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2019

Deutsche Oper Berlin - La Sonnambula

Deutsche Oper Berlin - La Sonnambula

Deutsche Oper Berlin (map)

Amina, a poor orphan, and Elvino, the richest farmer in the village, are looking forward to their wedding. But when Amina is caught in the room of Count Rodolfo, who has recently returned after a long absence, this idyll in the Swiss Alps collapses. Elvino breaks off the engagement and returns to Lisa, his former lover. Only when Amina appears as the village phantom, somnambulating at a vertiginous height, is her innocence clear to all. While sleep walking she was not the mistress of her senses, but once out of her trance she finds herself again the betrothed of Elvino. Bellini and his librettist, Romani, opted for lyrical, romantic material for their fifth collaboration and have ventured into semiseria territory, operas with a happy ending that are partly serious, partly frivolous. They place Amina’s spiritual life at the heart of the piece, with the music accompanying the two sleep-walking scenes exploring the psyche of a young woman torn between love, jealousy and supposed guilt. These stand-out moments inspired the composer to some of his most touching “melodie lunghe, lunghe, lunghe” [Verdi].

In a brilliant collaboration with set and costume designer Anna Viebrock, Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito have adapted for the Deutsche Oper Berlin a production that they wrote in 2012 for the Staatsoper Stuttgart. The romantic idyll of an alpine village has been swapped for the stuffy confines of a village inn.

Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège - I Puritani

Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège - I Puritani

Opéra Royal de Wallonie (map)

Under the terrible dictatorship of Cromwell in England in the 17th century, the Puritans preached in favour of an austere lifestyle, focused on the Bible. A love story emerging from adverse winds offered Bellini a subject that was most definitely conducive to exploiting the facets of the nascent romantic opera style, but also to articulating a wide range of human passions. Elvira’s scene of madness is only equalled by another from a contemporary work, Lucia di Lammermoor.

Based on a true story, the last work by Bellini was composed over a long time, taking nine months. The master amended the libretto and rearranged the music following the advice of Rossini. Its first performance, at the Théâtre-Italien in Paris, was triumphant.I Puritani requires exceptional casting. The vocal quartet, originally formed by Grisi, Rubini, Tamburini and Lablache, is subjected to the most perilous arias of the bel cantorepertoire. Their success gave rise to the nickname the Puritan Quartet, which has remained famous to the present day. However, between cavatina and cabaletta, the composer, who was the king of melody and smoothness, treats us to some of the finest arias of Italian opera!

Wolf Trap Opera - FILENE ARTIST IN RESIDENCE

Wolf Trap Opera - FILENE ARTIST IN RESIDENCE

Each year, Wolf Trap Opera chooses one of its highly successful alumni to return as the Filene Artist in Residence. This master artist works with WTO’s young singers on both artistic and practical preparation for their careers

Wolf Trap Opera - FILENE ARTIST IN RESIDENCE

Wolf Trap Opera - FILENE ARTIST IN RESIDENCE

Each year, Wolf Trap Opera chooses one of its highly successful alumni to return as the Filene Artist in Residence. This master artist works with WTO’s young singers on both artistic and practical preparation for their careers

Masterclass: Tuesday, July 23 at 7:30 pm

Edinburgh International Festival - Dichterliebe and Songs by Poulenc, Liszt and Ginastera

Edinburgh International Festival - Dichterliebe and Songs by Poulenc, Liszt and Ginastera

The Queens Hall (map)

Schumann Dichterliebe
Songs by Poulenc, Liszt and Ginastera

US tenor Lawrence Brownlee is one of the world’s leading bel canto stars, his agile, honeyed voice, radiant with subtle colours, marking him out as a rare vocal talent.

Alongside Scottish-born Iain Burnside, pianist of choice for many of the globe’s most respected singers, Brownlee performs Schumann’s romantic masterpiece of sorrow, fury, hope and joy. The intimate song cycle Dichterliebe takes the listener through both despair and elation in its aching love story of rapture, disillusion and regret.

Brownlee completes his programme with the tender sophistication of mélodies by Poulenc – including the poignant lament for young soldiers Bleuet and the euphoric Voyage à Paris – alongside meditative Petrarch settings by Liszt, and the infectious Latin vitality of Ginastera’s Cinco canciones populares argentinas.