Archive for the Concert category
After three years involving extensive research and intense work, the creative duo Rebecca Simpson (idea and libretto) and Ramon Humet (music) present their opera-oratorio Sky Disc (Himmelsscheibe / Disc del cel).
The first performance of Sky Disc will take place on 2nd October 2013, at Bühnen Halle Oper (Halle, Germany). Andreas Henning is musical director, G.H. Seebach is the stage director, costumes are by Ragna Heiny, with set-design by Hartmut Schörghofer and video by Anke Tornow. André Meyer is the dramaturg, Jens Petereit the choirmaster, and the soloists are Gerd Vogel (Fierket), Sandra Maxheimer (Guueren), Maria Petrasovska (Estria), Robert Sellier (Pyrpi) and Hiltrud Kuhlmann (Tamar), Ulrich Burdack (Boatman), Ki-Hyun Park (Priest), Julia Preußler (Boy) Kaori Sekigawa (Solo voice). Rehearsals began at the end of June and, after the summer break, pick up again in September; librettist and composer will be in Halle to work directly with the production team.
Rebecca Simpson’s libretto uses the fact that, at the end of the Early Bronze Age of central and northern Europe, remarkable cultures were connected by trade and travel and elite bronze workers were the technology experts of the time. The Nebra Sky-disc, unearthed in 1999 in Germany, is the world’s earliest known representation of the night sky. It encoded information that enabled the alignment of the solar and lunar calendars, allowing more effective agriculture. The libretto of the opera-oratorio Sky Disc contemplates the archeological object from today’s perspective in the choral sections, while the opera’s story takes place on a single day in the region where the Nebra Sky-disc was discovered: in the Bronze Age village where it belongs, on a river by night, and on the Mittelberg hill-top.
Ramon Humet’s music develops on two complementary performance levels, creating a musical form of complex evolution. On one hand there is the opera story with its dramatic action revolving around the archeological object, with a lively tempo on a human scale and precise and specific instrumentation. On the other hand, there is the oratorio with its choral sections comprising reflections related to the object and the action, with a tempo that is spacious and fluid.
Sky Disc is a large-scale work, lasting 1 hour and 50 minutes, with 9 vocal soloists, a mixed choir (SATB) and symphonic orchestra. The opera-oratorio will be given sic performances: 2nd October, 6th October, 18th October, 23rd October, 9th and 24th November 2013, as part of the Bühnen Halle theatre’s Autumn-Winter season. The theatre`s general programme can be downloaded SkyDisc-Dossier. The cast list and artistic credits, together with a synopsis and further explanation of the ideas behind the work, can be downloaded here.
Finally, we will have the chance to assist to the production of Pepita Jiménez, in Madrid, that was released on October of 2012 in the Teatro Argentino de la Plata. On the one hand, this production is the result of a collaboration between the Teatros del Canal and the Teatro Argentino de la Plata, and on the other hand, it represents the crystallizing of the collaboration with Tritó, which keeps giving fruitful results.
The plot of the work, based on a novel by Juan Valera, has been adapted by Francis Money-Coutts and turned into music by Isaac Albéniz. The first release of this piece was placed in 1895, and until now it has remained out of the stages. The new publication of the critical edition completed by Borja Mariño, made this production -staged by Calixto Bieito- possible to perform.
Pepita Jiménez will be presented in four exclusive functions on the stage of the Sala Roja, during the days 19th, 21st, 23rd and 25th of May.
Conductor: José Ramón Encinar
Stage director: Calixto Bieito
Scenographic design: Rebecca Ringst
Costume design: Ingo Krügler
Playwright: Bettina Auer
Illumination design: Carlos Márquez / Miguel A. Camacho
Choir conductor: Pedro Texeira
Children’s choir conductor: Ana González
Scenographic design’s assistent: Zosia Dowjat
Repeater pianist: Javier Martínez
Stage manager: Pedro Tojar / Nieves Garcimartín
Tailoring: Isabel López/ Natalia Cieza
Props: Ana María Serpa / Gonzalo R. Checa
Characterization: Joel Escaño
Subtitles: 36 caracteres
Production director: Leticia Martín
Scenographic production executed in the ateliers of the Teatro Argentino de la Plata
The piece consists of a collection of seven peasant songs from Catalunya, Mallorca and Valencia. The unmistakable character of the composer, his irony, craftiness and wit are mirrored into the seven songs filled with mediterranean evocations.
Through a special treatment of the orchestration, the composer makes the popular component of the melodies emerge.
Feliu Gasull gets a direct complicity with his audience, without falling into the predictable. During an interview recorded for RTVE, the composer commented: “We have been a lifetime ignoring the south, always looking at the center of Europe, and I didn’t want to miss what the south offers to us, that is brutal.”
The Nacional Orchestra of Spain, conducted by Josep Pons, Feliu Gasull as the guitar soloist and the singer Silvia Pérez Cruz -newest Best Song of the Goya Awards 2013- will be the responsibles to perform the three concerts programed for this weekend.
The appointments are today and tomorrow (march 1st and 2nd) at 19:30, and the next sunday (march 3rd) at 11:30.
Two versions of the opera Pepita Jiménez (Isaac Albéniz) are included in TRITÓ’s catalogue . The original English libretto was written by Francis Money-Coutts which and was based on a novel by Juan Valera.
In our first edition, the editor, José de Eusebio, worked with the third version from 1904 . The second version was edited by Borja Mariño who worked with the second version from 1896 (premiered in Prague).
On next October 28 th, the Teatro Argentino de la Plata will host three premieres: the American premiere of Pepita Jiménez, the world premiere of our second edition and the first performance in Argentina of a staging by Calixto Bieito.
The musical conductor will be Manuel Coves and the cast is formed by Nicola Beller Carbone conform, Enrique Ferrer, Adriana Mastrángelo, Victor Torres, Jose Antonio Garcia, Sebastian Angulegui, Francisco and Juan Pablo Labourdette Bugallo with the Coro y orquesta estables del Teatro Argentino.
The Argentinian premiere of Pepita Jiménez Argentina is possible thanks to the collaboration of Teatros del Canal (Madrid) and the Teatro Argentino de la Plata.
We look forward to receive good news from the Argentinian premiere of one of the most unknown and best scenycal works by Albeniz.
As many of you will already know, the Donostia-San Sebastián Musical Fortnight has just taken place, an event with a wide-ranging programme where a large number of performers gather together at what is the oldest festival in Spain, dating back to 1939. It offers symphonic concerts, ballets, early music, chamber and contemporary music in diverse venues such as churches, the Palacio de Miramar, and the splendid Auditorio Kursaal, designed by Rafael Moneo.
Precisely in the chamber music hall at this auditorium, the Cuarteto Arriaga gave a concert on 24 August. The group presented an eclectic programme that included both classical and 20th century works, performing pieces by the composer from Vitoria, Jesús Guridi (Quartet nº 1 in G Major), Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga (Quartet nº 2 in A Major), the virtuoso Italian celloist Luigi Boccherini (Quartet G159 in C minor, Op. 2, Nº1), and also Vistas al mar, a composition with a marked Mediterranean flavour, by Eduard Toldrá. This composer was an essential model for the Catalan music of the last century and he and Guridi were close friends. The programme was performed a second time on 26 August in the Parque Lamuza in the town of Llodio in Alava, as part of the “Quincena Andante”.
Consisting of the violinists Aitzol Iturriagagoitia and Rodrigo Bauzá, the violist Miguel Ángel Lucas and the cellist Damien Ventula, the Cuarteto Arriaga brings together four key figures in the world of European chamber music and their wide international experience is confirmed by the concerts they give all over Europe.
Filed under: Concert, Festivals
Catalunya still boasts a wide offer of summer festivals. It’s true that there is not always a clear programming policy, and all too often the proposals consist of presenting several concerts without a common theme or clear artistic focus, but the offer still stands, despite the crisis.
In the case of Barcelona, the situation is rather depressing. In fact, it is a city where classical music almost disappears in the summer. Only the Gran Teatre del Liceu offers a quality programme during July: the end of the season includes concerts of Tamerlane by Handel, with Plácido Domingo and Bejun Mehta in the cast, and Daphne, by Richard Strauss, with Pablo González making his debut at the Liceu at the helm of the OBC.
The Festival Grec has increased its classical offer, traditionally rather scarce, under the artistic direction of Ricardo Szwarcer, and forthcoming events include an opera concert with Ainhoa Arteta and the Cadaqués Orchestra under the baton of Jaime Martin, with Puccini featuring prominently in the programme.
Incidentally, the great Basque soprano has just released an extraordinary recital with the pianist Malcolm Martineau, which is her debut with the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon label. The repertoire includes pieces by Charles Gounod, Georges Bizet, Reynaldo Hahn and an exciting section devoted to the great Spanish song repertoire including the Cinco canciones negras by Xavier Montsalvatge, four Tonadillas al estilo antiguo, by Enric Granados and the Poema en forma de canciones, op. 19, by Joaquín Turina.
Fortunately, despite the crisis, many summer festivals remain active, but the compulsive search for new audiences and the blind obsession with eclecticism as a programming formula has swept away many of the hallmarks of some of the most traditional venues.
The same cannot be said of the classical offer at the Auditori – reduced to its minimum expression, although this year the Sónar has included a magnificent homage to Steve Reich – or the Palau de la Música Catalana, with an offer exclusively intended to attract tourists.
Fortunately, despite the crisis, many summer festivals remain active, but the compulsive search for new audiences and the blind obsession with eclecticism as a programming formula has swept away many of the hallmarks of some of the most traditional venues. Where once classical music reigned supreme – because most festivals around Catalonia began as festivals specializing in classical music – world music, jazz, pop and other genres now share the limelight.
The trend is not necessarily bad, but caution is needed and the occasional mega concert in search of mass audiences is not to be entirely trusted. One thing is to harness the pull of the media stars so as to be able to display the sold-out sign, something legitimate and commendable, and another thing is to overlook the rest, the promotion of new values and local productions as a sign of identity. In this sense, we can applaud the consistency, rigour and unquestionable quality of the Torroella de Montgrí International Festival of Music and also celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Festival Castell de Peralada, which this year returns to its origins with a sensational programme focused on opera.
This summer also counts on two new events, conceived with the idea of supporting very distinct artistic proposals. On the one hand, the Festival de Música Antiga dels Pirineus has been launched with plenty of momentum, fruit of the joint efforts of different institutions in the Pyrenees. Its programming policy is clear and attractive: drawing on the beauty of the rich architectural heritage in the area and its suitability as a backdrop for early music, in order to offer evenings with musical personality, presented by the best bands and singers specialised in the historical performance of the early and baroque repertoire . And, importantly, the idea is to make it a key event for both the international promotion of the best Catalan ensembles and soloists and the dissemination of our musical heritage.
The second proposal also combines architectural beauty with music and includes gastronomy as a novel incentive. This is the Modernist soirees in the unique setting of the Monestir de San Benet, a proposal that offers visitors the chance to enjoy a concert of “Modernist” music in the monastery cellars and, optionally, during the same evening visit the “Modernist” space dedicated to Ramon Casas at Món Sant Benet and enjoy supper in the gardens.
There are things that stir the music-lover’s memory, which bring back reminiscences of that irreplaceable experience which consists of listening to live music in its natural environment, the auditorium. For many fans, the recent recording of the symphonic rhapsody Catalonia, by Isaac Albéniz, at the hands of Jaime Martin and the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya (OBC) will come as a pleasant surprise: the discovery of a score that exudes freshness, simplicity and melodic charm. For others, it will imply the rediscovery of a work that would be an obligatory part of the concert repertoire in any civilized country, but here, sadly, is not.
Its audition allows listeners to refresh their impressions and memories of great conductors and composers who, throughout their careers, demonstrated their belief in the value of this piece by their acts, without getting caught up in the widespread and sterile debate about Albéniz’s poor reputation as an orchestrator. Certainly, it is a marvel of refinement, but, when performed with full conviction of its merits, the listener is immediately captivated by the simplicity, the melodic inspiration and eternal freshness that permeate the Catalan composer’s music.
I am speaking of legendary musicians, such as the Russian Igor Markévitch, especially in his wonderful period of artistic involvement with the Orquesta Sinfónica de la RTVE; the Romanian Georges Enescu, stalwart defender of a piece that he often programmed, and all over the world; and Eduard Toldrà, the brilliant Catalan violinist, conductor and composer who, in 1944, created the Orquestra Municipal de Barcelona (now the OBC, which has at last recorded Catalonia), and who was a fervent promoter of the Spanish repertoire.
A greater commitment to music is needed and less obsession with attendance figures and box office takings.
There is a need for concert programmers who really believe in Spanish music.
The list includes musicians who are active at this time, such as Antoni Ros Marbà, a passionate perfomer of Albéniz and, in a very special way, of Toldrà, who was his teacher, Jesús López Cobos and José de Eusebio (thanks to his enthusiasm we now know more about the Camprodón musician’s operatic legacy than ever before; the recording discussed today includes an orchestral suite from Pepita Jiménez revised by him), and on his first CD with the OBC, Jaime Martin,
Albéniz had and has eloquent supporters. Why, then, is Catalonia still rarely heard in concert halls? Difficult question. First of all, there is a need for concert programmers who really believe in Spanish music. It is pointless to include just four or five pieces in a whole symphonic season; nor is the Spanish share of the programmes sufficient; nor are there enough commissions, increasingly unambitious and scarce. A greater commitment to music is needed and less obsession with attendance figures and box office takings.
There is enough leeway to balance the offer using the more popular classics to attract the general public –it all depends on the programmers’ imagination. The regularisation of works such as Catalonia – and this piece is just one example because there are hundreds of scores in the same situation – requires a strong alliance between performers, programmers and the public.
The musicians with power – and the chief conductors of a symphonic ensemble have a lot of power – are the ones who ultimately have a greater say when it comes to choosing which works are programmed and which are left out: when a chief conductor wants to play a given piece, eventually it gets played.
Programmers, managers and artistic directors should limit themselves to doing their duty, because the revival and dissemination of the national repertoire is an obligation for all orchestras, auditoriums and the concert-going public.
As for the public, the greatest possible complicity is needed, using the media that now, more than ever, can arouse – if used with imagination and efficiency – music-lovers’ curiosity, the desire to discover new and old scores, the possibility of expanding frontiers.
Askeplios is the name of the Greek god of medicine, usually depicted next to a snake entwined on a stick, a symbol of renewed life. Askeplios is also one of the works by the Bilbao composer Gabriel Erkoreka that can be heard on 28 April at the Judson Memorial Church in New York, performed by the Maya Ensemble, whose members are the flutist Sato Moughalian, harpist Bridget Kibbey and percussionist John Hadfield. Premiered in Manhattan last June, in this piece Erkoreka uses melodic archetypes from Greek traditional music, which twist and turn like the snake on the Greek physician’s stick.
You can find information on performances of this and many other composers’ music in the Tritó concert schedule
On 12 March in Darmstadt, the composer Agustí Charles premiered his opera “LByron, un estiu sense estiu“ (LByron, a year without a summer), commissioned by Darmstadt’s Staatstheater and scheduled for the 2010/2011 season.
In Spain it will be premiered at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona on 25, 27 and 28 June 2011, with the participation of the choir of the Gran Teatre del Liceu and the Orquesta BCN216. In Germany, on the other hand, it will be performed on nine occasions over the coming months. Both the Liceu Theatre and the Teatros del Canal are involved in this production, which will also be staged in Madrid.
Marc Rosich’s libretto sets the action in Europe after the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. While he was losing on the battlefield, the Tambora volcano in the Pacific Ocean erupted, releasing a cloud of toxic ash that covered the entire planet and perturbed the order of the seasons. The cloud, accompanied by violent storms, reached Geneva in the summer of 1816, leaving an unusual group of English exiles trapped in their summer home: Lord Byron, Percy B. Shelley, his lover Mary, Mary’s stepsister, Claire Clairmont, and Dr John Polidori. A gathering in the middle of a “year without a summer”, which gave rise to two of the most important texts in Gothic literature: Frankenstein and The Vampire.
Orchestra, choir and voices construct an all-enveloping sound space that situates the listener at the centre of the opera, on the stage, which also serves as an important instrument, with even the percussion located in the hall itself, and including subtle amplification that enables the public to delve into the subconscious of the characters and deduce their obsessions.
On various Wednesdays in the months of March, April and May, the 2011 Seville Contemporary Music Cycle will be held at the Teatro Central in Seville. The programme consists of eight concerts, including works by David del Puerto, Hèctor Parra and Gabriel Erkoreka.
Specifically, on 27 April the ensemble Rejoice will perform the concert version of the work Carmen Replay by David del Puerto, and on 30 March the Ensemble Recherche will present works by Hèctor Parra and by students of the Manuel de Falla Chair of Composition at the University of Granada. In addition, on the 25 May you will be able to listen to works by another of the composers who works with Tritó, Gabriel Erkoreka, along with other contemporary composers such as Saariaho and Fineberg, at the hands of the Taller Sonoro under the joint title “Angelus Novus: el futuro presente”.