Opera Night Saturday 15 March 2014
Tonight Glyndebourne brings us the ultimate comic opera – The Barber of Seville. Rossini reportedly wrote this opera in a period of just three weeks, his head spinning with the joy and wit he discovered in the story of the wily hairdresser Figaro's amorous antics. The result is an opera full of expectant fun but also grace and beauty. Leading soprano Danielle de Niese stars as the young ward Rosina, eager to escape the clutches of the elderly Count Almaviva played by Taylor Stayton. Alessandro Corbelli sings Dr Bartolo, Björn Bürger sings Figaro, Janis Kelly is Berta and Huw Montague Rendall is Fiorello. The London Philharmonic Orchestra and Glyndebourne Festival Opera is conducted by Enrique Mazzola.
Join Niall Carroll and Opera Night live from the National Opera House, Wexford, as we bring you this years' Wexford Festival Opera. For more information, stay tuned to RTÉ lyric fm or visit the festival website.
Niall Carroll presents tonight's opera Herculanum by Félicien David live from the National Opera House for the 2016 Wexford Festival Opera. Mount Vesuvius is a silent but powerful presence in one of the most famous of all operas, Mozart’s Così fan tutte, whose Neapolitan setting finds its characters sitting on something of an emotional volcano. Dating 70 years after Mozart’s masterpiece, Félicien David’s until recently forgotten Herculanum puts the peak and indeed its calamitous eruption centre-stage: the original production at the Paris Opéra in 1859 featured a stunning visual climax with the destruction of the entire cast. In tonight's production Olga Busuiov is Lilia, Daniela Pini is Olympia, Andrew Haji is Helois, Simon Bailey sings Nicanor/Satan and Rory Musgrave is Magnus and Jean-Luc Tingaud conducts the Wexford Festival Opera orchestra and chorus. (Chorus of Wexford Festival Opera in Herculanum by Felicien David. Photo by Clive Barda)
In our Prelude to the live performance of Samuel Barber's Vanessa live from the National Opera House Niall Carroll brings us some other works by tonight's featured composer including Barber: The Lovers, with David Farwid (baritone), Conspirare Chamber Orchestra, Company of Voices conducted by Craig Hella Johnson and the Barber Symphony No.1 Op.9 performed by the Virginia Symphony, conducted by JoAnn Falletta.
Niall Carroll presents tonight's opera Barber's Vanessa live from the National Opera House for the 2016 Wexford Festival Opera. Vanessa received a glamorous premiere at New York’s Metropolitan Opera in 1958, directed by Menotti, designed by Cecil Beaton and conducted by Dmitri Mitropoulos. The cast featured Eleanor Steber, Rosalind Elias, Regina Resnik and Nicolai Gedda. (Callas had turned down the title role because no one could expect her to fall for a man who had slept with a mezzo-soprano.) Six years later Barber tightened the opera, reducing it from four to three acts by running the original first two acts together and cutting a coloratura aria for Vanessa herself. It is this more compact, two-hour version that we see at Wexford. Clare Rutter sings Vanessa, Carolyn Sproule sings Erika, Rosalind Plowright is the Old Baroness, Michael Brandenburg is Anatol, James Westman is The Old Doctor and Pietro di Bianco is Nicholas. Timothy Myers conducts the Wexford Festival Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Niall Carroll presents tonight's opera Maria de Rudenz by Donizetti live from the National Opera House for the 2016 Wexford Festival Opera. The first modern staging of Maria de Rudenz was given, again at La Fenice, in 1980, and it still awaits a full production in both the United Kingdom and the United States. This Irish premiere is the latest in a series of important Donizetti revivals at Wexford, which has played a major role in what remains an ongoing Donizetti renaissance. Golda Fiume is Maria de Rudenz, Sophie Gordeladze is Matilde di Wolf, Joo Wan Kang is Corrado Waldorf, Jesus Garcia is Enrico, Michele Patti is Rambaldo and Irish tenor Richard Shaffrey is the Chancellor of Rudenz, Andrew Greenwood conducts the Wexford Festival Opera Orchestra and Chorus.
(Cast of Le Pré aux clerc by Hérold WFO 2015. Photo by Clive Barda)