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.
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March 2012 saw the first performance at the Teatro Real of C(h)œurs, an ambitious project by the Belgian choreographer Alain Platel, based on choruses by Verdi and Wagner. Gerard Mortier and the stars of the production reveal the key moments in the creative process that led to this unique piece, unlike anything ever seen in Madrid’s opera house.
Coproduction with Televisión Española (TVE)
Peter Sellars, Teodor Currentzis, Ekaterina Scherbachenko and Dominique Blanc tell us about the work carried out until reaching the premiere of this production: An extraordinary double programme with two works which “represent an ideal of beauty, poetry and hope”.
Iolanta and Perséphone tell stories of transformation; two dramas laden with symbolism which take a path from light to darkness and back again, where there is always a shadow of one’s self behind each person. Peter Sellars tells the story using a single setting with very intense, abstract visual images where everything changes, as in Russian symbolist drama.
Coproduction with Televisión Española (TVE)
One of the most popular in all opera repertoire: Il Trovatore. In a new production of the Teatro Real, Maurizio Benini conducts two casts of renowned Verdi stars: Ludovic Tézier, Maria Agresta, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Francesco Meli and Roberto Tagliavini, among many others. The complicated story, based on the play by Antonio García Gutiérrez, is told here in a big production by Francisco Negrín, in which he highlights the dramatic and enormous tension in this Verdi masterpiece.
From the impenetrable – and often delirious plot of Il trovatore, the aspect that without a shadow of a doubt most attracted Giuseppe Verdi was the profound vital contradiction in which Azucenafinds herself immersed, as filled with love for her son as full of hate for her mother. At all cost, the musician looked for a way to reveal the overflowing passions of this woman, and as such he defended it to his librettist, reaching the extreme of suggesting that they abandon the story if he was not convinced (as an alternative, he proposed focusing on a section of the plot which would end in an ‘illumination’ as in La Traviata). It was not necessary. The opera was developed over three years of frenetic musical activity and serious personal problems, but Verdi achieved what he was looking for. With an almost rampant termperament and an overpowering impetus, Il trovatoreoverflows with dramatic tension and musical geniality, resulting in a story of love and revenge which increases in intensity throughout, irrepressible, leading to the final catastrophe. From the very moment of its première, the opera increased in popularity, and now over a century and a half later, it continues to be a resounding height of opera repertory
David Alden approaches the setting of Othello from the point of view of Giuseppe Verdi’s adaptation of the Shakespeare text. In the first act of the play, which Verdi omits, we see the great love of Desdemona, a young, beautiful woman of the Venetian upper class, for the rough-mannered and hot-tempered foreign soldier Othello. Her father, the patrician Brabantio, opposes their love. In the first act he asks how his daughter could have chosen to “run from her guardage to the sooty bosom of such a thing as thou, to fear, not to delight.”
Desdemona’s love for Otello is even thought to be a thing of magic. In contrast, Otello’s love for Desdemona is perfectly logical: Desdemona is so refined, so white, so aristocratic and so devout that anyone could understand why Otello would fall in love with her. They love each other, but their difference in social standing is undeniable. And these differences will be how the resentful, devilish Lieutenant Iago is able to wreak his vengeance on his General, Otello, for not promoting him to Captain as he had hoped.
This vengeance requires a minimum of effort, because all he really has to do is convince Otello of what everyone else already believes: such a gentlewoman could never really love someone like him. Consequently, it is very easy for him to make Otello believe that Desdemona has fallen in love with a man of her own rank, Cassio, whom Iago describes as the antithesis of Othello. And so, despite Otello’s noble soul - even though Desdemona truly loves him, even though Cassio is loyal and honourable -, Iago’s insinuations take root and Otello believes that Desdemona is unfaithful to him.
In the play, Shakespeare explains the action through the theme of racism, this is the driving force of the tragedy. But both the librettist, Arrigo Boito, and Verdi understood that the drama could be even more intense if racism played a less prominent part. The focus was put on the fragility of a character who physically differs little from any of the others; a vulnerable character who is dominated by inner turmoil. Thus Verdi reduces racism to a marginal issue which is scarcely mentioned. David Alden takes a similar approach: Otello is an outsider; he is “other” because that is how he feels inside. He need not be black or physically different from the other characters.
His conflict is internal: insecurity, that which has led so many men to commit the worst atrocities. We watch with horrified fascination the tragic disintegration of the hero, locked into the destructive cycle of destiny. The set design suggests a courtyard in Cyprus, but above all, this is a militarised, brutal world with dehumanised soldiers in a war which prevents them from responding to love or tenderness. In this context, Otello brings us face-to-face with one of the most secret human fears: to not feel worthy of what one loves most.
Renato Palumbo, who has conducted Les Huguenots, Tosca and La Traviata at the Real, returns with another Verdi classic with the Albanian soprano Ermonela Jaho, much acclaimed for her performance in La Traviata in 2014. She is accompanied by tenor Gregory Kunde, whose interpretation of the difficult role of Otello is one of the most highly regarded. He also opened the 2016 season at the Teatro Real to great applause for his Roberto Devereux. Alongside them as the cruel and crafty Iago is baritone George Petean, who brought the 2016 season to a close in the opera I puritani.
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.
A unique concert, due to the historical and artistic framework, promoted by the Junta de Castilla y León and recorded by RTVE, with whom the Foundation has a collaboration agreement. From the High Altar of the temple, as part of the events programmed by the Foundation VIII Centenary of the Cathedral of Burgos 2021 to commemorate the 800 years of the Cathedral of Burgos.
With the presence of four international soloists whose careers are touring the world's main theatres, including the Teatro Real, where they have been heard on several occasions:
Soprano Sylvia Schwartz, protagonist in two of the most beloved productions at the Teatro Real: Hansel and Gretel and The Magic Flute, among others; tenor Toby Spence, whose last appearance at the Real was to participate in the most awarded production of recent years, Billy Budd; mezzo-soprano Marifé Nogales, one of the regular voices at the Madrid coliseum for her great versatility, and bass Alexander Tsymbaliuk, who left his mark in two recent productions: Das Rheingold and Idomeneo.
Together with them, for the first time in Burgos Cathedral, the Coro y Orquesta Titulares del Teatro Real, conducted by maestro Ramón Tebar, performs this sublime composition by the genius of Salzburg, whose notes will be heard in the central nave of the temple.
This score, W.A. Mozart's last (incomplete) creation, of extraordinary beauty, where death is the protagonist both as an end and as a transit, contains moments of great drama, sublime sweetness and resigned intimacy, in a masterly composition. Beloved by all audiences, music lovers or not, this Requiem has always been surrounded by mystery and legends that have only enhanced its popularity and made it a point of reference.
The première of Parsifal in major opera houses was not until 1914, after the Bayreuth Festival had maintained the exclusivity of the opera since its opening in 1882. It was a huge success, in part because the opera score was to become one of the most momumental and inspiring scores in music history. As well, its turbulent theme was associated with the Great War and post-war era. Parsifal arrives after years of wanderings through the wilderness to save the Temple of the Grail, encapsulating the emotional climate in Europe at the time, a period of great sacrifice and hardship, collective disorientation and the desperate search for a leader.
Parsifal, the innocent, compassionate "guileless fool", embodies the spirit of redemption. This is the starting point for the staging by German director Claus Guth. One of the most important names in contemporary staging, he made his début at the Teatro Real with this most acclaimed production. The action takes place in a dilapidated hospital for war-wounded soldiers. Inspired by the sanatorium in The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann, it embodies the trauma and despair following World War I, when hopes for a new leader led to disaster.
Production recorded with 4K UHD technology. To watch it in this quality, use our application on your Samsung SmartTV 4K UHD.
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Accused of racism and antisemitism (although the latter was never proved), Walter Elias Disney (1901-1966) was the creator of the world’s largest animation studio, whose films have achieved universal fame. The creatures of the Disney factory are animals which are systematically anthropomorphised, their human dimension contributed decisively to the image of the anodyne 'American Dream' in the interwar period.
Philip Glass has composed 24 operas and is one of the creators of American minimalism, together with La Monte Young, Steve Reich and Terry Riley. Over time, he gradually distanced himself from this aesthetic in search of simpler writing and a less complex form. The pulsing music of Glass, with its strong and insistent rhythms, has obvious correlations to rock and pop. Not surprisingly, the composer from Baltimore often works with artists like Paul Simon, Suzanne Vega or Laurie Anderson.
The encounter between Glass and Disney seemed inevitable: both are American creators who represent the best of their respective aesthetics.
The Teatro Real opened its 2018/19 season with a new production of Faust by Charles Gounod, the version of the German legend in a grand opera format. Piotr Beczala as protagonist - the figure of relentless ambition par excellence - and Marina Rebeka sing the role of Marguerite. Àlex Ollé directs this captivating opera after his recent success of The Flying Dutchman in this theatre It will be the third time that La Fura dels Baus stages the Faustian legend.
The conductor Pablo Heras-Casado, solidarity ambassador for Ayuda en Acción, is leading the Acordes con Solidaridad initiative for the sixth consecutive year to support the most vulnerable children in Spain in the face of the consequences of COVID-19.
On this occasion, Orquesta titular del Teatro Real conducted by the main guest conductor of the Teatro Real, will perform the 'Coriolano Overture' and the 'Symphony No. 7', by Ludwig van Beethoven.
The proceeds of the concert will go entirely to the response that Ayuda en Acción is giving to the emergency caused by COVID-19 in Spain. Through the program Aquí también, the NGO fights to reduce the educational gap that has been accentuated after the closure of educational centers last school year, supporting more than 11,000 children and adolescents who are at risk of social exclusion in Spain.
Das Rheingold is the first part of the colossal Der Ring des Nibelungen by Richard Wagner, and this will be the second time it is seen on the Teatro Real stage since the theatre’s reopening in 1997.
Pablo Heras-Casado, Principal Guest Conductor of the Teatro Real leads a cast of renowned Wagnerians including Greer Grimsley, Sarah Connolly and Samuel Youn in Robert Carsen’s bleak vision of the story. The Canadian stage director sets the prologue of The Ring in the desolation of our polluted world, the scene where the characters in this grandiose conflict will continue to be portrayed during the coming seasons.