By the time he composed Il Trittico, Puccini was eager to explore new modes of musical expression. In the baritone’s impressive narrative in Il Tabarro, for example, the character stares into the river while his mind descends towards violence; the swirling waters, subtly depicted in the orchestra, act at once as scene painting and as psychological metaphor. Suor Angelica is a bold sonic experiment written exclusively for female voices. The title role is showcased in one of Puccini’s most organic, yet heart-rending, narratives (“Senza mamma”). The score of Gianni Schicchi is the work of a mature genius: seamless music whose ideas form and vanish as blithely as thoughts. Puccini’s gift for irresistible melody is also on display in the two discrete arias in Schicchi belonging to the young lovers.
t’s a stunning vocal marathon, with riveting intensity. You owe it to yourself to experience the vocal grandeur and blazing drama of this passionate heroine. She’s the Mycenaean princess whose father, Agamemnon, was murdered by her mother, Klytemnestra, leaving Elektra hell-bent on revenge. As Richard Strauss’s staggeringly powerful orchestra moves inexorably toward the opera’s hair-raising finale, the music gives you a composer at his zenith—magnificently theatrical and devastatingly moving.
World Premiere: Court Theater, Munich, 1870. The second opera in Wagner’s monumental Ring cycle, Die Walküre has long stood on its own as an evening of extraordinarily powerful theater. Part of this appeal lies in its focus on some of the Ring’s most interesting characters at decisive moments of their lives: Wotan, the leader of the gods; his wife, Fricka; his twin offspring, Siegmund and Sieglinde; and, above all, Wotan’s warrior daughter Brünnhilde. These characters and others follow their destinies to some of Wagner’s most remarkable music.
Composer Nico Muhly unveils his second new opera for the Met with this gripping reimagining of Winston Graham’s novel, set in the 1950s, about a beautiful, mysterious young woman who assumes multiple identities. Director Michael Mayer and his creative team have devised a fast-moving, cinematic world for this exhilarating story of denial and deceit, which also inspired a film by Alfred Hitchcock. Mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard sings the enigmatic Marnie, and baritone Christopher Maltman is the man who pursues her—with disastrous results. Robert Spano conducts.
Commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera
Music by Nico Muhly, libretto by Nicholas Wright, based on the novel by Winston Graham
By special arrangement with Universal Pictures
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, USA
Directed by Shaun Patrick Tubbs
Conducted by Scott Schoonover
Merging influences from Broadway, gospel, spirituals, jazz, and blues, Kurt Weill’s final work for the stage is a gripping musical tragedy based on Alan Paton’s novel Cry, the Beloved Country.
Set in apartheid South Africa, Lost in the Stars tells the story of Absalom, the son of Stephen Kumalo, a local black preacher. When Absalom kills his white neighbor in a desperate bid to provide for his wife and child, he is arrested and sentenced to death. Before his son is executed, the murdered man’s father, James Jarvis, comes to the preacher to offer compassion and understand rather than hatred and retaliation.
Lost in the Stars soars with thrilling operatic passages as it lays bare the tragedy of social barriers among all people, ending with a moving promise of reconciliation and hope for the future.
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA, USA
Libretto and Score by Douglas Tappin
Presented by Novant Health. A modern, Rhythm & Blues opera recounts the final 36 hours in the remarkable life of American icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was an all-too-human hero, who composer Douglas Tappin depicts as a flawed man of God who taught a nation that only love can obliterate hate.
Although I Dream is largely based on real events, it does not purport to be an authorized biographical representation of those events. Where necessary or creatively desirable, the imperatives of a theatrical presentation have therefore taken precedence over historical precision.
DALLAS, TEXAS, USA
Conducted by Jaap Van Zweden
Jaap van Zweden conducts the complete opera, from lovers’ passionate awakenings to the thrilling “Ride of the Valkyries.”
“Van Zweden’s Wagner, it is impossible to resist.” Bachtrack
WINTER PARK, FLORIDA, USA: African-American Masterpieces, Symphonic Spirituals
Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, the program presents provocative and passionate works by three of the 20th century’s most important African American composers.
EUGENE, OREGON, USA
The Grand Mass in C Minor is the largest choral masterwork that the genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart left us. A glorious wedding gift to his beloved wife, Constanze, the work features four professional soloists whose talents will be highlighted throughout the evening with arias to delight, move and gratify your musical spirit.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, USA: Produced by the Ensemble for the Romantic Century
Directed by Donald T. Sanders
The joys and perils of motherhood, the hovering shadow of infant mortality, and the sting of loneliness and rejection merge as Mary Shelley creates her masterwork, Frankenstein. The Creature that Dr. Frankenstein produces, an assemblage of disparate elements, coalesces into a monster with a human soul. His horrific appearance conceals the gentlest heart. Through no fault of his own, he is forced to descend into evil deeds. Excerpts from the 1818 edition of Frankenstein, music, and dance interwoven with Mary Shelley’s letters and diaries create parallel narratives as both dramas unfold. Featuring Bach-inspired music of the 19th century, from Liszt, Schubert and Bach.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, USA
Directed by David Pountney
Conducted by Sir Andrew Davis
After the triumph of Das Rheingold in 2016/17, Lyric continues the thrilling journey through Wagner’s monumental Ring cycle with Die Walküre. This is the most deeply moving and romantic of all the Ring operas. Its riveting, devastating drama involves complex relationships between brother and sister, husband and wife, father and daughter. Every character is unforgettable—valiant Siegmund and Sieglinde, headstrong Brünnhilde and mighty, tortured Wotan, determined Fricka and vengeful Hunding. Wagner’s music drama burns itself on our memories, exciting us with the emotional intensity of its lyrical outbursts and its incredible power and majesty.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, USA
Directed by E. Loren Meeker
Conducted by Marco Armiliato
There’s no character in opera more powerfully dramatic than the court jester Rigoletto, whose acid tongue and all-consuming desire for revenge lead to catastrophe for himself and his sweet, love-struck daughter Gilda. Of all the great Verdi works, none boasts more unforgettable tunes than this one. You’ll thrill to the licentious Duke of Mantua’s “La donna è mobile” and Gilda’s stunning “Caro nome,” not to mention the most celebrated quartet in all opera. Dominating the story, though, is Rigoletto himself, one of Verdi’s greatest characterizations—a complex and tragic figure, both pitiful and ferocious, with stupendous music to match.
CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA: Starring as Olga in Eugene Onegin with the renowned Spoleto Festival USA
Conducted by Evan Rogister
Directed by Chen Shi-Zheng
Tchaikovsky’s full range of emotions is on display in Eugene Onegin—his grand opera based on Pushkin’s classic novel in verse. Russia’s wintery beauty—expressed in both simple country life and the glittering aristocracy of St. Petersburg—is the backdrop for this story about the tragedy of first love. Directed by Festival-favorite Chen Shi-Zheng (Matsukaze, 2013; Monkey: Journey to the West, 2008; The Peony Pavilion, 2004, among others), this work indulges Tchaikovsky’s soaring lyricism in Tatyana’s “letter aria” as well as the familiar elegance of his dance music in the ballroom waltz. Celebrated soprano Natalia Pavlova portrays Tatyana, whose transition from a naive girl to a complex woman has given this work a reputation for the most sophisticated character development in opera. Cast as Onegin, baritone Franco Pomponi employs his dramatic intensity and virility to portray the cold nobleman.
Sung in Russian with English supertitles.
SPOKANE, WASHINGTON, USA: Performing with the Spokane Symphony Chorale, the Gonzaga University Chamber Chorus, and the Eastern Washington University Choir
Conducted by Eckart Preu
The human voice is perhaps the most powerful of all instruments, expressing the deepest passions, joys and sorrows of our souls. Verdi applied opera technique to the sacred text, filling it with soaring melodies, lush orchestration and music that perfectly conveys the text's dramatic intensity. The result is his greatest choral piece and an icon of Western music.
Conducted by Kelly Kuo
Directed by Ron Daniels
Music by Daniel Schnyder
Libretto by Bridgette A. Wimberly
In that empty twilight between life and death, tortured jazzman Charlie Parker composes his final masterpiece, revisiting the inspirations, demons, and women who fueled his creative genius. This freeform expedition into the mind, heart, and personal purgatory of the bebop great stars Lawrence Brownlee as the legendary saxophonist — a role crafted around the effortless, improvisational style that makes him one of music’s most sought-after tenors. Set in the famed NYC jazz club Birdland, the opera is as uncompromising in its artistic vision as the “Yardbird” himself.
MADISON, WISCONSIN, USA: Debut with Madison Opera
Conducted by John DeMain
Directed by Ron Daniels
Music by Daniel Schnyder
Libretto by Bridgette A. Wimberly
New York City, 1955. As his body lies unclaimed in the morgue, saxophone great Charlie Parker returns in spirit to the jazz club Birdland, determined to compose a final masterpiece. Family and friends blend in and out of his memories in an acclaimed new opera that tells of his tortured, brilliant life “with a pulsing, jazz-infused score” (The New York Times). Charlie Parker’s Yardbird was widely praised following its 2015 premiere. The Wall Street Journal said, “its rhythms snap and swing, its melodies – including real arias – seize the ear, its ensembles crackle with energy.”
Madison Opera will be only the second company to perform this theatrical tour de force that melds jazz and opera – don’t miss it!
BOISE, IDAHO, USA: The Boise Philharmonic featuring Soloists and the Boise Master Chorale
Handel's Messiah has been described by the early-music scholar Richard Luckett as "a commentary on Jesus Christ's Nativity, Passion, Resurrection and Ascension", beginning with God's promises as spoken by the prophets and ending with Christ's glorification in heaven. In contrast with most of Handel's oratorios, the singers in Messiah do not assume dramatic roles; there is no single, dominant narrative voice; and very little use is made of quoted speech. In his libretto, his intention was not to dramatize the life and teachings of Jesus, but to acclaim the "Mystery of Godliness", using a compilation of extracts from the King James Version of the Bible, and from the Psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer.
ITALY : An opera in three acts performed with the orchestra and chorus of Theatre Bellini.
Directed by Niksa Bareza
La leggenda di Sakùntala (titled Sakùntala in its revised version) is a three-act opera by Franco Alfano, who wrote his own libretto, basing his work on Kalidasa's 5th-century BC drama Abhijñānaśākuntalam, a very well-known Sanskrit Play. The play dramatizes the story of Shakuntala told in the epic Mahabharata, and is considered to be the best of Kālidāsa's works. Its date is uncertain, but Kālidāsa is often placed in the period between the 1st century BCE and 4th century CE.
It was first performed at the Teatro Comunale in Bologna on 10 December 1921. The full score and orchestral materials were believed to have been destroyed when an allied bomb damaged the archives of Alfano's publisher Ricordi during World War II, so Alfano reconstructed the opera and it was performed at the Teatro dell'Opera in Rome on 5 January 1952 with the shortened title of Sakùntala. During preparations for a revival in Rome in April 2006, a copy of the original 1921 score was discovered in the Ricordi archives, and the opera was performed for the first time in its original form in modern times under its original name, La leggenda di Sakùntala. Critically regarded as Alfano's best work, the opera was performed seven times for Italian radio between its premiere and 1979. The opera was also revived at the Wexford Opera Festival in 1982, and will be performed in concert on November 19, 2013 by Teatro Grattacielo, in New York.
NEW YORK CITY, USA : The National Chorale & National Chorale Orchestra
Everett McCorvey, Artistic Director
Join the National Chorale and the National Chorale Orchestra, Everett McCorvey, Artistic Director, for a performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem – the drama of opera and the thrill of wonderful symphonic writing combined with stellar, virtuosic solo moments. The Requiem is one of the most popular works of the choral/orchestral repertory. It’s claim as “the” choral work of the latter 19th century is deservedly strong. Verdi lavished great care on the writing and performance of the Requiem. Solo passages were written for soloists with long ranges and the power to sustain his vocal lines. Verdi completed the work in 1874, with its first performance in Milan. The first New York performance was in 1874 at the New York City Academy of Music.
NEW YORK CITY, USA: New England Symphonic Ensemble
Conducted by Giselle Elgarresta Rios
"Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) set the Gloria text a number of times. A catalogue of his works lists three separate pieces, one of which is now lost. Vivaldi almost certainly composed this Gloria (and the others) for the girls at Ospedale della Pietà, a home for abandoned children in Venice in the early 18th century. Rediscovered in late 1920’s, this work has become the most popular of Vivaldi’s vocal works and is part of the standard oratorio repertoire."
- S. Skye Donald
NEW YORK CITY, USA: Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International present Music of Joy and Sorrow
Maestro Vance George
This Presidents Day, DCINY presents music by Welsh composer Paul Mealor FRSA, Joseph Martin, and Mozart. DCINY Guest Conductor Dr. James Jordan leads the Distinguished Concerts Singers and Orchestra in the world premiere of Mealor’sJubilate Deo, as well as his Stabat Mater. Joseph Martinconducts works from his own expansive repertoire, and maestroVance George closes the concert with a performance of Mozart’s Requiem.
NEW YORK CITY, USA : The New England Symphonic Ensemble and choruses perform at Carnegie Hall.
Conducted by Brian J. Bacon Jr.
ZIMBABWE : Krysty Swann will be a featured soloist in two esteemed concerts at this internationally renowned festival.
Conducted by Gerald Steichen
PRESENTED BY CABS
Our annual night of musical magic under the stars features favourite arias and ensembles from many of the world's most loved operas. Romance, drama, death and transformation all find a place in opera, a truly universal expression of profound human emotion. Performing will be international opera stars, bringing the greatest operatic heroes and heroines to life. The Zimspiration choir, trained by Kundisai Mtero, will join the soloists in well-known choruses. The Gala will be accompanied by musicians performing in the KPMG Classical Music Programme led by the dazzlingly talented American pianist, conductor and Musical Director, Gerald Steichen.
PRESENTED AS PART OF THE KPMG CLASSICAL MUSIC PROGRAMME
Our visiting opera singers perform a deeply moving recital of musical theatre pieces, art songs and American spirituals. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear these exceptional artists a second time in the more intimate setting of the NMB Bank Recital Room. Pianist and conductor Gerald Steichen will direct the concert.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA, USA : Atlanta Opera, Orchestra, and chorus performs in the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.
Conducted by Joseph Rescigno
The Atlanta Opera celebrates its 35th year of live productions with Giuseppe Verdi's tragic masterpiece, Rigoletto. This new, visually stimulating production is a co-production of Boston Lyric Opera, The Atlanta Opera, and Opera Omaha and was originally directed by The Atlanta Opera's General & Artistic Director Tomer Zvulun. Not seen on The Atlanta Opera stage since 2000, Rigoletto will be presented on February 28 and March 3, 6 and 8 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. The Boston Globe hailed the production as "delivering the kind of energetic performance... that had audiences rising swiftly to its feet." Opera News, reviewing the Omaha mounting, said the production "let loose with vibrant, contrasting visual and musical colors."
New York City, USA : Distinguished Concerts Singers International presents this exciting world premier at Carnegie Hall.
Conducted by Pablo Di Mario
DCINY presents an international evening of world music and entertainment suitable for all ages. In the spirit of peace, acceptance, and inclusion for this Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, the program includes the New York premiere of Argentinian composer Martin Palmeri’s Misa A Buenos Aires (Misatango), conducted by Pablo Di Mario with the Distinguished Concerts Singers International.
BRANFORD, CONNECTICUT, USA : Branford Messiah performs its 27th season of Handel's Messiah with resident chorus and chamber orchestra.
Conducted by Roy Wiseman
In many of Handel’s oratorios the choruses are overshadowed by the intricate and extensive solo parts. But in Messiah, says Laurence Cummings, director of the London Handel Orchestra, “the chorus propels the work forward with great emotional impact and uplifting messages.” (Smithsonian.com). With these choruses, alternating with beautiful solos and outstanding orchestral accompaniment the host Churches on the Shoreline have been filled to capacity for 25 years and for many this performance rings in the holiday season. It is because of the generosity of local businesses and individuals that this program has been sustained since its inception in 1987.
SOUTH AFRICA : KZN Philharmonic Orchestra presents Krysty Swann as their featured soloist in Durban.
Excerpts from: George Bizet’s Carmen, Jules Massenet’s Werther, Giuseppe Verdi’s La forza del destino and Don Carlo, Camille Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Delila, Gaetano Donizetti’s La Favorita, And more!
The KZN Philharmonic gets straight into the Festival mood with American mezzo-soprano Krysty Swann and conductor Daniel Boico in a rousing concert of opera excerpts. Opera and vocal music is a South African tradition and the KZN Philharmonic is proud to be celebrating the National Arts Festival’s 40th anniversary with this special programme. Krysty Swann will sing such famous arias as “O mio Fernando” from La Favorita, “O don Fatale” from Don Carlo and “En vain pour eviter” from Carmen. At the helm is Daniel Boico, who will lead the orchestra through these challenging arias as well as instrumental favourites from the opera repertoire such as the overture to La forza del destino.
New York City, USA : Martha Cardona Theatre presents Verdi's Don Carlo at the Opera America Center.
The Martha Cardona Theater presents Don Carlo featuring voices who have performed with The Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Fort Worth Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, and many other leading houses around the world.
ZIMBABWE : Featuring Krysty Swann, Karl Jenkins’s Stabat Mater is part of this year’s KPMG Classical Musical Programme and is set to wow audiences.
Paul Colman returns to HIFA for another modern choral performance. This beautiful and profound work takes the listener on a journey through one of the most poignant medieval poems. Some of the talented performers featuring are American mezzo-soprano Krysty Swann, The Amici String Quartet, Will McNicol (guitar) and Jeanette Micklem (piano). Catch this stunning performance at the NMB Bank Recital Room on Friday 2nd May (Golden Pilsener Day) and Saturday 3rd May (Coca-Cola Day). Stabat Mater is presented with assistance of the British Council and Creative Zimbabwe.
ITALY: Conducted by Xu Zhong with the Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro Massimo Bellini
ALLENTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA, USA : Featuring soloist Krysty Swann, the Allentown Symphony concerts offer one of the greatest of all symphonic and vocal works, Mozart's Requiem in D Minor, K. 626.
Conducted by Diane Wittry
In conjunction with the Allentown Symphony, the vocal parts include a full chorus and four soloists. Conductor Diane Wittry says the orchestra's desire to perform the Requiem meshed with a desire to establish a new Allentown Symphony Chorus.