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To celebrate the 90th anniversary of the great 20th century choreographer, Yuri Grigorovich, The Bolshoi Theatre brings back to life The Golden Age.
The ballet was first presented at the Kirov Theatre in 1930, with, as its central theme, the battle and triumph of the proletariat against the decadent bourgeoisie. Surprisingly, the score by Dmitri Shostakovich raised political controversies, and consequently, the ballet vanished from the theaters until 1982, when Yuri Grigorovich restaged it with sets by Simon Virsaladze and a completely new libretto with a love story as its central focus. The conflict in the original production was recast as a clash between fishermen – the idealistic and morally superior workers – and society’s criminal elements.
Revived thirty-four years later with great artists of the new generation of the Bolshoi Ballet interpreting the lead roles, as Nina Kaptsova, Mikhail Lobukhin or Ruslan Skvortsov, the ballet finally made history.
Critics praise her and the audience loves her - Kristine Opolais, the primadonna and the star of the New York Metropolitan opera in a splendid solo concert at the Latvian National Opera. The programme includes arias both from operas that brought Kristine international acclaim and pieces that will be included in her future repertoire.
The beautiful programme, mostly dedicated to Italian music, will encourage you to dream about love and think about what is truly important. It will touch your heart in many ways.
Inva Mula and Aquiles Machado lead the cast of this cinematic production by Giancarlo del Monaco, in a realistic recreation of Bohemian life in 19th century Paris, where we see the tragic love story of Mimì and the poet Rodolfo.
The story of the servant girl magically transformed into a princess is found in the traditional stories of ancient Greece, the Tang dynasty of China, Arabian Nights, as well in the fairytales of Perrault, the Brothers Grimm and –as we all know – Walt Disney. However, in none of these - as far as we know - is there the Hamlet-like question we hear in La Cenerentola: ≪.Am I prince or a cauliflower? ≫. In effect, a century and a half of commedia dell’arte tradition and another of opera buffa had not elapsed in vain for this dramma giocoso exceeded all expectations of its time –the opera reached Constantinople, Buenos Aires, Calcutta and Sydney only a few decades after its premiere in Rome – and its popularity continues to captivate audiences today.
On this occasion, the light-hearted and lively production by Stefan Herheim adds an unexpected ingredient to an exciting mix of humour and fantasy because the composer himself makes an appearance and demonstrates how, in reality, true magic is found in the human voice.
Bieito's interpretation of Wagner‘s Lohengrin deals with love, hate, jealousy and hope, but above all with man‘s imperative need to believe in something. To visualise these two contrasting worlds, Bieito creates two settings on stage: the world of fairy tales (the forest) and reality (the court room). According to Bieito, fairy tales are as relevant today as they once were and are not only fables we tell our children, but a necessity in adulthood as they mirror life itself by offering both good and bad.
Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi premiered at the Metropolitan Opera New York in 1918. The third piece of his Il trittico is a comic opera after an episode in Dante’s Divine Commedy –the playful-amusing depiction of a shrewd glutton – that soon became a great success with the public. Its musical language is surely the boldest and most modern of the Trittico. This masterpiece of Italian Opera Buffa will be staged by none less than Woody Allen, whose mordacity and twisted sense of humor will make it truly special.
Under the baton of Michel Plasson, a Massenet specialist, Jonas Kaufmann and Sophie Koch perform one of opera's most touching love stories.
In Massenet's masterpiece, tears never cease to flow from the very moment the moonlight idyll is revealed and destroyed. "My whole being cries at it" says Werther. We are a long way from opera's usual tears, be they furtive or violent. These tears flow slowly and inexorably, one by one. “Patient tears” as Charlotte puts it. In the space of four acts, they will have done their work. Charlotte cannot hold them back as she rereads Werther's letters, and her tears are the only part of her, the only sacrifice that he dares ask of her. They will flow in front of Sophie, the angel of consolation. They will flow when Werther reads Ossian. And finally they will flow at the sight of Werther's blood-soaked body. Yet he refuses these last tears: for now he is happy and free.
Werther is a long requiem, ‘lacrimosa dies illa’, a tearful day if ever there was – a requiem for a young poet ending in paradise.
Samson et Dalila is a representative example of that exoticism which in the 19th century acted as one of the main movements of the French imagination. The only one of his thirteen operas that has remained in the repertoire, Saint-Saëns adheres to an authentic stage tradition that includes titles such as Meyerbeer's L'Africaine, Bizet's Les pêcheurs de perles, or Delibes' Lakmé. The well-known biblical plot is used to create a work that is somewhere between an oratorio and a grand-opera. From the former, the structural sense, the importance of the chorus and a certain staticism, evident in Act I. From the latter, the almost grandiloquent tone, the spectacular staging and the importance of the ballet, as well as an enveloping voluptuousness.
Along with the frequent choral interventions, the numbers of Samson, a tenor with heroic tonalities, and especially those of Delilah, one of the most important roles assigned to the mezzo-soprano voice in the history of the genre, such as the beautiful "Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix", from Act II, are worth mentioning. In the orientalism that dominates the brilliant setting, Saint-Saëns uses procedures derived from Arab music, often from North Africa, and which are also reflected in the last of his piano concertos, subtitled "Egyptian" in the Suite Algérienne or in Africa, for piano and orchestra.
The opera Aida by Giuseppe Verdi with libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni is embedded in the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires from its beginnings. It was the title with which the current building was inaugurated in 1908. Since then it has been performed countless times, with dazzling figures as Enrico Caruso, Beniamino Gigli, Renata Tebaldi and María Callas, among others.
From 1966, the Argentine Roberto Oswald was in charge of the set and costume design and in 1989 was also responsible for the staging, with costumes by Aníbal Lápiz. This classic production of the Argentine house, made entirely in its workshops, was revived in May 2018 to celebrate the 110 years of the building, with a cast that featured the voices of Latonia Moore and Riccardo Massi along with local figures, the Resident Orchestra, Ballet and Choir of the Teatro Colón.
Los elementos is explicitly presented as a "harmonic opera in the Italian style", in which the best tradition of Hispanic verse converges with Italian musical novelties, materialised in the use of violins and the alternation of recitatives and arias. These stylistic features were then understood as synonymous with modernity, something that would not escape its first listeners either. The staging of this new production brings these allegorical codes to the present, while maintaining the emblematic world of baroque opera, with the original results typical of the splendour of this golden age of Spanish music.
An opera where the prima donna is a baritone? Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali is an excessively long and daunting title for an opera of such unrestrained delight. That is likely what German film director Helmut Käutner thought when he renamed it Viva la mamma in the famous 1969 adaptation for the rococo Cuvilliés theatre in Munich, changing the history of this work forever. First seen in Naples in 1827, this farce of a “theatre within a theatre” narrates the mishaps of a second-rate opera company as it stages the great serious drama Romolo ed Ersilia in a provincial theatre. The unbearable tensions between the two lead singers are finally resolved with the decisive intervention of one of their mothers. The co-production by Ópera de Lyon shared with the Grand Theâtre de Genève and Teatro Real is brought to life by Laurent Pelly, a tireless champion of Donizettis comedies, as one recalls from his production of La fille du régiment which we enjoyed some seasons ago.
*Title only available in Spain
Weber’s ‘great heroic-romantic’ opera Euryanthe premiered in Vienna in 1823. It concerns the wronged Euryanthe, victim of a plot to establish her unfaithfulness, but her love imbues her with colossal strength which Weber characterises with acute psychological insight.
Through-composed and dispensing with spoken dialogue, its chivalric plot provides opportunities for a series of arias, ariosos, duets, cavatinas and choruses that contain some of his greatest operatic music. This production employs the opera’s original version with a few, very minor cuts.
With the collaboration of Naxos
Passion, tragedy, fierce devotion. Queen Victoria’s diaries revealed a life so sensational that her daughter Beatrice tried to rewrite history. Her irrepressible love for Albert sparked a royal dynasty. But his untimely death brought the world's most powerful woman to her knees with grief.
Northern Ballet's new biopic brings the sensational story of Victoria to life in dance. Choreographed by Cathy Marston, creator of Northern Ballet’s acclaimed Jane Eyre.
The iconic ballet, reimagined. Following its sensational 2016 world premiere and UK tour, Akram Khan’s Giselle returns to London by popular demand, and is performed in Liverpool and Dublin for the first time. One of the greatest romantic ballets of all time, Giselle is the first full length ballet choreographed by Akram Khan.
The classic story of love, betrayal and redemption has been reimagined in this stunning new version, with sets and costumes by Academy-Award winning designer Tim Yip (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon), an ‘ominous, gothic’ (The Observer) adaptation of Adolphe Adam’s original score by composer Vincenzo Lamagna and performed by English National Ballet Philharmonic, dramaturgy from Ruth Little and lighting design from Tony Award-winner Mark Henderson.
Christopher Wheeldon, Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet, created his adaptation of Shakespeare’s late great romance The Winter’s Tale for The Royal Ballet in 2014. Building on the success of Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Winter’s Tale received ecstatic praise at its premiere, acclaimed by critics and audiences alike for its intelligent, distinctive and emotionally powerful story, told through exquisite dance. It is now widely judged to be a modern ballet classic.
The story follows the destruction of a marriage through consuming jealousy, the abandonment of a child and a seemingly hopeless love. Yet, through remorse and regret – and after a seemingly miraculous return to life – the ending is one of forgiveness and reconciliation. With powerful designs by Bob Crowley and atmospheric music by Joby Talbot, The Winter’s Tale is a masterful modern narrative ballet.
Con la colaboración de Naxos
Since its very first performance 1856 at the Paris Opera, Le corsaire has been regarded as one of the most impressive narrative ballets of the 19th century. The director of the Wiener Staatsballett has choreographed a new version, basing his interpretation mainly on the rich French and Russian performance traditions.
Action, music, choreography, scenery and costumes are carefully combined into a new overall picture which focuses on the high points of the colourful events surrounding the leading couple of Conrad and Medora.
With the collaboration of Naxos
The Antonio Gades Company presents Bodas de sangre (Blood Wedding), a work which combines the world-famous play by Federico García Lorca with the creative talent of Antonio Gades in a choreography of key importance to the history of dance.
The work of Antonio Gades, his creative partners, and the dancers in his company produced this wonderful ballet in five scenes. It captivated the public and showed dancers, choreographers, and the world in general that Andalusian dance is an autonomous language, able to express whatever is required of it. Bodas de sangre is presented here in a masterly, yet austere choreography, in which dance reinvents and gives life to the exuberant text of Federico García Lorca. Antonio Gades’ talent for finding the essence of everything, for mixing classic Spanish dance with the spontaneity of popular dances and customs, for combining pas-de-deux full of force and passion with perfectly designed, geometrical movements en masse, ensure that Bodas de sangre is engraved in the memory of everyone fortunate enough to see it.
The French composer Maurice Ravel remains a source of inspiration for any choreographer. Artistic director and star choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and rising talent Jeroen Verbruggen take their vision of Ravel’s music to the stage. Jeroen Verbruggen, who as a young student dancer at the Royal Ballet School won the Prix de Lausanne, has drawn his inspiration from Ravel‘s Pavane pour une Infante défunte and from Ma mère l‘oye.
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui also translates Ravel into dance, opting for Pictures at an Exhibition, which was originally composed by Modest Mussorgsky, but which was later orchestrated by Ravel to become the most widely performed orchestration of this work: It has thus become truly canonical.
It is a programme full of surprises with which the Royal Ballet Flanders/ Ballet Vlaanderen might just write a page of dance history.
Sabina Puértolas is one of the most international Spanish sopranos, recognized and acclaimed for her interpretations of a wide repertoire of bel canto and baroque music. Her ever-increasing projection has led her to sing in venues such as the Royal Opera House in London, Teatro Real, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Teatro Municipal de Santiago de Chile, Seattle Opera House (USA), or the National Center for Performing Arts in Beijing (China). In 2001 she made her debut at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan under the direction of Riccardo Muti, playing the role of Oscar in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera, and has since developed an intense international career. Her interpretations, of great expressiveness and theatricality, unite her with the soul of her characters.
Together with the pianist Rubén Fernández Aguirre, the evening will offer songs, romances and arias from operas such as Alcina and Rodelinda by Händel, Il Turco in Italia by Rossini or Lucia di Lammermoor by Donizetti. Puértolas' elegant, musical and highly technical singing promises a night to remember.
With songs by Mahler, Liszt, Schumann, Vaughan Williams, Guastavino and others, British soprano Kate Royal, together with Joseph Middleton on piano, will explain a young man's journey from dawn to dusk, reaching the deep hours of the - sometimes difficult - night. A song for every hour of the day, beginning at six o'clock in the morning in a vital way with Mahler's spring morning Frühlingsmorgen and ending at five o'clock the next morning in a more sombre and passionate way with Wolf's Morgenstimmung.
Two sides of the same coin and of seeing the dawn, in the midst of which this young woman presents herself to us as hedonistic (with Guastavino's Siesta) and profound (with Schumann's Mondnacht); nostalgic (with Korngold's Mond so geht du wieder auf) and earthy (with Bernstein's Rabbit stew). A highly personal cycle created by the soprano and pianist that is a journey through the human psyche and the different states of the soul. Before, Pau Armengol and Álvaro Carnicero participate in the recital as LIFE New Artists with a short selection of Lieder by Schubert and Schumann.
The orchestra Les Siècles distilled French essence of high level at the 2018 Granada Festival. Led by its founder François-Xavier Roth, it proposed a journey to the sound universe of the late 19th century and the conjunction of avant-garde and creativity that came together in the Paris of those years at a fundamental moment in the formation of modern styles. Together with pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, they performed César Franck's Symphonic Variations. The program included, among other works, Debussy's evocative Nocturnes, with the collaboration of the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada Choir for the "Song of Sirens".
In addition to postponing her LIFE Victoria debut - scheduled for spring 2020 - Sylvia Schwartz's confinement also led her to reflect on the power of escape. Music is precisely one of the quickest ways to escape, how with these vibrations in the air we can flee to other worlds, embarking on perhaps one of the most intense journeys. The soprano presents us with a three-part programme, together with Malcolm Martineau, which also becomes very pictorial (another evasive world): in the first, dedicated to German Lied, we experience romantic evasion through passionate poetry, as in a painting by Friedrich; in the second, we escape through Granados into the world of Goya, an evasion that the composer himself experienced at a time of war - the First World War - which ended his own life; in the third, Poulenc presents us with the most primal and greatest evasion: that of children. Before that, the promising Lluís Calvet i Pey and Èric Varas on piano offer two delightful cycles, as LIFE New Artists: Let us Garlands Bring by Finzi and Chansons gaillardes by Poulenc, in which constant reference is made to an ideal woman... called Sylvia.
For 20 years the Berliner Philharmoniker have marked their founding in 1882 with a concert – every year at a venue of cultural importance in a different European city. 2011's Europa Konzert takes place at the beautiful Teatro Real of Madrid in Spain. The Berliner Philharmoniker and their musical director Sir Simon Rattle welcome famous flamenco guitarist Cañizares. His virtuosity, his technique, harmony, strength and sensitivity have distinguished Cañizares as a unique artist, considered as one of the great flamenco musicians of the turn of the century.
On the afternoon of 18 October, Burgos Cathedral once again hosted a concert by the Orquesta y Coro Titulares del Teatro Real de Madrid.
The High Altar of the temple was the setting for the masterful performance of works by Pergolesi and Vivaldi, a performance that forms part of the calendar of events programmed by the VIII Centenary of the Cathedral Foundation.
20 July 2021 will mark the 800th anniversary of the laying of the first stone in Burgos Cathedral, which is why the VIII Centenary of the Cathedral Foundation was created. Burgos 2021, whose Honorary Presidency is held by Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain. This project, declared an event of Exceptional Public Interest, is intended to unite the city of Burgos around the celebration of this event, through the development of various cultural and social projects over the coming years.