Oscar backdrop, magnanimity and true love win out, almost everyone is happy. A well-rounded evening. Happy ending.”

Dany Mayland, oprheus

Once Immling, always Immling.
It is so enriching to enjoy the combination of Upper Bavarian nature with rich Italian bel canto on the “Green Hill of Immling“. […]. The Immling Festival has its very own atmosphere that you just have to love. The sunsets there are now legendarily famous. This growing success is due to the tireless work and constant commitment of artistic director Ludwig Baumann and musical director Cornelia von Kerssenbrock. We can only congratulate you and wish you a continuation of your work.

Daniela Zimmermann, ioco Culture


Another classic that should not be withheld from the euphoric audience was the choral work “Va, pensiero” from Verdi’s Nabucco, in which the choir also lived up to its gratifyingly high potential: “Fly, thought, on golden wings,” was the song’s text, which could well be applied to the entire evening. Because such successful musical experiences carry us through every crisis. With a tailwind of frenetic applause and loud bravi from the gluttonous audience, there was enough power for quite a few encores. Finale Grandioso!

Kirsten Benekam on the Finale Grande, Passauer Neue Presse

  • The Opera Festival in Chiemgau – BR Klassik, Allegro


  • Interview with Ludwig Baumann and Cornelia von Kerssenbrock – Süddeutsche Zeitung


  • Madama Butterfly and the festival opening 2021 – Sat1Bayern feature


  • Opera in Corona times and La Cenerentola – Sat1Bayern contribution


  • 25 years Immling Festival – Radio Regenbogen Reportage,3824


  • 25 years Immling Festival – Ioco Culture



  • 25 years – Festival start – Talk with Ludwig Baumann – RFO contribution


  • Best of Musical – Youth work in Immling – Radio Regenbogen contribution,3893


  • Exhibition “Silence” by Ludwig Baumann – RFO Article


  • Musical walk – Radio Regenbogen contribution,3911


  • La Cenerentola – premiere report – RFO contribution


The Immlingen Festival Orchestra, under Cornelia von Kerssenbrock’s accurate and passionate direction, kicks in with Puccini’s massive sounds. The large Immlingen Festival Choir […] always sings with pinpoint accuracy despite all the action, and trumps violently where Puccini demands it. As a homogeneous trio in particularly opulent costumes by Ekaterina Zacharova, the three ministers Ping, Pang and Pong are convincing, and the hard-to-cast title role of Turandot is embodied by the Dane Trine Møller not only with space-filling top notes, but also with soul and vocal beauty. Thus, one buys Thomas Paul’s unconditional passion for this woman in every moment as the amorous Calaf. With his tenor, which is beguiling in all extreme registers, he inspires not only in the famous aria ‘Nessun dorma’. And also Beatriz Diaz as the suffering slave Liu touches with beautiful piani […] an absolutely worth seeing `Turandot` in this festival summer.

Franziska Stürz, BR Klassik


Ludwig Baumann’s production tells of death and the power of love: in clear sequences, easy to understand, gripping and in harmony with the music and libretto. The large-scale projection of the colorful and imaginative stage painting by Ekaterina Zacharova, a Russian living at Tegernsee, is the determining factor. She is also responsible for the costumes, which contribute Chinese color in stylized forms […] Chorus and orchestra carried the action. Cornelia von Kerssenbrock, now back in unbroken presence at the podium after a long illness, let Puccini’s melos blossom with intensity. The orchestral palette flaunted sonorities in Puccini’s here ‘neutral’ harmonies and mixed with subtle lyricism. The chorus, almost ubiquitous in Chinese-feeling outfit and movement vocabulary, succeeded with conciseness and variety of moods. The choristers delicately shaded the contemplation of the moon and gave a furious performance in the executioner’s scene, which was scenically not exploited in a striking manner, but only hinted at what was happening. Great opera happened in any case.

Elisabeth Aumiller, PNP Regional Editions


A visit of the ambitious production is worthwhile apart from the poetic equipment of Eketarina Zacharova alone already because of the protagonist pair, for which many a theater might envy the Immlinger. For once, title heroine Trine Møller is not a heavyweight Wagnerian heroine on a summer retreat, but has a viable lyric-dramatic soprano that sails effortlessly to the heights without any poignancy. Instead of ending in a decibel duel, the mystery scene thus became an unusually nuanced exchange of blows between the man-hating princess and the death-defying, nameless stranger courting her hand. Also because Møller had a justifiably confident tenor partner at his side in Thomas Paul as Calaf, who crowned his impressive role debut with a radiant `Nessun dorma`.

Tobias Hell, Münchner Merkur


The staging works via sophisticated light and video projections, which are used to vividly depict the imperial palace in the Forbidden City in Beijing and the streets and walls stained with blood by Princess Turandot. The viewer quickly sinks into the fairy-tale story of the beautiful but vengeful and ice-cold princess and the unknown prince Calaf. The often tremendous orchestral sounds are masterfully handled by the Festival Orchestra Immling – built up over the years and led by the charismatic conductor Cornelia von Kerssenbrock – resulting in a magnificent sound image despite not entirely simple acoustics. The vocal performances in the opera, which is demanding for singers, are at a very high level. First and foremost, the wonderfully warm and engaging soprano of the Spaniard Beatriz Díaz (Liù) is touching, while the Danish soprano Trine Møller impresses with her multi-layered, voluminous and space-filling voice as Turandot […] Highest praise is due to the large festival choir Immling with nearly 100 singers. At the end, tears flow (not only) for many of the female spectators – they are so moved by this special production.

Thorsten Große, orpheus – opera and more


“The role of the slave Liù […] was wonderfully sung with incomparably haunting, soft soprano by the Spanish Beatriz Díaz, who earned one of the most applause of the evening for it. […] Other important roles are the three ministers Ping (Luthando Qave, baritone from South Africa), Pang (Yu Hsuan Cheng, tenor, Taiwan) and Pong (Sergiu Săplăcan, tenor, Romania), who frequently drive the action on stage, sometimes wittily, sometimes dramatically and with perfect acting. Yan Tung Chan from Hong Kong set very special, great accents in the stage events: She is world champion in Kung-Fu […] During the frenetic final applause with all artists it became clear that the Kung-Fu master was physically ‘the smallest’, but in terms of stage presence she was probably ‘the biggest’.

Christiane Giesen, Traunsteiner Tagblatt

As usual, excellent performers with expressive voices and acting skills were on stage again this time, transporting the audience into summery, light Viennese operetta bliss in a witty and profound evening with a wonderful ensemble of singers. It succeeded wonderfully in transposing the lightness and light-heartedness of the piece and the music, this atmosphere of Viennese charm, waltz bliss and bitter irony. The festival orchestra Immling under the spirited and spirited yet sensitive direction of Kai Röhrig and the large festival choir under the rehearsal of Cornelia von Kerssenbrock once again contributed decisively to the success of the entire production – and it was a pleasure for all the senses to listen to the hits and catchy tunes.

Joachim Dracke, orpheus – opera and more


Spirited and yet sensitive, Evan Alexis Christ conducted the popular overture – the Festival Orchestra Immling did not take long to `follow` his rousing drive with irrepressible verve, which – as it should be – was enough for all the earwormy `Fledermaus` hits of the evening. This musical wave served as a healthy basis for the singing ensemble and the powerful-voiced festival choir, so that all together could live to the full in an original stage set created by Nikolaus Hipp and in costumes wonderfully matching the scenery by Wiebke Horn […Uli Bauer used the notorious role of the prison guard Frosch for a cabaret roundabout in Bavarian language […] For the snotty text tailored to the body and the hilarious performance there was applause and bravos. A `bat` that can be seen, a temptation in fact.

Kirsten Benekam, PNP Regional Editions


In a modern stage design by Nikolaus Hipp, the performance takes on a local color or two. Especially prison guard Frosch, portrayed by cabaret artist and Ude actor at the Nockherberg Uli Bauer, knows how to stage this humorously and has a similar déjà vu problem with a hat he wants to hang on a wall hook as butler James in ‘Dinner for One’ with the polar bear skin. Popular hits are played briefly and Prince Orlofsky’s masked ball takes place, without further ado, in a wellness temple with a sauna, in somewhat bizarre imitation of the original, which is set in a spa town near Vienna. These fun additions do not distract, but underline the performance of the young ensemble with masterly vocal quality and the orchestra under the direction of Evan Aexis Christ, which interprets the numerous musical highlights of Die Fledermaus with their varied dynamics in the best possible way.

Petra Kähsmann, Alt-Neuöttinger Anzeiger


This year Nikolaus Hipp is back as stage designer. With a few set pieces, such as a curved mini-revue staircase, he transforms the narrow wide-screen stage into Eisenstein’s house, Orlofsky’s sauna or the prison. A few background projections add to the atmosphere: they vault the sauna with a glass dome and even widen the view of the Puszta during Rosalinde’s Csárdás. […] Costume designer Wiebke Horn spices up the suit, tailcoat and evening gown with Alfred’s flowery silk jacket with red shoes and Rosalinde’s tulle skirt in the Hungarian national colors. In this ambience, the `Fledermaus` ensemble sings and plays its way through Thomas Peters` lively production, animated by Evan Alexis Christ on the podium of the exhilarated festival orchestra.

Gabriele Luster, Münchner Merkur


However, the special effect of the operetta is by no means based on the music alone, but is a total work of art consisting of choreography, lyrics and acting. All the performers, especially the versatile chamber maid Adele (Jennifer Zein) and her sister Ida (Caren Maxerath) shine not only with their finely modulating soprano voices but also with acting talents.

Christiane Giesen, Traunsteiner Tagblatt


Mozart’s `Don Giovanni` is a dramma giocoso, and director Verena von Kerssenbrock takes the wit of the original at its word. […] This convincingly crafted production does not need a tragic fall. The tragedy is subtly revealed in the details: people fall for a deceiver who has long since ruined himself. […] In this world, appearances rule. The having-wanting, the desiring. Then, as in a fairy tale, Zerlina’s wedding dress sails down from the sky. Very close and yet unreachable. In Don Giovanni’s serenade, white-shod ladies’ feet dance – and before he can grab them, disappear behind the closing doors. And Leporello, in his register aria, reveals an imposing wall of hundreds of ladies’ shoes as a metaphor of Don Giovanni’s conquests. Decorative trophies of a great conqueror past […] Thanks to the musical realization, the story develops a powerful undertow already in the hour and a half until the intermission. Outstanding in the grippingly singing ensemble are master and servant: Modestas Sedlevicius as a slickly elegant yet greasy Don Giovanni with fur collar and red shoes – and the justly acclaimed Leporello of Ilya Lapich, an on the point precise comedian with a magnificent baritone. Cornelia von Kerssenbrock leads a furious and rousing Immlingen Festival Orchestra. Immling delivers plump, juicy, erotically charged musical theater here.

Michael Atzinger, BR Klassik


Mozart’s opera gives conductor Cornelia von Kerssenbrock the opportunity, after the monumental ‘Turandot’ at the start of the festival and a ‘Fleming’, to demonstrate the stylistic range of her orchestra once again: in a fresh, historically informed tone that has been acquired through the baroque experiments of past years. The very first bars of the uncompromisingly driven overture draw the audience into the action. Also in the further course Kerssenbrock seldom loosens the reins – except as a deliberately set contrast […] A densely worked performance, which with Modestas Sedlevičius can offer an equally elegant and cultivated singing Don Juan, who sometimes has almost manic-depressive traits.

Tobias Hell, Münchner Merkur


Unadorned, yet virtuously drawn, with a tasteful individual spice and an acclaimed ensemble performance, the production hit the nerve of the premiere audience […] Verena von Kerssenbrock’s production shows a clear line, deals intensively with all ‘nuances’. In doing so, it does absolute justice to the designation of the opera genre ‘dramma giocoso’: it manages the balancing act between serious and comic elements, without causing a staging strain […] Powerfully and passionately, Cornelia von Kerssenbrock conducted an emotionally charged Immling Festival Orchestra, which provided a musical foundation for the Mozart opera with great intensity and thus passed the soloists and festival choir precisely the right balls: Fertile breeding ground for a thoroughly successful opera production, for which there was justifiably huge applause in Immling.

Kirsten Benekam, PNP / Regional Editions

Under the direction of Taro Harada (musical rehearsal by Lukas Gahabka, a student at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich and at the same time as the donkey of one of the main roles in the musical), an energetic and swinging 20-piece orchestra went to work with an exuberant joy of music-making. It is always a pity, but difficult to change, that the orchestra musicians are ‘invisible’ for the audience in the orchestra pit. They perform great and decorated the premiere with sonorous extravagance in highly praiseworthy virtuosity. Director Verena von Kerssenbrock saw her gang of brightly colored fairy tale freaks, enthusiastic about singing, dancing and playing, grow out of the wings in top form […] The stage became more and more colorful, the audience could hardly get enough of the shrill variety of lovingly designed costumes and the artful make-up (Sanna Dembrowski and Mia Philipps). There was dancing (choreography by Andrea, Robert and Tanja Honner, in cooperation with the dance ensemble of the Dance Academy Pro People), singing, playing music and acting until the (theater) beams were bent – there was as little trace of premiere stage fright as there was of uncertainty at the first contact with the audience. Oversized fairy tale figures made of wood on rolling boards serve as a modern mobile backdrop and are at the same time part of the projection surface for grandiose video and light design (Simon Kreisel and Maximilian Ulrich) […] This (musical) fairy tale is a colorful and instructive, a sounding and singing, a dancing and laughing wonder bag that cannot be discovered often enough.

Kirsten Benekam, OVB / PNP Regional Editions


Under the direction of Verena von Kerssenbrock, `Mozarts magische Manege`, a charming children’s opera with music by Mozart, was created, which celebrated its world premiere at the Immling Festival as a true lure of good taste in front of deliciously amused children’s eyes. After intensive rehearsal work with highly motivated children between the ages of five and 13, the soup of well-chosen works was cooked and tasted quite delicious to the audience. Well seasoned and wonderfully ‘arranged’, under the musical direction and rehearsal of Lukas Gahabka, the Children’s Festival Choir, together with vocal soloists in elaborate costumes (Sabine Lutter), presented an appealing as well as demanding selection from Mozart’s works in a child-friendly creative packaging in an amusing frame story. Iris Schmid was responsible for the musical arrangement, and Verena von Kerssenbrock and Florian Maier provided the witty dialogues. Nobody would have believed that the colorful hustle and bustle would ignite to such an extent and even lure `Wolferl` himself out of hiding […] In any case, the premiere audience could hardly separate itself from the musical, grandiose playing and singing little and big `heroes` and gave enthusiastic applause.

Kirsten Benekam, OVB / PNP Regional Editions


In the festival hall of Immling, Verdi’s Grand Opéra becomes the tragic struggle of the individual with the abysses of power. Nowhere is this more evident than in the atmospherically highly charged encounter between Filippo II (Oleksandr Pushniak) and the Grand Inquisitor (Gelu Dobrea) in the third act. While the aged churchman even rises from his wheelchair in his relentless belief in power, the massive figure of bass Oleksandr Pushniak sinks into himself. Here, the king, in his ashen caftan, becomes the Inquisition’s house servant, subjugating his reason as well as his friendship with Rodrigo to the preservation of power. It is one of the strongest images of director Stefano Simone Pintor’s extremely ambitious staging,which creates scenes that are as reduced as they are catchy. This is also due to the extremely successful stage design. It consists of a single gray projection surface jutting out of the stage like an iceberg. The struggle between power and reason can unfold here in ever new variations of light and shadow, supported by a smart color concept that sometimes undermines the text. Héctor Lopéz as Don Carlo masters the long, highly written phrases of his title role with the nonchalance of a veteran who had only two days earlier learned that he had to step in.

Thomas Jordan, Süddeutsche Zeitung


Verdi’s music from the hand of Lorenzo Coladonato is all the more glowing. The conductor, who trained in Milan, coaxes a remarkably beautiful sound out of the Immlingen Festival Orchestra, delivering optimal tempos and the ideal balance for the extremely exposed soloists. The festival choir Immling creates the large as well as the small choral scenes musically splendid, also the processions of the monks through the auditorium as clean as a whistle. The complexity of the work is done justice to in Immling in all areas […] a good three hours of wonderful music in a tastefully simple staging.

Franziska Stürz, BR Klassik


Director Stefano Simone Pintor knows the house from his successful production of “I vespri siciliani” from the previous year and proves once again with a cleverly balanced “Don Carlo” that he has a good hand for Verdi. The Italian knows how to deal skilfully with the special room situation and understands how to conjure up impressive images without big stagecraft […].
The vocal crown of the evening went to Kate Allen, who gave a brilliant performance as Princess Eboli, consumed by jealousy and guilt, culminating in a fiercely acclaimed “O don fatale”. The audience gave a similar ovation to Slawomir Kowalewski’s flawless Posa. He not only embodied the trustworthy friend, but also vocally defended his point of view in the duet with the king, which Pintor staged as a public hearing.

Tobias Hell, Münchner Merkur


The mass scenes blend into the action in well-crafted movement choreography, drawing powerful images of a gray mass of people or monks, which always at the right moment and in the appropriate rhythm, lend the scenes impressive drama. In addition, artfully devised shadow plays, both in small and oversized projection. Chairs blaze at the stake of the Inquisition – In the Labyrinth of Souls as a metaphor to the individuals who have fallen victim to ecclesiastical power: heretics whom the people, and above all the Church, want to see burn. An impressive comparison that triggered goose bumps in the audience. The performance of the opera ensemble was outstanding: tenor Carlo (Hector Lopez), who manages the balancing act between passionate love and abysmal disdain with vehemence and expressive delivery. Vocally always on point. The brilliant bass Filippo II (Oleksandr Pushniak) vacillates between agonizing distrust and desperate loneliness. Soprano Elisabetta (Anna Patrys) – powerful voice, radiant, with great empathic gift.

Kirsten Benekam, PNP / Regional Editions

Director and artistic director Ludwig Baumann has succeeded with this new production, which carefully updates the well-known story, but never betrays the play […] That it nevertheless does not become too technical or even sober is ensured, among other things, by the Parisian street scenes by Ekaterina Zacharova, immortalized in rich oil colors, whose paintings are projected into the otherwise white stage space and aptly capture the pulsating life of the French metropolis. Not to mention the emotional final image, which counters the tragically escalating music with a maudlin reminiscence of carefree times, thus giving the audience an additional stab in the heart […].
Hand in hand with the ensemble, which is cast true to type and lives its arias and duets beyond all wish-concert bliss, something succeeds which a hardened opera-goer no longer thinks possible: that Puccini’s almost dead-played tearjerker suddenly becomes really touching again.

Tobias Hell, Münchner Merkur


Above all, the singing is splendid; Ysmanov in particular clothes the demanding tenor role in a melting lyric bel canto that blossoms in the high register. Sylwia Olszynska as Mimì enchants with a golden timbre and deeply touches with her quiet death, Gloria Giurgola as Musetta, on the other hand, dabs at the heights so gracefully that one quickly forgives her played bitchiness. This is how it should be. The festival orchestra, composed primarily of regional forces, is also highly professional. Italian conductor Lorenzo Coladonato gets more than the possible out of the only marginally reduced string instrumentation. Above all, he hits the conversational tone of the music precisely with fluidly moving tempi; even the many rubati floating freely in the air or driving forward are still securely coordinated in the secondary voices. The entire production is so first-class and inspired that even out-of-town visitors will not regret the good hour’s drive through the beautiful countryside. Drive there!

Michael Bastian Weiß, Abendzeitung Munich


Ludwig Baumann’s production told the world’s most performed opera in his own language, gave free rein to his obviously flourishing imagination, and infected the quickly delighted audience with fresh opera glamour à la bonne heure. The entire production was reminiscent of a colorful firecracker. Between living in an artist’s flat-share and the merry goings-on at the Christmas market on Christmas Eve, Schmacht’s arias enchanted against the backdrop of the credibly traced savoir-vivre of Parisian society at the end of the 19th century. The visual attacks of a positive nature were soon joined by rousing vocals from an optimally cast opera ensemble in the harmonious accompaniment of a spirited orchestra […]
With the best will in the world, none of the singers could be singled out at this premiere. If there were an enhancement of brilliant, it would flatter Ludwig Baumann’s staging. And because the best praise has the most lasting effect at the end, the brilliant(-most) performance of the Festival Orchestra Immling under the direction of Lorenzo Coladonato as well as the magnificent Festival Choir Immling should be awarded with great praise.

Kirsten Benekam, PNP / Regional Editions

Verena von Kerssenbrock’s Freischütz production aims at core messages in symbolic images, uniting the fantastic with the morbid. With impressive images, it makes visible the struggle of good and evil with von Weber’s magnificent music. The Immling Festival draws from the full: Top cast of vocal soloists, a highly motivated, cohesive choir in top form that can be wonderfully multifunctional, and in the orchestra pit, conducted by Evan Alexis Christ, none other than the Munich Symphony Orchestra. The stage design (Nikolaus Hipp) offers plenty of scope for staging moments of surprise […].
The opera ensemble was in top form, convincing vocally in all roles […] Katja Bördner as Agathe, believably well-behaved and pious with touching intimacy in her radiant soprano. Josefin Feiler as Ännchen was a stunner, filling her role not only vocally but also acting with comedic brilliance and bringing zest to the scenes. Johan Weigel as Max, with elegant tenor, only torn in his role, vocally without flaw, as well as Kosma Ranuer as Kaspar, fully convincing in his audacity […] Well aimed – taste met: With thunderous applause the premiere audience thanked for an exhilarating opera evening.

Kirsten Benekam, PNP / Regional Editions


Scenically as well as musically, little was left to be desired […] Vocally, Katja Bördner (Agathe) provides the magical moments of this performance: so tender, so beautiful – the house holds its breath during her arias. At Katja Bördner’s side: a delightful stage animal as Ännchen – perky, lovable, compassionate. With jubilant top notes Josefin Feiler sends her confidence and joy of life into the dark “Freischütz” forest […] Full of enchanting intimacy the bridesmaids, strong-voiced and powerful the Immlinger Festspielchor […The Munich Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Evan Alexis Christ accompanies colorfully and sensitively […] A fabulous light direction with all kinds of effectively projected flying and scurrying night animals on the stage sky provides for pleasant creepiness. The Immling Festival has been able to do a great deal musically and scenically for years. Now it can also do video art. Respect!

Michael Atzinger, BR Klassik


In a morning dew mood, the snappy Evan Alexis Christ, who took over musical direction at short notice from the ill Cornelia von Kerssenbrock, conducted the convincing Munich Symphony Orchestra’s romantic overture in the thoroughly remarkable acoustics of the hall. A white and a black demon wrestle dancing and woodcut-like about good and evil, before the hunters’ chorus rumbles their way in […] Vocally strong the hermit is voiced by Kai Wegner in sandals, who together with Modestas Sedlevičius as Prince Ottokar sets a vocal highlight.

Anna Schürmer, Münchner Merkur

The three main actors of the opera “Orpheus and Eurydice”, which now celebrated its premiere, are finalists of the singing competition and demonstrated their skills grandly on stage. The now fifth Ba Rock opera is about the sudden death of Eurydice and Orpheus` attempt to bring his beloved back from the realm of the dead. His grief becomes so tangible for the audience, almost their own heartbreak, that the depressed mood seems almost unbearable […] One thing, however, is absolutely clear: the performances of the actors, the orchestra and the festival choir are absolutely outstanding. The ensemble of Immling succeeds in playing the keyboard of emotions so confidently and intensely that the audience is completely under their spell.

Valentina Antonucci, Süddeutsche Zeitung


With the sudden death of Eurydice […] begins a long process of healing for the title character. In Modestas Sedlevičius, he has a performer who, with his brightly timbrated baritone, skilfully balances on the fine line between quiet sadness and wildly rearing despair, but who at the same time has the necessary timbres for the slowly burgeoning hope and for the memories of happier times. At his side, not only Maryna Zubko’s Eurydice, who scores with a warm soprano, and the somewhat lightweight but vocally all the more agile Rachel Croash as Amor are convincing, but above all conductor Cornelia von Kerssenbrock. After Verdi and Donizetti, she now finds a connection to Gluck and cultivates a lean, historically informed sound with her highly motivated orchestra. Even the famous “Che farò senza Euridice” is thus presented, in keeping with the opera reformer Gluck, not as a great maudlin emotional outburst, but in the best sense of the word as theater music serving the text and the staging. An evening that was as surprising as it was successful, rounding off one of the most harmonious Immlingen festival years in a long time.

Tobias Hell, Münchner Merkur


Under the musical direction of Cornelia von Kerssenbrock, Ludwig Baumann’s production put a brilliant new crown on Gluck’s work: Gluck’s “reform opera” experiences a contemporary adaptation, free of frills and ludicrous abstraction, in the latest production of the Immling Festival, with a grandly positioned festival choir, a magnificent festival orchestra and an expressive, detailed dance choreography (Dominique Aref, Andrea, Robert and Tanja Honner). Great emotionally charged drama provides the material for an opera production with psychologically illuminated behavior of the individual characters […] An opera premiere that builds bridges in many respects, breaks clichés, expands horizons. A sensitive psychoanalytical reappraisal of an ancient material combines singing, orchestra, dance and pantomime in equal measure […] The opera singers shone not only vocally, but also in their expressive body work. The dancers were always in the right place at the right time. An unforgettable opera evening, for which the premiere audience thanked with never-ending applause and loud bravos.

Kirsten Benekam, PNP / Regional Editions


Ukrainian soprano Maryna Zubko […] later convinces with jubilant reunion joy and abysmal despair […] This glory has a second name: Modestas Sedlevičius. The Lithuanian baritone, audibly trained in song, packs the glistening happiness and piercing pain of Orfeo as a matter of course into his magnificently conducted voice. Noble, gripping, consumed with suffering and passion. Orfeo, by the way, is released at the end as cured – but to what future? See – and above all hear for yourself. It’s worth it.

Michael Atzinger, BR Klassik


This year, the opening premiere of “I vespri siciliani” was a much rarer but no less gripping rarity from the pen of Giuseppe Verdi. Created in the wake of “La traviata”, the “Sicilian Vespers”, launched in 1855, also has everything one would expect from the composer. Catchy melodies, effective choral scenes […] Cornelia von Kerssenbrock […] already strikes energetic tempi in the overture and leaves nothing to be desired in the further course of the evening. Sometimes one almost wishes Kerssenbrock would take more time – as she does, for example, in the emotional moments between Arrigo and Elena, which she balances sensitively with the excellently performing Munich Symphony Orchestra. But the contrasting dramaturgy works and leaves the audience almost breathless at the end into the clear summer night. That’s how you put up with a Verdi excavation.

Tobias Hell, Münchner Merkur


For his “Sicilian Vespers”, the young Italian director Stefano Simone Pintor transposes the political conflict between the people and the occupiers into an eternally existing warlike world between the Middle Ages and today. The naively abstract stage design by Nikolaus Hipp consists of bamboo scaffolding and stretched bright cloths, from which the people emerge in picturesque costumes from the Verdi era. The brutal French soldiers, on the other hand, wear 20th century uniforms and maraud with drawn sabers. A remarkable scenic and musical performance by the Immlingen Festival Choir […] In the orchestra pit of the Reithalle, Cornelia von Kerssenbrock and the Munich Symphony Orchestra manage a real Verdi surprise. The musicians owe nothing to the enormous range of Verdi’s tonal language: the notes falter dully in a threatening atmosphere, then great eruptions of rebellion rear up, the music prances and flirts playfully in the love arias, and is excellently attuned to the stage action and the soloists from beginning to end […] All in all, the Immlingen production […] offers an impressive Verdi evening with high musical rarity value.

Franziska Stürz, BR Klassik


The fact that this monumental Verdi opus is one of the more rarely performed operas is certainly not due to the music, which is full of beauty and shows a strong Verdi profile […] Pintor builds up tension and has in the young soloists and the Immlingen Festival Choir performatively malleable “material”. The Munich Symphony Orchestra and its conductor Cornelia von Kerssenbrock are a good team. Especially after the intermission, the orchestral sound develops in a more differentiated way and lets Verdi’s tonal language shine between sensitive tone-painting and dramatically trumpeting emphasis.

Elisabeth Aumiller, PNP / Regional Editions


The story of the brutal uprising of the Sicilians against the French occupiers is quite movingly told, but the real drama takes place musically. Conductor Cornelia von Kerssenbrock drives the Munich Symphony Orchestra to explosive emphasis, always accompanying in a singer-friendly manner despite the courage to use striking effects. And some of them are world class this evening. Especially the two dark voices of the evening – the bass-baritone Stefano Meo as Monforte and the bass Alexander Teliga as Procida – have voices with enormous penetrating power and impressive sensitivity in the piano. Tenor Angelo Fiore (Arrigo) masters the part with the numerous high Cs and Ds with aplomb.

Jesko Schulze-Reimpell, Danube Courier

An all-around harmonious opera evening has succeeded here, which already recommends itself as an Immlingen highlight […] With excellent character direction, with the chorus as well as with the soloists, the director creates a lively event full of liveliness, humor and equally dazzling and convincing characterization. The young ensemble of singers scores with top-class performances, both vocally and dramatically, and would also set a highlight in many a renowned opera theater […] Last but not least, the captain Cornelia von Kerssenbrock and the festival orchestra Immling deserve great praise for a lively, dynamic and exciting musical exploration of the melodic richness in Donizetti’s score. An evening that is a joy in its unity, light-heartedness, musical and vocal quality.

Elisabeth Aumiller, PNP / Regional Editions


Fine and filigree – as composed by Donizetti – the alert and sensitive Immlingen Festival Orchestra makes music. Melancholically languishing, boldly showing off, delicately accompanying – the conductor conjures up the many colors of the score with her musicians with aplomb […] Sergio Foresti as Dulcamara – costumed in the manner of a somewhat aged pirate Jack Sparrow […] is inspiring in the best buffo manner, magnificently revving up and yet wonderfully controlled. [Nemorino] the most beautiful aria – and Chuanliang Wang has the charisma and the voice for it: not quite harmless in the middle register, but with a lot of melting and even more brilliance in the high register. Donizetti’s “Love Potion” at Gut Immling: doesn’t make you seasick, but – as it should – slightly tipsy and many premiere visitors happy.

Michael Atzinger, BR Klassik


The rudder is firmly in the hand of […] Cornelia von Kerssenbrock, who has long since earned the four captain’s stripes on her smart uniform through her work in Immlig, and who steers with a comedic light hand through all the depths and shallows of the score […] Elisa Cenni, in addition to her sympathetic charisma, also brings with her an agile soprano from which the gentlemen let themselves be captivated. Similarly well drawn are the clumsy Nemorino, who is in love with her, and his rival Belcore […] Carlo Checchi visibly enjoys endowing the vain rooster with an excess of self-confidence and flexes his muscles not only vocally. Between his virtuosically performed numbers, he sometimes does a few boastful push-ups. Initially still stumbling clumsily through the action, Chuanliang Wang’s Nemorino can more than hold his own, at least in terms of euphony. And this not only with the hit “Una furtiva lagrima”, with which he conquers not only Adina’s heart but also the audience for good.

Tobias Hell, Münchner Merkur

The three main actors of the opera “Orpheus and Eurydice”, which now celebrated its premiere, are finalists of the singing competition and demonstrated their skills grandly on stage. The now fifth Ba Rock opera is about the sudden death of Eurydice and Orpheus` attempt to bring his beloved back from the realm of the dead. His grief becomes so tangible for the audience, almost their own heartbreak, that the depressed mood seems almost unbearable […] One thing, however, is absolutely clear: the performances of the actors, the orchestra and the festival choir are absolutely outstanding. The ensemble of Immling succeeds in playing the keyboard of emotions so confidently and intensely that the audience is completely under their spell.

Valentina Antonucci, Süddeutsche Zeitung


With the sudden death of Eurydice […] begins a long process of healing for the title character. In Modestas Sedlevičius, he has a performer who, with his brightly timbrated baritone, skilfully balances on the fine line between quiet sadness and wildly rearing despair, but who at the same time has the necessary timbres for the slowly burgeoning hope and for the memories of happier times. At his side, not only Maryna Zubko’s Eurydice, who scores with a warm soprano, and the somewhat lightweight but vocally all the more agile Rachel Croash as Amor are convincing, but above all conductor Cornelia von Kerssenbrock. After Verdi and Donizetti, she now finds a connection to Gluck and cultivates a lean, historically informed sound with her highly motivated orchestra. Even the famous “Che farò senza Euridice” is thus presented, in keeping with the opera reformer Gluck, not as a great maudlin emotional outburst, but in the best sense of the word as theater music serving the text and the staging. An evening that was as surprising as it was successful, rounding off one of the most harmonious Immlingen festival years in a long time.

Tobias Hell, Münchner Merkur


Under the musical direction of Cornelia von Kerssenbrock, Ludwig Baumann’s production put a brilliant new crown on Gluck’s work: Gluck’s “reform opera” experiences a contemporary adaptation, free of frills and ludicrous abstraction, in the latest production of the Immling Festival, with a grandly positioned festival choir, a magnificent festival orchestra and an expressive, detailed dance choreography (Dominique Aref, Andrea, Robert and Tanja Honner). Great emotionally charged drama provides the material for an opera production with psychologically illuminated behavior of the individual characters […] An opera premiere that builds bridges in many respects, breaks clichés, expands horizons. A sensitive psychoanalytical reappraisal of an ancient material combines singing, orchestra, dance and pantomime in equal measure […] The opera singers shone not only vocally, but also in their expressive body work. The dancers were always in the right place at the right time. An unforgettable opera evening, for which the premiere audience thanked with never-ending applause and loud bravos.

Kirsten Benekam, PNP / Regional Editions


Ukrainian soprano Maryna Zubko […] later convinces with jubilant reunion joy and abysmal despair […] This glory has a second name: Modestas Sedlevičius. The Lithuanian baritone, audibly trained in song, packs the glistening happiness and piercing pain of Orfeo as a matter of course into his magnificently conducted voice. Noble, gripping, consumed with suffering and passion. Orfeo, by the way, is released at the end as cured – but to what future? See – and above all hear for yourself. It’s worth it.

Michael Atzinger, BR Klassik


The Kerssenbrock sisters have succeeded in creating a light-footed production with depth in their interpretation, which is very contemporary against the background of an increasingly radicalized society.

Angela Pillatzki, APPLAUS Culture Magazine


With a predominantly outstanding young ensemble of singers and the competent musical direction of Cornelia von Kerssenbrock on the podium, the Immling Festival once again proved to be an important forum for the discovery of first-class voices. First and foremost, the young Chinese tenor Chuanliang Wang succeeded with a sensational role debut
as amino.

Elisabeth Aumiller, Passauer Neue Presse / Regional Editions


Conductor Cornelia von Kerssenbrock mostly pursues a historically informed, lean sound ideal in the orchestra pit, which allows the young singers to approach their work in a relaxed manner. The Chinese Chuanliang Wang sings a self-confident prince who, after an almost too dramatic beginning, quickly finds his way back to the soft Mozart tone. From the very beginning, Maximilian Krummen has sympathy on his side – as could hardly be expected otherwise – singing a Papageno with a noble baritone that is as supple as it is gripping.

Tobias Hell, Münchner Merkur


The story (…) is coherent and completely comprehensible brought to the stage. White made-up faces, clown-like masks, evil snakes that are just two hands long, miracle bags that are distributed, all this brings to the stage a showpiece to enjoy.

Manfred Drescher, The Opera Lover


The title heroine, Iryna Zhytynska, thankfully does not have to throw herself at the men with a low neckline, but in her floor-length black dress radiates an aura of the unapproachable, which only makes this woman seem all the more desirable to the gentlemen.” “The production’s greatest asset, however, remains the Munich Symphony Orchestra, also regulars in Immling, which makes Bizet’s earworm-laden score glow in rich colors under Cornelia von Kerssenbrock’s sometimes almost veristic conducting.

Tobias Hell, Münchner Merkur


Spiritedly, the orchestra cheered the singers and the choir, always playing in a very balanced way and never covering the protagonists.

Amelie Pauli, BR Klassik


The Immlinger Festival Choir also demonstrates multitasking qualities. Whether as a jubilant fan club of Escamillo, a gang of smugglers with booty wives, office stallions with drive jams, sparring partners for the torero, or arbiters of disputes: it always shows itself equal to the scenic and musical demands.” Opera should also provide material for discussion. The performance of the Munich Symphony Orchestra was completely above that. What this highly professional orchestra offered in dynamic subtleties, precision and homogeneous sound quality under the baton of Cornelia von Kerssenbrock was a treat in itself.

Passauer Neue Presse / Regional editions


And then the very big star of this ‘Carmen’ appears and actually the opera should be called ‘Micaëla’ this evening, so fiery, ravishing, grandly trumpeting and filling the riding hall to the last corner the young Turkish soprano Deniz Yetim asserts herself. Her luminous sonorous, warm and full-bodied soprano touches not only Don José, but also the audience (…) For me by far the best performance of tonight and that means something, because there are no failures in the ensemble. The audience has a sense of the extraordinary of the interpretation and applauds without end.

Manfred Drescher, The Opera Lover

Projections of large-scale, abstract color patterns (Nikolaus Hipp) create a sometimes dreamlike atmosphere and only the protagonists who are currently singing become visible, the ‘latticework’ disappears and the choristers positioned on the various floors seem to float weightlessly in space. Images of compelling charm emerge, especially when the children’s chorus populates the stage without stiffness and with sure movement: it seems like a pastel painting of orange and yellow. Included in the jubilant applause were, of course, the orchestra, which as always played not only professionally but with the utmost commitment, and the conductor Cornelia von Kerssenbrock, who, unpretentious and with youthful verve, made the whole range of Orff music shine. Given the large apparatus, the spaciousness of the stage and the intricacy of the rhythms, a great performance!

Walther Prokop, OVB


On the totally rainy premiere evening of Carl Orff’s ‘Little World Theater – The Moon’ in combination with the “Carmina Burana”, a gripping fairy-tale atmosphere with pulsating sound magic unfolded inside the festival house at Gut Immling. Nikolaus Hipp and director Katrin Sedlbauer gave the moon fairy tale a vivid stage setting. On each of three levels, four ‘moon chambers’ were separated by ladders, on which the performers could gymnastically move back and forth between the levels of the underworld, earth and sky with a bit of acrobatics.

Elisabeth Aumiller, Passauer Neue Presse / Regional Editions

At Gut Immling, the baroque opera is brought to the stage as a BaRock opera. In a great symbiosis, the beautiful original music is interspersed with blues and psychedelic rock, inspired by musicians and bands like Jimi Hendrix, the very early Pink Floyd or the Rolling Stones. In this way, the horrors of war and the respective inner conflicts of the protagonists are perfectly expressed. This production is a grandiose feast for all the senses. It appeals to the ear, the eye and the heart, and is – in keeping with the Baroque style – lavish but not exuberant. The performance is energetic, full of tempo and action at the very highest level (…) Thus the ‘Rinaldo’ on Immling is also an unobtrusive call for humanity, reconciliation and tolerance.

Stefan Brunner, Passauer Neue Presse / Regional Editions


Beyond all doubt is (…) Reinhild Buchmayer in the title role, who is as confident in style as she is in coloratura, and who makes Rinaldo’s fears and hopes tangible in every note. Similarly commanding is her martial co-star Sheldon Baxter as Goffredo or Kate Allen’s velvety soft intoning Eustazio. And what Jeffrey Tarr lacks in menace as the degraded Argante is more than made up for on the dark side of the force by Leonor Amaral’s brilliantly performing Armida.

Tobias Hell, Münchner Merkur


For a few years now, people here in the Chiemgau have been trying the art form of ba-rock opera, as with Handel’s ‘Alcina’ and ‘Xerxes’. And this time, for ‘Rinaldo’, there is also a small rock ensemble in the orchestra pit. So many compositions are accompanied by classical and rock until electric guitar and percussion fade out, leaving the music entirely to Handel’s score again.

Adrian Prechtel, Abendzeitung Munich

The strings weave softly and transparently, beginning to undulate and flood, gradually becoming brighter and more radiant. With Bedrich Smetana’s “The Moldau” Ludwig Baumann had chosen the right opening music for his anniversary gala on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the festival at Gut Immling. Staying in flow, staying in motion, sometimes rousing, sometimes calm, that can also be said looking back on 20 years of Immling, Baumann said. Together with his wife Cornelia von Kerssenbrock, Baumann has succeeded in turning provisional beginnings on the green hill of Immling into a top-class synthesis of the arts consisting of natural idyll and classical music with internationally renowned performers who, like the audience, appreciate the family atmosphere of the festival.

Georg Füchtner, OVB

The actors of the evening once again gave their all. Minutes of applause were sure for them at the end. On the stage there was suffering, singing of love vows, as well as celebrating the anniversary of the festival with variations of `Happy Birthday` and `Zum Geburtstag viel Glück` in the style of Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner and Strauss. In the version à la Tango Argentino, moreover, tenor Alin Stoica did not miss the chance to perform a tango on the side stage with the festival’s musical director, Cornelia von Kerssenbrock.

By then, at the latest, it was perceptible and visible that a `family` – not united by degrees of kinship, but by music – was demonstrating its skills. At Immling, the music is in the foreground and not the origin or religion,” Cornelia von Kerssenbrock emphasized in her speech. This year, performers from 33 nations were on stage: `We will maintain this openness in the future. Because music connects.` In keeping with this, the Finale Grande featured a journey through different countries.

Silvia Mischi, OVB

The guitars of Ricardo Volkert and Simón ‘El Quintero’ sounded racy-temperamental, the songs were emphatic-longing and vibrating with inner glow, rhythmically rousing accompanied by the percussionists Peter Krämer and Simon Hofmann (…)….) The gestures of the hand and the fingers are artfully stylized, often threatening or dismissive is the look and wildly stomping, drumming-booming or light-footed are the dance steps, exactly rattling sound the castanets. For us laymen, the countless variations of all these dance movements are astonishing and awe-inspiringly strange, but all the more fascinating for that.

The highlight of equestrian elegance was the quadrille, the horse ballet, of the “Showpferde Allgäu”: Four magnificent noble white horses of the “pura raza española”, real Andalusians, ridden by Amazons in black riding clothes with wide-brimmed hats, performed to the music their circled figures across the riding arena: horsemanship, music and creativity in a noble triad.

Rainer Janka, OVB

`We try to spice up classical music at a high level,` Darvas explained this style rather matter-of-factly and modestly. What the audience then experienced, however, was a brilliant musical firework of rousing melodies, groovy rhythms and virtuoso brilliance (…) That this music touches the soul was also shown by the fiercely applauded encore. It was a potpourri in which the Janoska Ensemble once again demonstrated its virtuosic, swinging musicality.

Georg Füchtner, OVB

On the stage of Gut Immling ‘Cats’ is now shown for the first time and with impressive success: The approximately 30 young actors were happy about standing ovations at the end of the premiere. This enthusiasm can be attributed not only to the popularity of this work. All participants are also characterized by enormous joy in playing and great skill.

Karin Wunsam, OVB

Here, too, it is expressed how well figures from classical ballet can be translated into pop music. It is elegant and sexy, racy and elegiac (…) But again and again quarrels break out between the groupies and the roadies. Not only do the rags fly, but the dancers also fly across the stage. The various feelings of passion, jealousy, love, disappointment are perfectly realized in dance. Dynamic group scenes and elegiac solos inspire the audience, and many would like to dance along to the rousing rhythm.

Margrit Jacobi, OVB


Karsten Bohn staged here a timelessly valid parable about power and abuse of power, whose haunting message remains absolutely unmistakable at the end. Claus Hipp’s stage is as simple as it is functional, suggesting different settings with just a few set pieces. Bettina Richter’s stylish costumes, on the other hand, subtly evoke the era of Italian fascism.

(…) Cornelia von Kerssenbrock, who gets by without striking gestures on the podium of the Munich Symphony Orchestra, does not see the work merely as a gimmicky verismo shocker, but brings out the human fates and thus grounds Puccini’s score.

Tobias Hell, Münchner Merkur


(…) the great feeling that Cornelia von Kerssenbrock brings to the stage with the Munich Symphony Orchestra with sovereignty and beauty of sound.”
“The Immlinger Tosca convinces with its conclusion: evil is always and everywhere and drives people to death. Then as now.

Michael Atzinger, BR Klassik

(…) the soulless doll Olympia, the sensitive Antonia or the coldly calculating courtesan Giulietta. To have these characters embodied by one and the same singer is not always easy in everyday stage life. After all, each of these roles has its own special vocal requirements. Fortunately, at the Gut Immling Opera Festival, a singer has been found in the young Russian Tatiana Larina, who daringly rises to this challenge and triumphs in doing so.” “Always preserving the light tone of the opéra comique, Cornelia von Kerssenbrock drives the action forward with brisk tempi and, after the snappy drinking songs of Hoffmann’s drinking companions in the three middle acts, balances with consummate elegance on the fine line between sensitive drama and irony.” (Tobias Hell, Münchner Merkur) “This lightness is reflected in the direction. And yet Hoffmann, the drug addict, the drunkard, is not betrayed to the clamor at any second.

Michael Atzinger, BR Klassik

In the continuo, Arabic notes occasionally mingle with the recitatives sung in German, and the soloists usually improvise short jazzy sequences with Handel`esque motifs following their arias sung in Italian – and it all comes across as delightfully loose and fresh.” “Immlinger Ba-Rock has what it takes to be an export hit to major German opera houses.”

Franziska Stürz, BR Klassik


Rock, then, as a thoroughly tasteful and intelligently done garnish to a baroque music that has enough power in itself and, moreover, certainly has a motoric affinity to newer popular styles.” “Conductor Cornelia von Kerssenbrock led the highly motivated instrumentalists without show, but with prudence and verve.” (Walther Prokop, OVB) “It is an unusual, even whacky performance of George Frideric Handel’s baroque opera `Xerxes`, performed at the Gut Immling Opera Festival. It is modern and energetic, full of tempo and action at the very highest level. The turbulent game of confusion and mistaken identity is well comprehensible in Ludwig Baumann’s staging, so that the audience can follow the plot without any problems.”

Stefan Brunner, Passauer Neue Presse / Regional Editions

Even if not all of the children, asked by ‘Rossini’ Frits Kamp, wanted to become opera singers – their fun, their pleasure in this performance was had by all, even by the smallest ones, some of whom could not stay in their seats and came forward to the stage to touch Cinderella. This is how opera works for children.

Thomas Kraus, OVB

There is a story to the 31 Beatles songs played, which Breuer has realized in his brilliant dance theater with a wonderful feeling for the overwhelming emotions as well as the subtle nuances (…) Go there and experience it!

Margrit Jacobi, OVB


“A start with thunder and lightning (…) in the pit, where conductor Cornelia von Kerssenbrock on the podium of the Munich Symphony unleashes an orchestral thunderstorm of almost biblical proportions right from the first bars of Giuseppe Verdi’s `Otello`, leaving no doubt that the contrasting score is in her best hands.”

“(The) enhancement of the character (Desdemona) is entirely in keeping with the concept of director Magdalena Fuchsberger, who brings the timeless drama about love and trust to the sparse stage, furnished by Claus Hipp, without any staging gimmicks and always stays very close to the story and its characters. With her, Otello and Desdemona are equal partners who cannot exist without each other.”

Tobias Hell, OVB/Münchner Merkur


“In particular, the casting of the three-person constellation Otello-Desdemona-Iago makes this penultimate Verdi opera a downright psychological thriller, more exciting than any American crime series. With this ensemble, the Immlingers have truly made three discoveries.”

“Add to that the festival choir, as always in good spirits and confidently intoning, and the competent Munich Symphony Orchestra conducted by Cornelia von Kerssenbrock: this is more than a successful premiere evening. Rather, an insanely rousing one.”

Jochen Eichner, BR Klassik


“The Turkish tenor Efe Kislali sang the part of Otello with admirable ease in his darkly colored, nobly timbrated, spacious splendorous voice. Deniz Yetim, also from Turkey, made her German debut as Desdemona, and one wishes to hear this magnificent soprano again soon. One is simply at a loss for words to describe her big, resonant, luminous voice. Welshman Rhys Jenkins gave his first Iago, and it is quite clear that he will sing this part, which suits him very well, very often.”

Christoph Karner, New Merker

“Here the emotions boiled when on Saturday (…) the verismo tandem `Bajazzo and Il Tabarro` proved that opera as a powerhouse of passion has not yet gone off the grid (…) In this simple, harmonious ambience (Verena von Kerssenbrock and Wiebke Horn, costumes) captivating musical theater developed, musically fired by Cornelia von Kerssenbrock. She steered the young festival orchestra right into the middle of the highly dramatic upswings, made it seethe or languish, and coordinated the musicians, the splendid amateur choir including children, and the soloists, who threw themselves into the action with unbridled commitment.”

Gabriele Luster, OVB/Münchner Merkur


“The Swedish soprano Liine Carlsson, who had stepped in for Anna Dimitriu, who had fallen ill, and who absorbed the production in a very short time, played the two female roles of Nedda and Giorgetta – who are completely different in type – with a wide range of emotions, which she knew how to shape in expression, facial expression and movement, with great naturalness and intensity. With a perfectly placed, wonderfully balanced voice and brilliant, effortless tone production, the soprano beguiled not only her lovers, but also the audience.

But also the coarse, horned husbands, Alexander Schulz in the role of Canio, who played the Bajazzo, and Jacek Strauch in Il Tabarro, who gave Michele, thrilled the audience with their powerful vocal outbursts seething with rage, blazing with hatred and raging with jealousy. For this, there was spontaneous applause again and again, and rightly so, because the performers never forgot the singing line despite all the great emotions.”

Barbara Heigl, Traunsteiner Tagblatt

Where Immlinger’s production tends to err on the conservative side scenically, with lots of feather headdress and jaguar fur, it takes a more unusual approach musically, enriching the original music with electronic sounds by two mid-twenties Daniel Hermann-Collini and Camila de Laborde.”

“The soloists are beyond all doubt. Anna Brull’s virile, powerful Cortés triumphs over the title character Thomas Diestler in the end, but faces strong competition from the Aztec queen Mitrena, in whose virtuoso arias Antonela Barnat’s warmly timbrated mezzo unfolds its full radiance. As lovers between the fronts, Derek Rue in the role of Cortés’ brother and Nastasja Neumann as Montezuma’s daughter are allowed to wallow in heartbreak, while Sarah Zhai Strauss burns off spectacular fireworks of coloratura as the combative Asprano.”

Tobias Hell, OVB/Münchner Merkur


“At its premiere as part of the opera festival at Gut Immling, the baroque opera was a great success as a colorful, imposing work. Under the direction of artistic director Ludwig Baumann and musical director Cornelia von Kerssenbrock, the work was given a modern makeover that delighted opera fans. Neither the electro-acoustic elements, which at first seemed somewhat unusual, nor the video feeds on a large screen took away from the baroque charm. Rather, this unusual set underscored the dramaturgical elements of the action.”

“The countertenor Thomas Diestler, who comes from Graz, embodied the title hero. His polished technique to the alto and even soprano register gave the figure of Montezuma a special touch. Acting as well as vocal and musical highlights gave the audience not only Mitrena (Antonela Barnat), Teutile (Nastasja Neumann), Fernando (Anna Brull), Ramiro (Derek Rue) and Asprano (Sarah Zhai-Strauss) but also the Kammerchor Gut Immling and the baroque orchestra Georgian Sinfonietta.”

Petra Kähsmann, Alt-Neuöttinger Anzeiger