Coming Up on World of Opera

FRANCO FACCIO: Amleto

Bregenz Festival, Switzerland

Week of September 3, 2016

Vienna Symphony Orchestra
Prague Philharmonic Chorus

Paolo Carignani, conductor

CAST: Pavel Černoch (Hamlet); Iulia Maria Dan (Ophelia); Dshamilja Kaiser (Gertrude); Claudio Sgura (Claudio); Eduard Tsanga (Polonious); Sébastien Soules (Orazio); Martosz Urbanowicz (Marcello); Gianluca Buratto (Ghost); Paul Schweinester (Laerte); Jonathan Winell (Herald); Yasushi Hirano (Gravedigger)

Franco Faccio was an Italian contemporary of Verdi better known as a conductor than a composer. His operatic version of Hamlet premiered in Genoa in 1865, and was viewed by many as overly "modern." Faccio's collaborator on Amleto was librettest Arrigo Boito, who went on to write the librettos for two of Verdi's great Shakespeare operas, Otello and Falstaff.

LEOS JANÁCEK: The Makropoulos Case

Proms Concerts, Royal Albert Hall, London

Week of September 10, 2016

BBC Symphony Orchestra
BBC Singers

Jiří Belohlávek, conductor

CAST: Karita Mattila (Emilia Marty); Ales Briscejn (Albert Gregor); Gustav Belácek (Dr. Kolenatý); Jan Vacík (Vítek); Svatopluk Sem (Baron Jaroslav Prus); Alex Vorácek (Janek); Jan Jezek (Count Hauk-Sendorf)

A spellbinding drama told in the compellingly beautiful musical and dramatic idiom that's unique to Janacek's operas. The second of our three productions from London's Proms Concerts, The Makropulos Case is the story of a miraculously ageless diva who seems to have found a formula for immortality, only to be confronted by the sudden reality of death.

W. A. MOZART: Mitridate, King of Pontus

La Monnaie, Brussels

Week of September 17, 2016

La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra and Chorus

Christophe Rousset, conductor

CAST: Michael Spyres (Mitridate); Lenneke Ruiten (Aspasia); Myrtò Papatanasiu (Sifare); David Hansen (Farnace); Simona Šaturová (Ismene); Sergei Romanovsky (Marzio); Yves Saelens (Arbate)

This remarkable drama shows us the 14-year-old Mozart finding his "opera legs," in music that grows more and more beautiful as the opera progresses. The tragic story centers on a king's would-be bride, who is loved by one of the king's two sons but falls in love with the other -- earning both lovers a death sentence.

GIOACHINO ROSSINI: Semiramide

Proms Concerts, Royal Albert Hall, London

Week of September 24, 2016

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Mark Elder, conductor

CAST: Albina Shagimuratova (Semiramide); Daniela Barcellona (Arsace); Ildebrando d'Arcangelo (Assur); Javier Camarena (Idreno); Gianluca Buratto (Oroe); Susana Gaspar (Azema); David Butt Philip (Mitrane)

The last opera Rossini wrote for Italy, Semiramide premiered at La Fenice, in Venice, in 1823. In this exhilarating score, the composer exerts his mastery of Italian traditions while looking forward to his future in France, abandoning standard "dry recitative" to reach a new level of passionate expression.

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