By the time he came to tackle the composition of Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Offenbach’s opus already included more than a hundred operas. Left unfinished when he died during rehearsals in October 1880, his last work combines fantasy, gravity and humor in an unexpectedly innovative synthesis of opera buffa, romantic opera and grand opera. This adaptation of three tales by E.T.A. Hoffmann, with a sprinkling of Goethe’s Faust, portrays the German poet as both narrator and hero recounting his love affairs with Olympia, Antonia and Giuletta. Robert Carsen’s spectacular production highlights the melancholy genius of a man marked by life, with a coherence and dramatic sense remarkable for a work that leaves numerous questions unanswered. Under the baton of Philippe Jordan, Sabine Devieilhe, Stéphanie d’Oustrac, Kate Aldrich, and Ramón Vargas in the main role, interpret the legendary airs of this work whose brilliant mystery will continue to dazzle opera houses for countless years to come.
(3:25 with two intermissions)
Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde, and Strauss: Tod und Verklärung
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
April 9 & 12 | $12
In partnership with Colorado MahlerFest
The 2012 inaugural concert of Neeme Jarvi's tenure as Music Director of Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. Shot live in high definition and directed by Jason Starr, the program features Mahler's symphonic song cycle Das Lied von der Erde, with Metropolitan Opera stars Paul Groves, tenor, and Thomas Hampson, baritone. Jarvi opens the concert with Richard Strauss's tone poem Tod und Verklarung (Death and Transfiguration). (1:32)
I Due Foscari: La Scala
April 23 & 26
Here is Plácido Domingo’s latest conquest: the leading baritone role of Francesco Foscari in Verdi’s darkly atmospheric, melodically generous early opera, based on Lord Byron’s play. Set in 15th-century Venice, I Due Foscari is the forerunner of Simon Boccanegra, and Domingo’s triumph as the Doge set the seal on this critically lauded new production from Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, the ultimate Verdi shrine.
Declaring the legendary singer “the definitive Francesco of recent times”, the Financial Times’s reviewer also had high praise for the rest of La Scala’s superb cast, from “Andrea Concetti’s solid Loredano, to the immaculate Francesco Meli in a perfect match for Jacopo. Anna Pirozzi makes a triumphant house debut as Lucrezia. She wins hearts and minds through fearsome dramatisation and thrilling vocal power. But the revelation of the night is [conductor] Michele Mariotti. Here is an interpretation of unbridled elasticity [...] There is the whiff of Venice’s sea breeze and a surge in its lagoon. The well-drilled chorus of patricians sends a chill down the spine. Mariota is the wunderkind of the Italian repertoire.” (Italian with English subtitles, 2:09)