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Operalia: striking the right note in Covent Garden

In partnership with: Operalia, the prestigious annual singing competition funded by Plácido Domingo can potentially propel young opera talents to great heights. From 1,000 candidates aged between 18 and 32 in the pre-selection phase, only 40 young singers were invited to take part in the 23rd finals, which took place in London for the first time. For Peter Mario Katona, Director of Casting at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden is an ideal venue: “Operalia has...


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Portrait: Claus Guth

Beginning 4 August, the Salzburg Festival will give a new production of Fidelio, the unique opera of Beethoven, with Adrianne Pieczonka and Jonas Kaufmann in the lead roles. A new production directed by Claus Guth, whom is praised for the accuracy and the theatrical dimension of its adaptations. While waiting to discover his interpretation of Fidelio in a few days, we analyze the work of this effective storytellers in opera. *** Claus Guth is proof that, despite the naysayers,...


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Fidelio, confronting life’s great questions

Says Helga Rabl-Stadler, president of the Salzburg Festival: ‘‘My favorite part of ‘Fidelio’ is when Leonore comes down to the prison and does not recognize Florestan because he is so starved. Yet she says, ‘Whoever you are, I will rescue you.’ Not because this is her husband, but rather because everyone who has been unjustly imprisoned must be saved. I find this humanistic declaration fantastic.’’ Beethoven’s only opera, with its...


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Jonas Kaufmann: three operas, three roles, three styles

Jonas Kaufmann is probably one of the most solicited performer of the lyrical stages nowadays and after having interpreted recently Don Jose in Carmen in the Orange Choregies, the German tenor will personify Fidelio’s Florestan in a few days in a new production signed by Claus Guth in Salzburg festival, followed by Ramades’ role in Aida, next September in Munich. Three very distinct roles, interpreted in three languages, in three stylistically different iconic operas: a...


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Covent Garden: "A rich past informs a bright future"

For a major opera house in the modern world, looking toward the future can sometimes seem daunting, but the leaders of London’s Royal Opera House seem not only unfazed but positively enthusiastic about what lies ahead. Alongside Antonio Pappano, who has overseen musical direction since 2002, Kasper Holten, director of opera, and Alex Beard, chief executive, have a clear vision of how to preserve the house’s rich tradition, and transform and adapt it for the future. Both...


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Conversation about Carmen with Jonas Kaufmann and Inva Mula

They say that Carmen is the world’s most popular opera, especially because of its title role, a symbol of freedom and passion.And yet the role takes on meaning only as a counterpoint to those of Don José (the officer passionately smitten with the cigar girl) and Micaela (who tries to bring Don José back to his senses) both of whom are generally considered the representatives of a military order on one hand and a social or familial order on the other.More...