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Giuseppe Verdi

Friday, May 27, 2016


Norman Lebrecht - Slipped disc

May 18

Yoncheva will star at La Scala in Zeffirelli’s Boheme

Norman Lebrecht - Slipped discThe are bringing back a well-worn production to fit a new star. Full details of La Scala’s new season, announced this morning, below: ALEXANDER PEREIRA: THE 2016/2017 SEASON The opening of the 2016/2017 Season with the first version of Madame Butterfly, in the wake of Turandot and La fanciulla del West, marks a vital step in the Puccini project that is so dear to Riccardo Chailly, who on 1 January 2017 will take up his appointment as Music Director, confirming the plan to bring back to Piermarini’s Theatre the works that had their first ever performances here. It is directed by Alvis Hermanis, who is familiar to La Scala fans for two magnificent and very different shows, Die Soldaten and I due Foscari, and the leading lady Maria José Siri is a new and extraordinarily talented voice alongside Bryan Hymel’s Pinkerton. The televising of the event marks 40 years of collaboration between La Scala and the RAI since their partnership in 1976 with Otello conducted by Carlos Kleiber. 2017 opens with three major Verdi productions. Don Carlo returns in the version in five acts that has not been performed at La Scala since the edition conducted by Claudio Abbado 40 years ago. Myung-Whun Chung, a noted authority on Verdi, will conduct a fine cast, of whom we have to mention at least Ferruccio Furlanetto, Krassimira Stoyanova and Francesco Meli. Directed most efficaciously by the great Peter Stein, it translates all the dryness of the signature dramaturgy. Zubin Mehta will conduct Falstaff in the staging by Damiano Michieletto set in Casa Verdi: a decidedly Milanese production with Ambrogio Maestri in the role he is by now synonymous with. La Traviata will be back in March with the lavish staging designed by Liliana Cavani in 1990, with an exceptional protagonist, Anna Netrebko, in the prime of her artistic and interpretative maturity. And it will be the first time conducting Verdi at La Scala for Nello Santi, repository and custodian of the most authentic traditions of Italian melodrama: in October he will also be conducting the revival of Nabucco in Daniele Abbado’s show. Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg by Wagner sets us off on a journey through the musical culture of German Romanticism, which pops up during the Season with two other titles: Hänsel und Gretel and Der Freischütz. Directed by Harry Kupfer, an artist who is woven into the tapestry of German theatre, with Daniele Gatti on the podium, who has already conducted two productions with this title to great acclaim. Michael Volle is simply the finest living interpreter of Sachs. While in 2016, with La cena delle beffe, we brought Verismo back to La Scala, our mission to re-appropriate the Italian repertoire continues now with bel canto. April will see the staging of Anna Bolena with a very young leading lady who comes from our Academy, Federica Lombardi, conducted by Bruno Campanella, who knows Italian melodrama of the early 1800s better than most. And in 1817 Rossini presented The thieving Magpie at La Scala: a masterpiece of the semiseria genre that returns with a great Rossini conductor, Riccardo Chailly, the debut at La Scala of the Oscar-winning director Gabriele Salvatores, and a perfect cast of actor-singers. One of the finest baritones of our time, Thomas Hampson, plays a Don Giovanni torn between vitality and disillusionment in the revival of the staging by Robert Carsen, conducted by Paavo Järvi, whose Mozart interpretation won me over in Vienna. The revival of Franco Zeffirelli’s historic Bohème, then, is the occasion of a La Scala debut for one of the soprano revelations of recent years, Sonya Yoncheva. On the podium will be Evelino Pidò, who comes from our orchestra, but despite his brilliant international career has conducted only a performance of Rigoletto at La Scala before now. The twentieth anniversary of the death of Giorgio Strehler will be marked by performing one of his most magical shows, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, conducted by the person who held him at his baptism in Salzburg in 1965: Zubin Mehta. Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel is the Academy project this year: conductor Marc Albrecht and director Sven-Eric Bechtolf will work together for months with the young artists to create a performance that is up to La Scala standards in all respects. One of the most cherished programmes the Orchestra is engaged in is the formation of an ensemble playing historical instruments: the latest step on this path is Handel’s Tamerlano, which brings one of Italy’s finest directors, Davide Livermore, to La Scala for the first time, with extraordinary singers such as Plácido Domingo and Bejun Mehta. Another important date with directing is Der Freischütz, staged by Matthias Hartmann, the former director of the Burgtheater in Vienna, and conducted by Myung-Whun Chung. To conclude the Season, we are presenting the world premiere of the new opera by Salvatore Sciarrino, Ti vedo, ti sento, mi perdo, directed by Jürgen Flimm, who is bound to the Italian composer by a friendship that strengthens their artistic affinity. It is conducted by the young Maxime Pascal, founder of an orchestra dedicated to contemporary music in Paris. The Ballet Season, which is the first one for Director Mauro Bigonzetti, is the first step along a path of progression for the Corps de Ballet of La Scala. The titles increase from six to seven, in addition to the Ballet School show, and for the second year in a row, Opening Night brings another first, Coppélia by Bigonzetti with Roberto Bolle. The historical choreographies of Balanchine, Fokin, Tetley and MacMillan are bolstered by the innovation of Eugenio Scigliano, and for the first time a piece choreographed by artists from the Corps de Ballet, who are engaged in an unprecedented challenge. Also returning is Swan Lake by Alexei Ratmansky, an artistic reconstruction of the choreography of Petipa and Ivanov. There is a considerable element of pride in the quality of the music: the ballets will be conducted by maestros such as Zubin Mehta, Paavo Järvi, Michail Jurowski, Patrick Fournillier, Felix Korobov and David Coleman. The concert programme includes the greatest living conductors. Riccardo Chailly will be on the podium for two evenings of the Symphony Season, Verdi’s Requiem in October, and the concert to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Arturo Toscanini on 25 March 1867. The Symphony Season also sees the return of legends such as Christoph von Dohnányi (who also conducts the Christmas Concert), Georges Prêtre and Bernard Haitink; while for the Extraordinary Concerts, we will listen to Mariss Jansons with the Bayerischer Rundfunk. Finally, we are delighted to welcome Riccardo Muti back to La Scala. He returns with two concerts with the Chicago Symphony, to conduct once again in the Theatre that he was Musical Director of for 19 years. Completing the programme are singing recitals, including some of the most celebrated voices on the international scene. One of the projects dearest to my heart is the “Great Shows for Children” programme, which next year, too, will bring tens of thousands of kids and their parents to La Scala to discover operas of the great repertoire in shortened form and featuring the musicians of the Academy. Added to the revival of Cinderella for Children is Il ratto dal serraglio (The Abduction from the Seraglio) by Mozart, in Italian and coinciding with the complete edition in the Opera Season, and five concerts preceded by an introduction for children. See you in your Theatre. Alexander Pereira

Guardian

Yesterday

Chopin: Fantaisie, Op 49; Mozart: Sonata, K284; Liszt: Dante Sonata review – flashes of brilliance

Yulianna Avdeeva (Mirare)Since she won what is perhaps the most prestigious of all piano competitions, the Warsaw Chopin, in 2010, audiences in the UK have had relatively few chances to hear Yulianna Avdeeva, either live or on disc. What opportunities there have been have proved uneven and puzzling too, almost as if Avdeeva herself has not quite settled in her own mind on what kind of pianist she really wants to be.This latest recital disc doesn’t really clarify things much either. There are flashes of unquestionable brilliance in her playing, beginning with a performance of Chopin’s F minor Fantaisie that ignores any suggestion of more intimate poetry to be found in what is one of Chopin’s most original pieces, and ends with Liszt’s paraphrase of the Sacred Dance and Final Duet from Verdi’s Aida, which is unexpectedly more expressively yielding. She shows sensitivity in Mozart’s D major Sonata K284 and Liszt’s Dante Sonata has the right dramatic qualities, but is confrontational in the closing pages. Continue reading...






Royal Opera House

May 19

Update for Friends of Covent Garden: May 2016

The Royal Ballet in Class on the Royal Opera House Main Stage © Andrej Uspenski 2012 I hope that you have now identified the performances and productions that you wish to book for as part of the Autumn 2016/17 Season . Before you do that, please don’t forget that there are still five productions to come until the end of the current Season with some very exciting productions ahead before the summer break. The Royal Opera's first staging of George Enescu 's Oedipe promises to be a treat for lovers of 20th century opera with its starry cast including Johan Reuter , John Tomlinson , Sarah Connolly and Sophie Bevan ; while The Royal Ballet present a triple bill featuring a world premiere from Wayne McGregor — always a major event for ballet fans. Perhaps the piece I am most excited about over coming months is The Royal Opera's new staging of Verdi 's Il trovatore . As well as wonderful music and a thrilling story, the cast is sure not to disappoint with tenor Gregory Kunde (sharing the role of Manrico) and conductor Gianandrea Noseda recently winning major prizes at the Opera Awards 2016 in the Best Male Singer and Best Conductor categories respectively. It is an operatic masterpiece I would fully recommend experiencing. Also recommended is The Royal Opera's return to the BBC Proms with Boris Godunov starring Bryn Terfel and conducted by Antonio Pappano . Tickets are now on sale from the Royal Albert Hall website . As we look towards the finale of the current Season, I also would like to take the opportunity to thank all our Friends for their support. I know that many of you have supported us since the foundation of the Friends, and we are truly grateful to all who support the work of the Royal Opera House. With so many wonderful productions on offer in the upcoming Season from September, you may wish to consider upgrading your level of support. Information about the benefits of upgrading your membership can be found on our Supporter pages . At the present time we are unfortunately unable to offer upgrades to membership online, so please do telephone us on +44 (0) 20 7212 9268. If you choose to upgrade, you will be credited with the unexpired portion of your current membership. As always, many thanks, and do get in touch if you would like any additional information. As ever, the Friends team are always keen to hear your feedback so please email us membership@roh.org.uk or call us on +44 (0) 20 7212 9268.

Royal Opera House

May 18

Opera Essentials: Giuseppe Verdi's Il trovatore

Giuseppe Verdi The story begins… Before the opera starts, the tragedy has already been set in motion. The gypsy Azucena has vowed to avenge the murder of her mother at the hands of the aristocratic Luna family, and so has abducted their younger son. The opera joins the story years later, when Azucena’s foster-son Manrico and the military commander Count di Luna have become rivals in love for Leonora. Azucena has a secret that affects both men: will she tell it, or will she see her revenge through at any cost? A spiritual sequel to Rigoletto Verdi began work on Il trovatore in 1851, soon after the premiere of Rigoletto . According to some sources he saw Il trovatore as a spiritual sequel, this time with a female protagonist trapped between love for her child and urgent desire for vengeance. Work on Il trovatore took time (Verdi’s librettist Salvadore Cammarano died in 1852, and Leon Emanuele Bardare was brought in to complete the text) but the opera finally had a successful premiere on 19 January 1853 at the Apollo Theatre in Rome. Il trovatore quickly became one of Verdi’s most popular operas. Grand and passionate music Verdi was inspired by the wild passions of his four principal characters to write some of his greatest arias. These include the brooding ‘Stride la vampa’ (Part II) for Azucena – the first of several great Verdi roles, including Eboli and Amneris, for mezzo-soprano; the heroic ‘Di quella pira’ for Manrico (Part III); Leonora’s poignant ‘D’amor sull’ali rosee’ (Part IV); and Count di Luna’s brief episode of vulnerability as he sings of his love for Leonora in ‘Il balen del suo sorriso’ (Part II). Fierce energy Verdi wanted Il trovatore to be ‘daring’ with ‘many contrasts’. His score includes dramatic narratives, reflective arias, impassioned duets and fiery choruses – including the famous Anvil Chorus using industrial tools as percussion. It uses traditional operatic conventions but also subverts them, and demonstrates from start to finish an immense musical energy, reflecting the inexorable process of this drama of vengeance. Private and public battles Director David Bösch emphasizes the conflict between two worlds: the fragile, poetic world of the gypsies (with its fascination with the supernatural) and the brutal military world of Count di Luna. The military setting complements the personal war between Manrico and the Count, rivals in love. Imagery of snow and fire also reflects the extremes and oppositions of the different social groups, and the vividly drawn passions of the leading characters. Il trovatore runs 2–17 July 2016. Tickets are still available . The staging is a co-production with Frankfurt Opera and is staged with generous philanthropic support from the Royal Opera House Endowment Fund.

Giuseppe Verdi
(1813 – 1901)

Giuseppe Verdi (10 October 1813 - 27 January 1901) was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. He was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century. His works are frequently performed in opera houses throughout the world and, transcending the boundaries of the genre, some of his themes have long since taken root in popular culture - such as "La donna è mobile" from Rigoletto, "Va, pensiero" (The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from Nabucco, "Libiamo ne' lieti calici" (The Drinking Song) from La traviata and the "Grand March" from Aida. Although his work was sometimes criticized for using a generally diatonic rather than a chromatic musical idiom and having a tendency toward melodrama, Verdi’s masterworks dominate the standard repertoire a century and a half after their composition.



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