The Metropolitan Opera 2020-2021 Season

The Metropolitan Opera 2020-2021 Season

New York’s  Metropolitan Opera is a vibrant home for the world’s most creative and talented artists working in opera, including singers, conductors, composers, orchestra musicians, stage directors, designers, visual artists, choreographers, and dancers. Each season is magical here.  Music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts six productions this season. The Met’s wonderful new season for 2020-2021 is full of amazing talent and incredible productions. Something  for everyone to look forward to.

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Facade of the Metropolitan photo by Blehgoaway

History of the Metropolitan Opera

At the focal point of Lincoln Centre for the Performing Arts on the Upper West Side sits the majestic Metropolitan Opera House, where some of the world’s most prestigious singers, dancers and actors have graced the stage. The Metropolitan Opera came into existence after a group of New York City millionaires had a difficult time trying to secure box seat tickets at New York’s Academy of Music. The millionaires, wanting good seats to the latest theatre and performing arts, decided to start their own operahouse in New York City. Their intention was to make a bigger and better performing arts alternative than what was already offered at the Academy of Music. During a time when America was growing and full of innovation, the group of millionaire entrepreneurs started what would become one of the most well-known opera houses in the world. The Met first purchased land in 1880 and within three years, singers and an orchestra had been hired, sets were built, costumes were designed and the general management and building designers had been hired. In 1883, the opening night performance was Gounod’s “Faust,” an Italian opera performed by an entirely Italian opera company, with the exception of two Americans. Everything was performed that night in Italian.

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The Met in 1902 Photo -Miscellaneous Items in High Demand, PPOC, Library of Congress

 

During the early years of the 20th century, the Met went through a number of changes, including several transitions between Italian, German and French operas, before finally settling on performing operas in its own native language. In 1910, the MetropolitanOpera was the first opera house to debut an American opera, “The Pipe of Desire,” and this marked the first time an opera was performed in English at the Met.

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Interior at the Metropolitan Opera House photo by Professorcornbread

The Metropolitan Opera has had a long history of utilising technology to expand the reach of the performing arts. Between 1901 and 1903, the Met recorded some of the first live recordings by using an Edison cylinder machine to record performances from high above the main stage. Although these early recordings were done years before the Met began broadcasts of its performances, it helped set the tone for future uses of technology at the Met. The first full Metropolitan Opera radio broadcast was on Christmas Day in 1931 and was the first step in what has become a tradition for the opera house.  The Met’s radio broadcasts are currently heard in 42 countries and their series is the longest running classical music 3 has its own station on satellite radio that broadcasts both live and rare performances.

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The Metropolitan Opera House photo by Paul Masck

A cultural institution steeped in history, the original opera house was opened in 1883, but was  eventually deemed inadequate for such large-scale performances. The Lincoln Centre presented the opportunity for a new home, and some of the art scene’s most iconic moments have happened there since its first show in 1966.

To say that The Met is America’s most important opera company would be to state the obvious. Any diva worth her salt has sung here: Maria Callas, Leontyne Price, Joan Sutherland, Renata Tibaldi and, of course, the company’s patron saint, Beverly Sills. That lofty level of talent extends offstage, too. Conductors such as James Levine and Andre Previn possess their own celebrity status, directors like Franco Zefferelli and Julie Taymor enhanced already stellar reputations with richly conceived interpretations and world-renowned painters such as Chagall and Hockney have turned set design into high art.

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The Metropolitan Opera House photo by Marcel René Kalt alias Groovio

 

Highlights of 2020-2021 Season

Yet again, there are a plethora of stars appearing in the 2020- 2021 season at the Met and a wonderful selection of operas – something to please everyone. Below are just a few of the many highlights.

Performances commence at 7.30pm and 3pm for matinees (m) unless otherwise stated.

Aida

Another of Verdi’s classics! Egypt is at war with Ethiopia. Aida, daughter of the Ethiopian king, has been captured by the Egyptians. Secretly, she loves an Egyptian general, Radamès, who returns her love. When Radamès is selected to lead a renewed assault against the enemy, Aida is forced to choose between betraying her country and betraying her heart. Soprano Anna Netrebko and mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili reprise their incendiary partnership as Aida and Amneris with Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting. Netrebko is performing on the Sep 21, 24, 27 and Oct 1, 4, 10 dates only.

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Yannick Nézet-Séguin photo by Nicholas Eastop – Scenkonstmuseet

Dates: 21, 24, 27, Sep 2020, 1,4, 10, 13, 17, 20, 24 Oct 2020, 24, 27 Nov 2020, 3, 6, 12 Dec 2020.

Il Trovatore

An epic opera of grand dimensions, Il Trovatore was composed in1853 by Giuseppe Verdi. It premiered on Jan. 19, 1853 in Teatro Apollo, Rome, Italy and takes place in a 15th-century Spanish town. It has a complex narrative as there are three intertwining plots but the opera is a real gem. For this hot-blooded tale of love, jealousy, and retribution, Verdi created music that truly bursts with excitement! Amazing soprano Sonya Yoncheva stars in the role of Leonora for the Oct 30, Nov 4, 7 and 14, 18, 22, 26 29 May dates.

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Sonya Yoncheva photo by Lohengrin222

Dates: 30, Oct 2020, 4, 7, 10, 14, 18, 21 Nov 2020, 14, 18, 22, 26 29  May 2021.

The Fiery Angel

Moving from tavern to convent, against a backdrop of spiritualism and exorcism, collective hysteria and burlesque humour, The Fiery Angel is a powerful piece that has it all, bordering the very limits of expressionism. Inspired by the symbolist novel of the same name by Valery Bryusov, this opera is  Sergei Prokofiev’s most striking operatic masterpiece. Svetlana Sozdateleva stars as Renata.

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Svetlana Sozdateleva photo by Lorenzo Gaudenzi

Dates:  Nov 12 – Dec 5 2020

Paris, 1840. On a snowy Christmas Eve, a starry-eyed poet meets a poor dress-maker over candlelight, and instantly falls in love. At first the good times roll. But will their happiness last, or does the bohemian lifestyle come at a price? With some of the most memorable music in opera, a night at La Bohème will lift every bodies’ soul and break every heart. The fantastic Angel Blue stars as Mimì on the following dates: 21,24, 29 Jan 2021 and 10,13, 17 Apr 2021.

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Angel Bue photo by WestCoastArtists

Dates: 21, 25, 28 Nov 2020, 2, 5, 9, 21,24, 29 Jan 2021, 10, 13, 17 Apr 2021.

Nabucco

Verdi’s Nabucco could be conceptualized as the protest opera for all seasons. It premiered in 1842, when Giuseppe Verdi was 28 years old. Nabucco” is the story of the Assyrian King, Nebuchadnezzar, who came in 587 B.C. with his armies to desecrate Jerusalem, kill the Israelites, and destroy the Temple of Solomon. The most familiar theme from “Nabucco” is the chorus of the Hebrew slaves at the end of Part IV, “Va, Pensiero” – Go Thoughts, or Hasten Thoughts.  World renowned soprano and operatic diva,  Anna Netrebko adds the bloodthirsty Babylonian princess Abigaille to her already  impressive repertoire on 30 Apr 2021, 4, 8, 12, 15 May 2021

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Photo by Manfred Werner (Tsui) –

Dates:26, 29 Mar 2021, 1, 5, 30 Apr 2021, 4, 8, 12, 15 May 2021.

Dead Man Walking

Dead Man Walking is the first opera by Jake Heggie, with a libretto by Terrence McNally. It is based on the book by Sister Helen Prejean that first found international fame when it was made into a film starring Susan Sarandon.The story follows a nun who offers counselling to a convicted killer on death row, and later to his victims’ families. Wonderfully talented mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato stars as Helen Prejean.

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Joyce DiDonato photo by Gustavo Dudamel

Dates: 8, 11, 14, 17, 21, 24, 29 Apr 2021, 4 May 2021

Full Programme

Specific dates and times TBC.

Sep 21- Dec 12 2020: Aida-Verdi.

Sep 22 – Oct 6 2020: Les Contes D’Hoffman – Offenbach.

Sep 23 – Oct 102 2020: Roberto Devereux – Donizetti

Oct 2 2020 – Mar 12 2021: Carmen – Bizet.

Oct 7 – Nov 6 2020: Tristran und Isolde – Wagner.

Oct 24 2020- May 8 2021: La Traviata – Verdi.

Oct 30 – Nov 6 2020:  Il Trovatore – Verdi.

Nov 12 – Dec 5 2020: The Fiery Angel – Prokofiev.

Nov 21 2020 – Apr 17 2021: La Bohème – Puccini.

Nov 30 – Dec 23 2020: Fidelio – Beethoven.

Dec 11 2020 – Jan 8 2021: Il Barbiere Di Siviglia – Rossini.

Dec 15 2020 – Jan 14 2021: Hansel and Gretel – Humperdinck.

Dec 31 2020 – Jan 5 2021: Die Zauberflöte – Mozart.

Jan 12 – Apr 22 2021: Roméo et Juliette – Gounod.

Mar 1 – May 20 2021: Don Giovanni – Mozart.

Mar 2 – May 21 2021: Guilio Cesare – Handel.

Mar 5 – Mar 20 2021: Lulu – Berg.

Mar 16 – Apr 6 2021: Rusalka – Dvořák.

Mar 26 – May 15 2021: Nabucco -Verdi.

Apr 8 – May 2 2021: Dead Man Walking – Heggie.

Apr 16 – May 6 2021: Die Frau Ohne Schatten -Strauss.

May 7 – Jun 4 2021: Il Pirate – Bellini

May 21 – Jun 5 2021: Billy Budd – Britten.

What a wonderful and eclectic season of opera to experience!

Showcase Opera and Events is a UK based ticket agency specialising in bookings of opera, ballet, classical music, high profile pageant events and various sporting events. With over 20 years experience and expertise we have been at the heart of the opera, concert and sporting events sector. Because of this we have developed a unique international network and are often also able to source sold out tickets for you.We relish the challenge of finding tickets for your dream event!

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View form the window of the Met photo by Šarūnas Burdulis

For more information about this marvellous Opera company  and for booking tickets for 2020 -2021 please contact us .
Tel +44 (0) 203 302 7323 Fax: +44 (0) 020 7657 3390
Website: www.showcaseoperaandevents.com

E-mail: info@showcaseoperaandevents.com

Wexford Festival Opera 2020

Wexford Festival Opera 2020

This season, Wexford Festival Opera will present a programme  inspired by Shakespeare and will present three main stage operas as well as a number of concerts and pocket operas.

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Wexford Opera House photo by Sinn Féin

A little south of Dublin, along the Irish east coast, you’ll find Wexford – home of the National Opera House and known internationally as the home of Wexford Festival Opera. In a country steeped in ancient stories, the Irish city of Wexford is no exception. This medieval town on the banks of the River Slaney in the country’s historic south east was founded in the early 900s by the Vikings, and their legacy includes the town’s many narrow winding streets. Given its location on the estuary of the River Slaney, Wexford was a bustling seaport throughout its history. However, the constantly shifting sands of Wexford Harbour meant that by the mid 20th-century, it had become unprofitable to keep dredging the channel to accommodate larger ships. What served as the lifeblood of the town since its Viking foundation was no longer able to be maintained, and the once-busy port closed for good.

In 1950, the renowned novelist, musicologist and founder of Gramophone Magazine, Compton Mackenzie, travelled to Wexford to give a lecture to the Wexford Opera Study Circle. At the close of his lecture, Mackenzie suggested that rather than listening to records in their little theatre as they had done for many years previously, the group should instead stage an opera of their own. From there a plan was formed and by the end of 1951 the first Wexford Festival of Music and the Arts took place, with the focal work being a performance of The Rose of Castille by Irish composer, Michael William Balfe. In 2006 the old Theatre Royal in the town’s centre, which had served the Festival for over 50 years, was demolished and replaced by Ireland’s first custom-built opera house: a state-of-the-art building with two auditoriums capable of staging ever more ambitious and spectacular productions. The amazing  National Opera House was built in its place and it was inaugurated in September 2008 The stunning landmark building now stands proudly over the historic town, as a clear indication of how bold programming and a passion for the art form can put a small town like Wexford on the operatic map.

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Main Auditorium at the National Opera House, Wexford photo by Keith Williams

Opera Programme 2020

The 2020 Wexford Festival Opera will run from October 20 – November 1.

Ein Wintermärchen

Composer Karl Goldmark, famous in Vienna throughout the second half of the nineteenth century, was born into an enormous Jewish family (Goldmark had over 20 siblings) in Hungary in 1830 .Ein Wintermärchen (A Winter’s Tale) successfully employs a unique and beautiful language, rich in melody and warmly chromatic.  The Shakespearian  play provides the plot for this lovely opera. Sophie Gordeladze stars as Hermione.

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Sophie Gordeladze edited from a photo by Yelkrokoyade

Dates: 20, 23 ( both at 20.00h) 26(17.00h), 29(20.00h) Oct 2020.

Le Songe d’une Nuit d’Été

In 1850 Ambroise Thomas wrote the Shakespearean potpourri Le songe d’une nuit d’été, which actually has little to do with A Midsummer Night’s Dream; it includes Falstaff, Elizabeth I and Shakespeare himself in the cast, and has an unusually high proportion of its action devoted to drinking… Apart from signalling the composer’s interest in Shakespeare, this opéra comique shows Thomas’ ability to fuse many of the operatic styles current in his day, and demonstrates his increasing skill at orchestration, particularly in the entr’actes. This will be a joy to experience.The role of Shakespeare is played by French tenor, Sébastien Guèze.

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Sébastien Guèze taken by Sébastien Guèze

Dates: 21, 24, 27 ( all at 20.00h) Oct 2020, 1(20.00h) Nov 2020.

Edmea

The plot of Alfredo Catalani’s Edmea is based on a play by Alexandre Dumas fils entitles Les Danicheff. The story concerns a girl adopted into a noble family who falls in love with the son of her protectors, is married off to a servant of said family, goes insane, is returned to sanity by her lover, and is widowed so she can marry the man she loves. The opera is set in Bohemia around 1600.

Dates: 22, 25, 28, 31 (all at 20.00h) Oct 2020.

Opera Gala Night

One of the highlights of Wexford Festival Opera, this night features a cornucopia of operatic delights from the members of the festival company. This is a very popular night, so early booking is recommended.

Date:26 (21.00h) Oct 2020.

Lisette Oropesa in Concert

American Lisette Oropesa is one of the most in demand lyric coloraturas today, who has triumphed in various roles throughout the most important houses in Europe and the US. She has a wide repertoire that includes works from Gluck, Handel, Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti, Wagner, Verdi, Bizet, Massenet and Puccini. For one night only she is performing a special concert in Wexford.

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Lisette Oropesa photo by Steven Harris

Date: 30 (20.00h) Oct 2020.

Petite Messe Solennelle

Full of drama, pathos, colour and intensity, Rossini’s Petite Messe was written not for a church, but for performance to a select audience assembled in the lavishly furnished salon of a Parisian Countess’s newly built town house. This heartfelt religious work was Rossini’s last serious work—with it he sincerely hoped to gain admittance to the next world—and shows the extraordinary capabilities of this astonishing man of the theatre.

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Rossini photograph by Félix Nadar

Date: 1( 15.30h) Nov 2020.

The Festival’s success is due in no small part to Wexford itself. The ancient Viking town, nestled on the banks of the River Slaney, has a character and charm all of its own and is a key part of what helps to make the Festival unique. Every year in October, as the excitement builds to opening night, the streets, pubs and restaurants are abuzz with opera fever.

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Wexford Waves and Rocks photo by Bobby diver

Showcase Opera and Events is a UK based ticket agency specialising in bookings of opera, ballet, classical music, high profile pageant events and various sporting events. With over 20 years experience and expertise we have been at the heart of the opera, concert and sporting events sector. Because of this we have developed a unique international network and are often also able to source sold out tickets for you. We relish the challenge of finding tickets for your dream event!

For more information and to book tickets  for this lovely autumn festival, please do not hesitate to contact us
Fax: +44 (0) 020 7657 3390

Opera De Paris 2020- 2021 Season

Opera De Paris   2020- 2021 Season

The Paris Opera is one of the world’s greatest opera and ballet houses. Founded more than three centuries ago by Louis XIV, it possesses two theatres, the Palais Garnier (1875) and the Opéra Bastille (1989). Each season cements the rich historical  tradition and plays host to ta plethora of stars. This week’s blog is about a few of the amazing   upcoming winter productions taking place in the newly announced 2020-2021 season.

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National Opéra De Paris in 1965 photo by Willem van de Poll

Brief History.

The Paris opera dates back to the period of the Second Empire. The opulent and flamboyant  design corresponds to the era perfectly. The Paris Opéra dates back to the reign of Louis XIV and the founding in 1669 of the Académie d’Opéra. The King granted to the poet Pierre Perrin the privilege to present operatic productions, which combined an Italianate style of music with French verse. The  iconic Palais Garnier has been called “probably the most famous opera house in the world, a symbol of Paris like Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, or the Sacré Coeur Basilica.” This is at least partly due to its use as the setting for Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel The Phantom of the Opera and, especially, the novel’s subsequent adaptations in films and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s popular 1986 musical of the same name!

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Palais Garnier, Paris photo by Peter Menzel

 

From prima donna to stage-hand, the Opera House was governed by intrigue and rumour; everyone jostling for position, defending their own territory and scrabbling for new. At the time in which the novel is set, the Opera House boasted over fifteen hundred employees and had its own stables of white horses for the opera troupe underneath the forecourt. Even today, it employs over a thousand people and contains two permanent ballet schools within the building.

Opéra National De Paris , also known as Palais Garnier, was  formerly Académie Nationale de Musique,  a Parisian opera house designed by Charles Garnier (who won a competition to design it).The Paris Opéra received its world-renowned edifice owing to Napoleon III, who commissioned the building of a majestic opera house at the top of the grand, new thoroughfare appropriately named Avenue de l’Opéra. The building, considered one of the masterpieces of the Second Empire style, was begun in 1861 and opened with an orchestral concert on Jan. 5, 1875. The first opera performed there was Fromental Halévy’s work La Juive on Jan. 8, 1875.  A second Parisian opera house, the Opéra Bastille, was inaugurated in 1989. Both operate under the direction of the Opéra National de Paris. L’Opera Bastille is in Place de la Bastille in the 11th arrondissement on the eastern side of Paris.  The project was initiated in 1982 by president François Mitterrand who wanted a modern and  popular opera, to  give a lighter feel to the programme of the l’Opera Garnier. It was built by architect Carlos Ott, winner of an international competition to which over 1700 architects submitted plans.  Built on the site of the former Paris-Bastille railway station (which opened in 1859) it was inaugurated on the 13th July 1989 on the Bicentenary of the French Revolution.

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Palais Garnier Grand Salon hor Photograph: Eric Pouhier, Modifier: Rainer Zenz, Niabot

 

2020- 2021 Season.

L’Opéra National de Paris, recently announced the exciting  programme for its 2020– 2021 season, which opens  in September and here are some of the many  opera and classical recital highlights! We are focussing on the winter  2020 performances and will create another blog for 2021.  Here are some of the highlights:

The Ring Festival

Comprising the four operas which make up Wagner’s epic masterpiece, Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung, more than 15 unforgettable hours of music and passion.  This amazing staging of the Ring Cycle is being conducted by Philippe Jordan.

Götterdämmerung

The musical and dramatic power of  Wagner’s Götterdämmerung is awe-inspiring, as the epic cycle concludes with the end of the old world of the gods, and the dawn of a new era. The name Götterdämmerung means “Twilight of the Gods” and is the German name for Ragnarok, the end of the world in Nordic mythology. Andreas Schager stars as Siegfried.  At Opéra Bastille.

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Andreas Schager photo by Lyrten71

Dates: 13, 17, 21, 28(all at 18.00h)Nov 2020, 6 (14.00h) Dec 2020

Das Rheingold

Set in a world populated by dwarfs and giants, gods and river-maidens, Wagner’s Das Rheingold establishes the cycle in thrilling fashion, beginning with music that evokes the very dawn of time. At Opéra Bastille.

Dates: 23, 30 (both at 19.30h) Nov 2020.

Die Walküre

In Die Walküre, it is human emotion that takes centre stage, with musical highlights including Winterstürme and the Ride of the Valkyrie. Wotan had fathered twin children with a mortal woman, a male (called Siegmund) and a female (called Sieglinde). Separated early, the twins are now young adults. At Opéra Bastille.

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Philippe Jordan photo by Christian Michelides

Dates: 24( 18.30h) Nov 2020, 2( 18.30h) Dec 2020

Siegfried

Wagner’s unparalleled orchestral scene-painting reaches new heights as we meet the daring hero Siegfried, the grandson of Wotan, king of the gods. It is the story of a hero, Siegfried, and how he grows into manhood to discover fear and love. Raised by the Nibelung Mime, Siegfried is young, innocent and cocky. With the help of a mysterious Wanderer (who is really Wotan in disguise), Siegfried finds the pieces of his father’s sword, Notung, reforges them and uses the instrument to kill the dragon Fafner who guards the hoard of Nibelung gold that formerly belonged to the Rhinemaidens. Andreas Schager stars as Siegfried with Martina Serafin as Brünnhilde . At Opéra Bastille.

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Martina Serafin in the role of Tosca photo by Christian Michelides

Dates: 26(18.00h) Nov 2020, 4( 18.00h) Dec 2020.

La Traviata

A tale of two young lovers separated by the cruelty of society and fate, Verdi’s  La Traviata is one of opera’s most powerful and enduring romancesLa Traviata is the story of a lively Parisian courtesan who gives up the man she loves to save his family’s reputation. Perhaps self sacrifice is the greatest theme if this powerful opera. The story is touching not just because it is a story people can believe in but because it is  a story people want to believe in! Zuzana Marková stars as Violetta Valéry. At Palais Garnier.

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Zuzana Marková photo by Lidija Hamp

Dates: 24, 27, (both at 19.30h) Nov 2020, 1, 3, 7, 10, 14, 17( all at 19.30h), 20 (14.30h) 23( 19.30h) Dec 2020.

Showcase Opera and Events is a UK based ticket agency specialising in organising luxury trips and events for those who love opera, ballet, classical music and various sporting events. With over 20 years experience and expertise we have been at the heart of the opera, concert and sporting events sector. Because of this we have developed a unique international network and are often able to source sold out tickets for you.  Just ask us if there is a particular event you would like to go to. We relish the challenge of finding tickets for your dream event!

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Opéra bastill photo by LPLT at French Wikipedia

For more information  about the flamboyant and magical Opéra National De Paris and to book tickets for any of these events  or for a full schedule of all operas being performed in the 2020- 2021 season, please do not hesitate to  contact us.

Telephone: 0203 302 7323
E-mail: info@showcaseoperaandevents.com
Website: www.showcaseoperaandevents.com

 

Staatsoper Berlin Summer Events

Staatsoper Berlin Summer Events
The Staatsoper Berlin is the oldest opera theatre in the German capital. Although it was surpassed in international esteem during the period of the Cold War by the city’s other major house, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, it remains one of the leading opera houses of Europe, with a mainly traditional operatic repertoire.
The stunning Staatsoper opera house is major sight on the magnificent Unter den Linden boulevard. This incredible building has just been completely renovated – work that also involved installing new stage equipment and refurbishing the auditorium to meet today’s  modern standards. Berlin’s opulent state opera was commissioned as the royal opera house by Frederick the Great and designed by his friend and master architect Georg Wenzelslaus von Knobelsdorff. It has graced Bebelplatz since 1742 and risen from the ashes three times.
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The original building was a neo-classical opera house, which resembled an ancient temple,  it was Germany’s first free-standing opera house and the largest in Europe at the time. In a disastrous fire in 1843, the opera house was nearly burnt to the ground. Architect Carl Ferdinand Langhans was then entrusted with the task of rebuilding the opera house on the same site. During the Second World War, the building suffered extensive and severe damage. In the 1950s, the East German government then launched a scheme to rebuild the opera house following Knobelsdorff’s original plan. Now after seven years of construction, the Staatsoper has  finally  reopened its doors on the historic Boulevard Unter den Linden to great applause and critical acclaim just in time for it’s 275th anniversary in 2017.
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Staatsoper Unter den Linden whilst under construction in 2017 photo by Marek Sliwecki

Programme for Summer 2020.

L’elisir d’amore

A blend of French opéra comique and Italian opera buffa, “L’Elisir d’Amore” alternates the lightest of music with dazzling melodies. The full art of bel canto can be found in the virtuosity of the arias, duets and trios of this masterpiece by Gaetano Donizetti.

Dates: 1, 3 (both at 19.00h) 28, 30 ( both at 19.30h) May 2020, 1 ( 19.00h) Jun 2020.

Tosca

Set in the period of the Napoleonic wars, Tosca is based on true events which unfolded in Rome during a period of great turmoil. Puccini put his heart and soul into this story of political intrigue and doomed love. The three principal characters, Tosca, a famous singer, Cavaradossi, an artist and her lover, and Baron Scarpia, head of the secret police who is one of the most evil of operatic villains, are all finely drawn in Puccini’s sublime score. Fantastic Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu stars in the title role.

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Angela Gheorghiu as Tosca photo by Madamabutterfly

Dates: 14(19.30h) 17(18.00h) 22( 19.30h) 31(18.00h) May 2020, 3(19.30h) Jun 2020.

Don Giovanni

Mozart’s  dazzling tragicomic opera is a wonderful to behold! It follows the adventures of the roguish, womanising Giovanni, mixing comedy, tragedy and drama with the supernatural. Based on the legend of Don Juan, Mozart’s dramatic work expertly mixes stark tragedy, high comedy, and a dash of philosophy. The unscrupulous exploits of the dangerous and manipulative Giovanni come to a head when he commits an unforgivable crime.

Dates: 10(18.00h) 16, 20, 23, 29 (all at 19.00h)May 2020 6(9.00h) Jun 2020.

Khovanshchina

Modest Mussorgsky’s opera was written between 1872 and 1880 and upon his death in 1881, Mussorgsky left it unfinished. Rimsky-Korsakov completed, revised, and scored the work, though in years later other composers, such as Dmitri Shostakovich, Igor Stravinsky and Maurice Ravel, have made their own arrangements. Mussorgsky mined episodes from 17th-century Russian history for a brooding work of both wide scope and disquieting intimacy. The nation’s future is in play, and the characters represent the warring factions vying for authority.

Dates: 7(18.00h) 12( 19.00h) 14, 21 (both at 18.00h) 27, 30(both at 19.00h) Jun 2020

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Staatsoper Unter Den Linden in 2019 photo. by Yair Haklai

The Flying Dutchman

The Flying Dutchman is a one-act opera (though sometimes split into three) composed by Richard Wagner telling a scary story of a sailor and his daughter caught in a storm on the sea. It takes place off the coast of Norway during the 18th century. Matthias Goerne stars as Der Holländer.

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Matthias Goerne photo by Alexander Böhm

Dates: 18, 20, 23, 26 (all at 19.00h) Jun 2020, 2, 4(both at 19.00h) Jul 2020

The Marriage of Figaro

The Marriage of Figaro is an opera classic; a work, which despite on the surface appearing to be a frothy farce, is deep down one of the most complete commentaries on the human condition ever to be performed on the stage. The opera is based on Pierre Caron de Beaumarchais’ controversial play Le Mariage de Figaro. Lauri Vasar stars as Figaro.

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Lauri Vasar performing in Lear photo by r Brinkhoff-Moegenburg,

Dates: 28 (18.00h) Jun 2020, 1, 3( both at 19.00h) 5(18.00h) Jul 2020.

Of course tickets to these highly sought after events are very hard to come by, however we are privileged enough to have availability via local sources to some of these amazing performances at this magical venue.

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Staatsoper Unter den Linden in 2018 photo by Marek Sliwecki
Showcase Opera and Events is a UK based ticket agency specialising in bookings of opera, ballet, classical music, high profile pageant events and various sporting events. With over 20 years experience and expertise we have been at the heart of the opera, concert and sporting events sector. Because of this we have developed a unique international network and are often also able to source sold out tickets for you. We relish the challenge of finding tickets for your dream event!
For more information and to book tickets please do not hesitate to contact us
Fax: +44 (0) 020 7657 3390

Macerata Opera Festival 2020

Macerata Opera Festival 2020

The fabulous Macerata Opera Festival is one of the oldest and most prestigious open-air summer opera festivals in Italy. It takes place in the Sferisterio, a fascinating venue built between 1820 and 1829 at the behest of the city’s “Cento consorti” (the one hundred consorts), when it was intended for playing the ball game with armlet. The orchestra pit is so wide that musicians at each end cannot hear each other. The first opera performed was Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida in 1921. From 2018 until  2020 the artistic Director is  Barbara Minghetti and the Music Director – Francesco Lanzillotta. This year is the 56th festival and runs from from 17 July to 9 August, the theme this year is, #biancocoraggio or white as courage.  The key ideas are emancipation, enlightenment, and fate and the featured operas this year are  ToscaDon Giovanni and Il Trovatore.

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Panorama of Macerata photo by Abraham Sobkowski OFM

 

The stunning  city of Macerata spreads over a hilltop in a most  beautiful spot. Located between the Adriatic Sea and Apennine Mountains, it enjoys a near-perfect setting surrounded by rolling hills covered with olive groves and grape vines, with a plethora of pretty hill towns dotting the countryside.

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Panorama of Macerata photo by Toni Pecoraro

All year round there are lots of enjoyable things to do in Macerata, including cultural events, sport activities and competitions, theatrical and musical shows for all tastes. Beautiful Macerata is set on a hill at 1,030 ft above sea level, between the Potenza and Chienti Valleys. It is surrounded by a spectacular mosaic of cultivated fields, maintained as if they were gardens or parks. However there is one big event in particular that drawn  attention to Macerata, not only from other parts of Italy but also from other countries across the world – TheMacerataOperaFestival ! During this time the whole city becomes a stage thanks to thefestival, full of music, exhibitions and meetings for young and old, passionate and curious.  Thefestival has been compared sometimes to the famousItalian  Arena di Verona and Caracalla operas.

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Sferisterio by night photo by Florian Prischl

The Festival has been running regularly since 1967.  The festival attract the most discerning audiences, who enjoy watching original productions and prestigious interpreters in this highly salubrious venue,  which is both monumental and intimate at the same time,  offering perfect visibility and wonderful acoustics , as testified by the many artists who have walked its stage, including Mario Del Monaco, Luciano Pavarotti, Katia Ricciarelli, Renato Bruson, Montserrat Caballé, Placido Domingo, to name but a few.

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Sferisterio photo by Utente:Inviaggio

 

2020 Programme

Tosca

Set in the period of the Napoleonic wars, Tosca is based on true events which unfolded in Rome during a period of great turmoil. Puccini put his heart and soul into this story of political intrigue and doomed love. The three principal characters, Tosca, a famous singer, Cavaradossi, an artist and her lover, and Baron Scarpia, head of the secret police who is one of the most evil of operatic villains, are all finely drawn in Puccini’s sublime score.

Dates: 17th, 26th July 2020, 1st, 7th August 2020 all at 21.00h.

 

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Sferisterio photo by Michele

Don Giovanni

Mozart’s  dazzling tragicomic opera is a wonderful to behold! It follows the adventures of the roguish, womanising Giovanni, mixing comedy, tragedy and drama with the supernatural. Based on the legend of Don Juan, Mozart’s dramatic work expertly mixes stark tragedy, high comedy, and a dash of philosophy. The unscrupulous exploits of the dangerous and manipulative Giovanni come to a head when he commits an unforgivable crime.

Dates: 18th, 24th July 2020, 2nd, 8th August 2020 all at 21.00h.

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Sferisterio photo by Camelia.boban

Il Trovatore

An epic opera of grand dimensions, Il Trovatore was composed in1853 by Giuseppe Verdi. It premiered on Jan. 19, 1853 in Teatro Apollo, Rome, Italy and takes place in a 15th-century Spanish town. It has a complex narrative as there are three intertwining plots but the opera is a real gem. For this hot-blooded tale of love, jealousy, and retribution, Verdi created music that truly bursts with excitement!

Dates: Dates: 19th, 25th, 31st July 2020,  9th August 2020 all at 21.00h.

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Sferisterio by night photo by Silena1968

This marvellous opera festival annually hosts thousands of spectators in the wonderful 2500 seater open air Sferisteri neo-classical  arena and has become a unique destination for opera lovers of all kinds thanks to its summer calendar of productions. 2020 is sure to be an extraordinary  year.

Showcase Opera and Events is a UK based ticket agency specialising in bookings of opera, ballet, classical music, high profile pageant events and various sporting events. With over 20 years experience and expertise we have been at the heart of the opera, concert and sporting events sector. Because of this we have developed a unique international network and are often also able to source sold out tickets for you. We relish the challenge of finding tickets for your dream event!

For more information about this amazing festival and to book tickets please contact us.

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Showcase Opera & Events
Portland House, Bressenden Place, London SW1E 5RS
Tel +44 (0) 203 302 7323   Fax: +44 (0) 020 7657 3390
We-site: www.showcaseoperaandevents.com
E-mail: info@showcaseoperaandevents.com

Savonlinna Opera Festival 2020

Savonlinna Opera Festival 2020

There are some opportunities and occasions  that are rare and magical and we think that the subject of this week’s blog is one of them. The Savonlinna Opera Festival is the best know cultural event in Finland internationally and a huge Finnish tourist attraction. Over the years it has grown into an international festival lasting  a whole month. It attracts an annual total audience of around 60,000, a good 10 per cent of whom come  from abroad. A visit to the opera in Savonlinna is an all-round experience made up of first-class opera performances and concerts, the unique atmosphere of a medieval castle and the beautiful town of Savonlinna in summer, set amid lakes, islands and forests. It is a truly magical experience to hear world class opera inside a historic castle, the stuff of fairy tales one might say!

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Entering  Olavinlinna castle photo by Jaakko H

 

It is a matchless opportunity for East to meet West in the great courtyard of medieval Olavinlinna ( St Olaf) Castle, surrounded by mighty stone walls. The unique 2,264-seat castle auditorium has excellent acoustics and is protected by an awning from wind and rain. The first opera festival was held in 1912 but the First World War curtailed any development of the festival in becoming an annual event although several one offs occurred in the intervening years . 50 years later in 1967 the festival began  in earnest again ; the Castle was only accessible by boat and there was no rain shelter. Over the years the reputation of the festival grew  –  now,  Savonlinna Opera Festival is one of the most well-known, best regarded opera festivals in the world.

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Olavinlinna Castle photo by Jaakko H

 2020 Programme

The 2020 Festival runs from Friday 3rd July  –Friday, 31 July

King Roger

On his travels to Italy and North Africa between 1908 and 1914,  Karol Szymanowski succumbed to the fascination of these countries and collected a great deal of material, which was reflected in King Roger.  The plot itself is rooted in Euripides’ “Bacchantes” and depicts in three oratorio-like tableaux: the struggle between Apollo and Dionysus, between the intellect and the unconscious, and between the Christian church in medieval Sicily and the pagan faith.

Dates: 4th, 9th, 15th July 2020 at 19.00h.

Carmen

Bizet’s Carmen has everything you want from an opera: high drama, passionate characters, a love story. And what’s more it’s absolutely packed with great melodies – even if you don’t know the opera, you’ll definitely know the tune!

Dates: 3rd, 7th, 10th, 13th, 17th, 21st July 2020 at 19,00h.

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Olavinlinna Castle photo by Pollo

La Traviata.

A tale of two young lovers separated by the cruelty of society and fate,  Verdi’s  La Traviata is one of opera’s most powerful and enduring romancesLa Traviata is the story of a lively Parisian courtesan who gives up the man she loves to save his family’s reputation. Perhaps self sacrifice is the greatest theme if this powerful opera. The story is touching not just because it is a story people can believe in but because it is  a story people want to believe in!

Dates: 6th, 8th, 14th, 18th, 20th and 23rd July 2020 at 19.00h

The Barber of Seville

The Barber of Sevillethe dazzling two-act opera buffa (comic opera) Rossini had written from Rome in 1816 at the age of 23 is one of the most well loved in the field of opera

Dates: 11th, 16th, 22nd, and 24th July 2020 at 19.00h

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Olavinlinna Castle photo by Vitold Muratov

Werther

Werther has been considered Massenet’s masterpiece. The libretto was inspired by Goethe’s epistolary novel, The Sufferings of Young Werther, whose intense romanticism perfectly suited Massenet’s temperament.

Dates: 26th, 29th and 31st July 2020 at 19.00h

Giulio Cesare

Georg Friedrich Händel’s Giulio Cesare is  based on Julius Caesar’s Egyptian visit of 48-47 BC. Caesar has defeated Pompey, a rival Roman general, at Pharsalia in Greece and has pursued him to Egypt, where Cleopatra and her younger brother Ptolemy are joint sovereigns.

Dates: 28th, 30th July 2020 at 19.00h.

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A night performance on the castle . Photo by Пресс-служба Президента Российской Федерации

Grand Festive Gala

This featured extracts from many famous operas and includes the iconic Karita Mattila as one of the performers. These concerts will be one of the highlights of summer 2020.

Dates: 25th and 27th July 2020 at 19.00h

In summer, when the lakes shimmer in the sun and operatic arias waft through the forest-scented air, Savonlinna  place is quite  breathtaking and magical.

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Olavinlinna photo by Matti Mattila

Showcase Opera and Events is a UK based ticket agency specialising in bookings of opera, ballet, classical music, high profile pageant events and various sporting events. With over 20 years experience and expertise we have been at the heart of the opera, concert and sporting events sector. Because of this we have developed a unique international network and are often also able to source sold out tickets for you. We relish the challenge of finding tickets for your dream event!

For more information and tickets for this wonderful, spectacular festival, please contact us.

E-mail: info@showcaseoperaandevents.com
Website: www.showcaseoperaandevents.com

Tel +44 (0) 203 302 7323

Rome – Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Spring, Summer 2020

Rome – Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Spring, Summer 2020

Rome is a place of great beauty, contrast and life.  It is an eclectic city: the religious world centre of Catholic Church, the fabulous ruins of the centre of the Roman Empire, and modern, bustling Rome. So much diversity,  the city is like a moveable feast of endless delicious courses!

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Panorama of Rome from Via San Lucio photo by Livioandronico2013

 

Rome

Once it ruled the Western World, and even the partial, scattered ruins of that awesome empire, of which Rome was the capital, are today among the most overpowering sights on earth. To walk the Roman Forum to view the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the Appian Way—these are among the most memorable, instructive, and illuminating experiences in all of travel. To see evidence of a once-great civilization that no longer exists is a humbling experience that everyone should have. Thrilling, too, are the sights of Christian Rome, which speak to the long and complex domination by this city of one of the world’s major religions. As a visitor to Rome, you will be constantly reminded of this extraordinary history.

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The Colosseum , Rome photo by Diliff

 

But it’s important to remember that Rome is not just a place of the past, but one that lives and breathes and buzzes with Vespas in the here and now. So take the time to get away from the tourist hordes to explore the intimate piazzas and lesser basilicas in the backstreets of Trastevere and the centro storico.  Rome is also blessed with a plethora of amazing buildings, ruins, palaces, churches which each have individual charm and provide great space for a whole host of classical concerts. The subject of this week’s blog is just one of them.

Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

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When it comes to great music around the world, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia is at the top of its class. It’s an Italian excellence. An academy that houses the treasures of music, a place where you are transported by culture. Not to mention it’s one of the oldest musical institutions worldwide. Since its foundation in 1585, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia has evolved from an organization of mostly local musicians to a modern academy and symphonic concert institution, earning itself international acclamation. With  around 250 performances year round, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia offers a wide range of cultural and musical events, including chamber concerts and operas in concert version. Here are  just some of the the upcoming highlights for the spring and summer.

Nikolai Lugansky in Recital

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Nikolai Lugansky photo by Ralph Daily

Russia’s Nikolai Lugansky is a pianist of extraordinary depth and versatility. He is Artistic Director of the Tambov Rachmaninov Festival and a regular recitalist the world over. Nikolai Lugansky has won several awards for his many recordings.He was awarded the honour of People’s Artist of Russia in April 2013. In 2018 Nikolai Lugansky received the State Prize of the Russian Federation, for his contribution to the development and advancement of Russian and international classical music culture over the past 20 years.

Programme includes;

  • Beethoven Sonata n. 28 op. 101
  • Beethoven Sonata n. 23 op. 57 “Appassionata”
  • Franck Preludio, aria e finale
  • Franck Preludio, corale e fuga

8 Mar 2020 at 20.30h

Leonidas Kavakos in Recital

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Leōnidas Kavakos photo by 1Divad

Leonidas Kavakos has established himself as a violinist, conductor  and artist of rare quality, known at the highest level for his virtuosity, superb musicianship and the integrity of his playing. International recognition first came while Kavakos was still in his teens, winning the Sibelius Competition in 1985 and, three years later, the Paganini Competition. Kavakos now works with all the world’s major orchestras and conductors

Programme includes:

  • Beethoven Sonata n. 4 op.23
  • Beethoven Sonata n. 5 op. 24 “La Primavera”
  • Beethoven Sonata n. 10 op. 96

25 mar 20.30h

Missa Glagolitica

Leoš Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass  is is a composition for soloists (soprano, contralto, tenor, bass), double chorus, organ and orchestra. Janáček had extensive experience working with choirs, as well as writing a large amount of choral music, and this work is his finest in the genre. It begins and closes with triumphant fanfares dominated by the brass. In between these sections lies particularly vibrant and rhythmic writing for solo voices as well as choir.

26(19.30h) 27(20.30h) 28(18.00h) Mar 2020.

Antonio Pappano – Igor Levit

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Antonio Pappano photo by Presidenza della Repubblica,

One of today’s most sought-after conductors, acclaimed for his charismatic leadership and inspirational performances in both symphonic and operatic repertoire, Sir Antonio Pappano has been Music Director of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden since 2002, and Music Director of the Orchestra dell’ Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome since 2005. Igor Levit is one of the world’s most sought-after pianists. He shows both technical brilliance and tonal allure.

Programme includes:

  • Bach-Respighi Tre Corali
  • Bach-Stokowski Toccata e Fuga in re minore BWV 565
  • Busoni Concerto per pianoforte e orchestra con coro maschile

2(19.30h) 3(20.30h) 4(18.00h) Apr 2020.

Ray Chen in Recital

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Ray Chen photo by Jrs2150

Ray Chen is a violinist who redefines what it is to be a classical musician in the 21st Century. His remarkable musicianship transmits to a global audience that is reflected in his engagements with the foremost orchestras and concert halls around the world.

Programme includes:

  • Rossini Il barbiere di Siviglia: Sinfonia
  • Paganini Concerto per violino n. 1
  • Mendelssohn Sinfonia n. 3 “Scozzese”

16(19.30h) 17(20.30h) 18(18.00h) Apr 2020.

 

Valery Gergiev Conducts

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Valery Gergiev photo by David Shankbone

Valery Gergiev is a Russian conductor, known for his charismatic stage presence and passionate performances. He is the innovative artistic and general director of the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg.

Programme includes;

  • Debussy Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
  • Prokofiev Concerto per pianoforte n. 3
  • Stravinskij L’uccello di fuoco: balletto completo

28(19.30h) 29(20.30h) 30(18.00h) May 2020.

Serata Donizetti

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Diana Damrau photo by Franz Johann Morgenbesser

These three evenings devoted to Italian composer Donizetti are conducted by Antonio Pappano and star prominent  German soprano Diana Damrau who  has taken the world’s operatic and concert stages by storm with her delicately agile yet strikingly powerful vocals. Damrau is a diva in the best possible sense; a singer who seems to have it all: capable both of dazzling vocal fireworks, and a richness and intelligence that takes her right into the heart of the German romantic repertoire.

11(19.30h) 13(18.00h) 16(20.30h) Jun 2020.

250° Beethoven – I Concerti per pianoforte

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Photograph of bust statue of Ludwig van Beethoven by Hugo Hagen

Born in 1770 into an age of political turmoil and social unrest, Beethoven wrote music marked by the spirit of revolution. This is his 250th anniversary and Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia are honouring his profound contribution to music with four nights in his honour. Each night features Alexander Lonquich  conducting and on pianoforte and he is joined by a plethora of other stars.

22, 26, 30 Jun 2020, 2 Jul 2020 all at 21.00h.

These are just a few of the marvellous concerts that are taking place at this historic Rome venue this spring and early summer, there is alway so much happening in magical venues through out this incredible city.

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Saint Peter’s Basilica, Sant’Angelo bridge, by night photo by Jebulon

 

Showcase Opera and Events is a UK based ticket agency specialising in bookings of opera, ballet, classical music, high profile pageant events and various sporting events. With over 20 years experience and expertise we have been at the heart of the opera, concert and sporting events sector. Because of this we have developed a unique international network and are often also able to source sold out tickets for you.We relish the challenge of finding tickets for your dream event!

For more information about the wonders that this gorgeous city offers the discerning traveller or to book tickets  for these marvellous  events please do not hesitate to contact us.

Tel +44 (0) 203 302 7323 Fax: +44 (0) 020 7657 3390
Website: 
www.showcaseoperaandevents.com
E-mail: info@showcaseoperaandevents.com