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I Masnadieri at the Busseto Verdi FestivalHelmut Pitsch
It is Verdi country here around Busseto, where the Maestro was born, brought up and quickly returned once his career has started and he soon became a real celebrity and political symbol with his dramatic operas full of heroes and virtue. Busseto is a small sleepy town in the North of the country, in the middle of the fertile heartland of Italy, the Padana. Verdi was always proud of being a farmer and he loved to be one, which he successfully was most of his lifetime. He shared his wealth...
Macbeth. Elegantly brutalXavier Pujol
Liceu has opened the season with Macbeth, a title that hadn’t been featured in the theatre for more than 10 years. Musically, this Verdi opera still shows some traces of some late Bel Canto remains but also starts to announce the maturity and the personal style of the great central trilogy (Rigoletto, Traviata, Trovatore). Dramatically, it preserves and it even concentrates and thickens all of the primal violent, bloody, atavistic and barbaric theatrical strength of...
Daniel Barenboim’s terrible humanism – Beethoven’s Fidelio at ...Laurent Vilarem
We were expecting an extraordinary show. First, there was the symbolic choice of 3 October, the day of Germany’s reunification. Then the reuniting of two giants of Berlin’s musical scene, Harry Kupfer as stage director and Daniel Barenboim as musical director. And then there is the opera itself, Fidelio, an apologia for freedom and faithfulness, perfect for evoking the isolation of the former Eastern Bloc. The promise of a great opera moment is realised in the first bars of...
Don Giovanni at the London ColiseumSam Smith
Don Giovanni of 1787 is one of three operas that Mozart wrote with the librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte (the others being Le nozze di Figaro and Così fan tutte). It tells of the eponymous hero, or rather antihero, who effortlessly conquers thousands of women. Although in the process he makes many enemies, the ladies he has cheated have a habit of coming back for more or trying to save him, and in the end he is responsible for his own downfall. When the ghost of the Commendatore...
Mozart’s “Classic” FluteRaffaele Mellace
The Berlin iconic director Peter Stein has been put in charge of the main project of Teatro alla Scala Opera Academy for 2016: Mozart’s Magic Flute currently shown in Milan. Such end-of-summer productions (by now almost a tradition) provide the young singers enrolled in the program with a unique opportunity to test their talents on the main stage in the final segment of the Scala season. The Director’s main aim has been to transform the singers-to-be in proper actors,...
Luigi Nono's Prometeo at the Luzern FestivalHelmut Pitsch
Luigi Nono is one of the most prominent composers of the 20th century. He was born in Venice into a wealthy family and studied music and law in Padua. For further education he moved to Germany, where he became friend with Hans Werner Henze, Karl Heinz Stockhausen and Pierre Boulez, all of them musical leaders of the Avant-garde. Notable for his strong political left wing orientation, his musical heritage and influence are enormous. He experimented with new sound possibilities and involved...