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Opera
Teatro Real
Giuseppe Verdi
Maurizio Benini, Francisco Negrín

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

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Opera
Los Angeles Opera
Giacomo Puccini
Grant Gershon, Woody Allen

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.

Dance
Opera Ballet Vlaanderen
Modest Mussorgsky, Maurice Ravel
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Jeroen Verbruggen

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.

Concerts
Beijing NCPA
Franz Schubert
Lü Jia, NCPA Orchestra

This concert was to celebrate the 5th anniversary of China NCPA Orchestra. It was conducted by Chief Conductor of the Orchestra Lü Jia and presented by renowned pianist Sa Chen with the Orchestra.

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Opera
Staatsoper Unter den Linden
Richard Wagner
Matthias Pintscher, Calixto Bieito

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. 

 

Concerts
Latvian National Opera
Various authors
Sesto Quatrini, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra

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.

Concerts
Fundación Juan March
Various authors
Teatri 35, Tiento Nuovo

The comparison of Caravaggesque chiaroscuro with Baroque musical creation has become popular. Based on this idea, this project brings together various baroque compositions with tableaux vivants that recreate live paintings by Caravaggio and Velázquez.

Concerts
Antonio de Literes
Aarón Zapico, Tomás Muñoz

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.

Dance
Northern Ballet
Philip Feeney
Cathy Marston, Northern Ballet

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.

Opera
Los Angeles Opera
Giacomo Puccini
Grant Gershon, Woody Allen

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.

Opera
Teatro Real
Gaetano Donizetti
Evelino Pidò, Laurent Pelly

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

Opera
Giuseppe Verdi
Fabio Luisi, Nikolaus Lehnhoff

One of the world`s leading stage directors, Nikolaus Lehnhoff has presented an outstanding new production of Giuseppe Verdi's popular opera Rigoletto. With international stars like Juan Diego Flórez and Diana Damrau and directed by the new chief conductor Fabio Luisi, this opera production demonstrates a convincing and highly qualified musical standard. A wonderfully timeless event, which took place in the marvellous atmosphere of Dresden’s Semperoper.

 

Dance
Teatro Real
Alain Platel
Marc Piollet, Alain Platel

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)

Opera
Teatro Real
P.I.Chaikovski / I. Stravinski
Teodor Currentzis, Peter Sellars

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)

Dance
Royal Opera House
Frederick Ashton
Charles Cole, Frederick Ashton

Although he choreographed more than 100 ballets over the course of his career, Frederick Ashton was not one to repeat himself. From full-length narrative creations to miniature pas de deux, each of his works is unique in concept, performed in a style that is uniquely suited to its particular story, its music and the dancers in which it was created. And yet, despite the precision of his choreography, each dancer in an Ashton role can find their own way through it, creating an interpretation that is not only faithful but also personal.

 

On this recording, before Marguerite & Armand come two excellent performances by the Company, each showing different aspects of Ashton. His exquisite The Dream (1964), an adaptation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, set to Mendelssohn's musical response to the play, stars Steven McRae and Akane Takada as the ethereal king and queen of the fairies. In an interview (also included), Dowell, the original Oberon, mentions his relief at how dancers still find the roles difficult: Oberon, especially, is among the most demanding male roles in the repertoire. But, despite all the challenges, McRae and Takada are as light as air in their moving pas de deux de reconciliation.

 

In collaboration with Naxos

 

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Opera
Festival Castell Peralada
Granados, Händel, Mozart, Bellini, Rossini, Donizetti
Sabina Puértolas, Rubén Fernández Aguirre

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.