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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

RECOMMENDED

Opera
Opéra National de Paris
Jules Massenet
Michel Plasson, Benoît Jacquot

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.

 

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.

ALL

Opera
Opéra National de Paris
Jules Massenet
Michel Plasson, Benoît Jacquot

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.

 

Opera
Festspielhaus Baden-Baden
Giacomo Puccini
Sir Simon Rattle, Richard Eyre

The fact that the Berliner Philharmoniker turned to Puccini – this beloved yet ostracized composer – is symbolic. Here is someone who was thought to be outmoded for a long time, but there is really so much more to be discovered about him and his work. The tale of one who becomes a model but remains a girl, is very contemporary.

Dance
Municipal de Santiago
Aleksandr Glazunov
Luis Ortigoza, Ballet de Santiago

Applauded by audiences and critics alike, Raymonda, with the suite of this ballet, in the version by Luis Ortigoza, based on the ballet by Marius Petipa, was presented in the summer of 2019 at the Parque de las Esculturas thanks to an agreement between the Corporación Cultural de Santiago and the Corporación Cultural de Providencia.

 

This work, set in medieval France, is a product of fin-de-siècle exoticism and a symbolic representation of the process of imperialist expansion of nineteenth-century Russia, which sought to conquer territories in Persia and China.

 

Exquisite sets and beautiful costumes in this shorter and more dynamic proposal, which presents a high demand for the leading role and maintains the fundamental role of the corps de ballet, which in this case has more male presence than in the original. A story of a love threatened by war and distance that manages to overcome all obstacles to reach a happy ending.

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

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.

Opera
Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras
Georg Friedrich Händel
John Eliot Gardiner, Thomas Guthrie

It is ironic - and surely not coincidental - that the first great full-length opera in the English language was composed in 1743 by Handel, an emigré
German approaching the height of his powers, but in self-imposed retirement from the toxic London opera scene.

Semele was his defiant counter-blast to those who for years had sought to control him - the rival aristocratic theatre-owners and company directors.
Not surprisingly, Handel preferred to promote and organise his own annual concert season at Covent Garden free from interference, and with his own hand-picked soloists, orchestra and chorus. Semele caught his audience off balance: it was not a conventional Italian opera properly ‘staged’ (though it clearly was in Handel’s imagination and despite the presence of elaborate stage directions); nor was it a pious oratorio based on the Old Testament
tailored to the Lenten season. Far from it. Instead he chose a ‘profane’ story based on Ovid, in which gods and mortals operate on the same level, behaving badly and passionately but in ways that everyone - except the disgruntled audience of the time or, later, the sanctimonious Victorians - can relate to.

Concerts
Lied Festival Victoria de los Ángeles
Varios autores
Sílvia Schwartz, Malcolm Martineau

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.

Concerts
Lied Festival Victoria de los Ángeles
Varios autores
Kate Royal, Joseph Middleton

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.

 

 

Dance
English National Ballet
Akram Khan
Akram Khan, Tamara Rojo

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.

 

Opera
La Fenice
Giuseppe Verdi
Maurizio Benini, Arnaud Bernard

Based on Schiller’s Kabale und Liebe (Intrigue and Love), Verdi’s tragic melodrama Luisa Miller revolves around the loves of the heroine of the title and Rodolfo, son of Count Walter, and the machinations of the Count’s steward, Wurm, who wants Luisa for himself, resulting in the death of all three. Directed by Arnaud Bernard, who took as his inspiration Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1976 film 1900, this La Fenice production is led by the outstanding Bulgarian soprano Darina Takova whose intense characterization of Luisa emphasizes the heroine’s inner torture, and Giuseppe Sabbatini who brings a thrilling theatricality to the rôle of Rodolfo, especially in the most famous aria from the opera, "Quando le sere al placido".

With the collaboration of Naxos.

Concerts
Berliner Philharmonie
E. Chabrier, J. Rodrigo, S. Rachmaninov
Sir Simon Rattle, Filarmónica de Berlín

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.

 

Concerts
Berliner Philharmonie
R. Wagner, E. Elgar, J. Brahms
Daniel Barenboim, Alisa Weilerstein

Since 20 years the Berliner Philharmoniker have celebrated their foundation on May 1st with the annual Europa Konzert - 2010's concert takes place in Oxford. The orchestra, under the baton of worldwide renowned musician Daniel Barenboim, welcomes cellist Alisa Weilerstein, who has attracted widespread attention for a playing that combines natural virtuosic command and technical precision with impassioned musicianship.