Friday, 7 January 2011

Annettes DaschSalon

From this side of the channel, Germany seems like a country where musical culture is divided categorically between art and entertainment, the Ernst and the Unterhaltung. What then to make of 'Annettes DaschSalon'? Its a primetime chatshow, broadcast from Berlin, and hosted by one of the biggest names in German opera, the soprano Annette Dasch.
From the frustratingly short clips and trailers on the internet, the whole thing seems to be light as a feather. There are some crossover type slots, which usually involve Dasch singing with pop stars and often playing the guitar. But on the whole, the guest list is mainly classical: Thomas Quasthoff, the horn section of the Berlin Philharmonic, Juliane Banse, even Daniel Hope (whose German is more than sufficient for his appearance on the couch).
Judging by Dasch's opera commitments, this is strictly a part-time engagement. And anybody who heard her Elsa at Bayreuth last year (even just on the radio) will be keen that it stays that way – even by their standards she is phenomenal Wagnerian soprano.
Are their any lessons here for those trying to find a wider audience for opera in the UK? Sadly, I suspect not. There is a respect for classical music in Germany that just isn't matched in the UK, a sense of common ownership that stretches even to those who never listen to it. That's something the Berlin TV execs can always rely on, while the BBC continue to be forced to disguise their classical programming is something else.
Watch some highlights from the show here.

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