To update a previous post on the sudden cancellation of American soprano Dawn Upshaw's anticipated peformance, this November 26, 2006 marked the premiere of Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho's new work, "La Passion de Simone" for the New Crowned Hope Festival (running from November 14, 2006 until December 13, 2006) at Vienna's Jugendstiltheater
The opera is directed by Peter Sellars and lead by by Finnish conductor Susanna Maelkki. It is based on Simone Weil's writings, specifically, "Gravity and Grace". It follows the form of a Passion play, and therefore consists of fifteen stations. Each station is a separate interlude from Weil's life, and lead soprano Pia Freund is responsible for narrating the role. The operetta is a bit over one hour, and is an oratorio for soprano, choir, and electronics, as apparently there is some sort of media that is stationed throughout the audience to display Weil's "spoken word".
It was for this new production that the news was made a few weeks ago that American soprano Dawn Upshaw canceled participation after being diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, earlier blogged about here.
I created a flickr set of three hi-resolution pictures from the performance, which can be found at the Opera Chic account.