OPERA MEDEA (concert performance)

Svelta Vassileva, soprano (Medea), Ilona Domnich, soprano (Dirce), Daniela Pini, mezzo soprano(Néris), Lorenzo Decaro, tenor (Giasone), Goderzi Janelidze, bass (Creon), Choir of the Serbian National Theatre, Al Bustan Festival Orchestra, Gianluca Marcianὸ, conductor

Sunday, 26 February at 19:00

Medea is an Opera that is rarely performed. It has been said that it requires a soprano with vocal cords of amalgamated steel to sing the title role of MEDEA and Svetla Vassileva has it.

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Luigi Cherubini (1760 – 1842)
Opera MEDEA (Italian version)

Svelta Vassileva, soprano
Svetla Vassileva appears on many of the worldss leading operatic stages, including ROH Covent Garden, Wiener Staatsoper, Opéra National de Paris, Teatro alla Scala, San Francisco Opera, Washington Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Roma, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence, Teatro Regio di Parma, Teatro Regio di Torino, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Hamburger Staatsoper.

She performed in a wide range of roles encompassing the repertoire of Puccini, Mozart, Donizetti, Leoncavallo, Hindemith, Verdi, and Weill working with such conductors as Bruno Bartoletti, Riccardo Chailly, Daniele Gatti, Vladimir Jurowski, Nicola Luisotti, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Kent Nagano, Gianandrea Noseda, Daniel Oren, George Pretre, Jeffrey Tate, Yuri Temirkanov.

She opened the 2016/17 season performing  Adriana Lecouvreur at Teatro San Carlo di Napoli.

Among her future plans are productions Tosca at Opéra de Nice, Médée in Beirut, Pikovaja Dama in Lucerne and La Fanciulla del West in Cagliari.

Her last engagements have inlcuded Manon Lesacut in Shangai, Tosca at Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, at Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova, in Kopenhagen and Masada, Rusalka at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Manon Lescaut at New National Theatre in Tokyo,Madama Butterfly at at Opéra de Paris and Oslo Den Norkse Opera, Evgenij Onegin at Teatro Regio di Torino, La forza del destino at Opera Australia in Sydney, Ernani at Opéra de Montecarlo.

Concert performances have included Mahler’s Symphony no. 4 in Bologna with Daniele Gatti, Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Roma with Yuri Temirkanov, Rossini’s Stabat Mater conducted by Riccardo Chailly, Verdi’s Messa da Requiem conducted by Lorin Maazel in Parma.

Her discography includes I Pagliacci (with Roberto Alagna; dvd), I Pagliacci (with Placido Domingo), Le nozze istriane by Smareglia (live from Trieste), Aleko and Francesca da Rimini by Rahmaninov with BBC, Francesca da Rimini by Zandonai (live from Paris).

Illona Domnich, soprano
“A voice of silken beauty” Opera Now
Ilona Domnich is a rising opera star described by critics as a memorable voice of silken beauty with a luminous edge to the tone, a sensitive musician and an actress of magnetic presence.  She was chosen by Opera Now 2014 as Top 10 high flyers, “new generation of sopranos who are destined to have impressive careers”.

Originally a pianist, Ilona was plucked by a legendary singing teacher Vera Rosza at one of the master classes. She went on to win the prestigious Wingate Scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music. Her career is growing steadily world-wide.

Operatic highlights include Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Jacqueline (Fortunio), Elle (La Voix Humaine), Melisande (Pellease et Melisande), Gilda (Rigoletto), Magda (La Rondine),  Tatyana (Onegin), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) ,Eurydice (Der neue Orpheus),  Venus (Judgement of Paris), Mimi (La Boheme), Contessa (Le Nozze di Figaro),  Madam Herz(Der Schauspieldirektor). She also covered the roles of Gilda, Olympia, Antonia, Gulietta for English National Opera.

Ilona developed close collaboration with English National Opera, BBC concert orchestra, Grange Park Opera, Buxton Opera Festival, English Touring Opera, London Concert Orchestra, Bury Court Opera, Iford Arts Festival and Bampton Classical Opera as well as Festival de Musique de Menton, Trasimeno Music Festival, Anghiari and Ischia festivals in Italy,Chopin festival in Mallorca, Wotton House music festival, Aldeburgh festival, Corbridge festival, North Norfolk festival, London Song Festival, Jersey international festival. Ilona appeared in concerts in London at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Westminster Cathedral, St. Johns’ Smith square, St. Martin in the Fields and internationally in Paris, Jerusalem, Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka.

Ilona’s fruitful collaboration with Southbank Sinfonia and Simon Over, with whom she has performed the Brahms requiem, Mendelsohn ‘Lobgesang’, Ravel Sheherazade and the roles of Tatyana and Gilda, led to the creation of an Operatic CD ‘Surrender’ with the baritone Leo Nucci, recorded and produced by Rupert Coulson and to be released at Signum records in 2015.

Other symphonic repertoire includes Mahler’s Symphony 2 and 4, Mozart’s C minor Mass, Shostakovich’s Symphony 14, Dvozak’s Te deum.

Daniela Pini, mezzo soprano
Graduated in History of Music at the University of Bologna, Daniela Pini studied with Maestro Angelo Bertacchi in Modena.

The supple nature of Daniela Pini’s voice allows her to stretch between diverse styles of music from the baroque to contemporary. She has within her repertoire more than 40 pieces that range within many categories of music.

She obtained great success with Angelina in La Cenerentola by Rossini (at Opera Theatre in Seattle USA, Cartagena Colombia, Opera in Francoforte, Comunale in Bologna, Verdi in Trieste, Lirico in Cagliari); Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro (Suntory Hall Tokyo), Alcina in L’Orlando furioso by Vivaldi (Opera in Francoforte, Champs Elisée Parigi, Budapest, Barbican Hall London), Romeoin I Capuleti e Montecchi by Bellini (Filarmonico in Verona), Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri by Rossini (Comunale in Bologna, Regio in Turin, Verdi in Trieste), Dorabella in Così fan tutte by Mozart (at New National Theatre in Tokyo), Clarice in La pietra del paragone by Rossini (Regio in Parma), Melibea in Il viaggio a Reims by Rossini (La Monnaie in Bruxelles) and more.

Her repertoire of sacred song includes: Stabat Mater and Salve Regina by G.B. Pergolesi, Petite Messe Solennelle and Stabat Mater by G. Rossini, Requiem by Mozart and Missa solemnis in Re Maggiore by Beethoven, Messiah by Handel, Stabat Mater and Gloria by A. Vivaldi.

She has worked with conductors such as: R. Abbado, Y. Temirkanov, D. Oren, E. Pidò, D. Renzetti, R. Frizza, P. Arrivabeni, K. Martin,J.C. Casadeus, C. Scimone, A. Battistoni, N. Luisotti, J.C. Spinosi, A. Marcon, M. Mariotti, D. Callegari, G. Noseda, P. Carignani, G. Sagripanti, D. Rustioni, R. Alessandrini, T. Ringborg.

She has worked with directors such as: G. Vick, G. Lavia, D. Fo, L. Wertmuller, E. Scola, P.L. Pizzi, M. Gasparon, D. McVicar, L. Ronconi, H. De Ana, I. Brook, D. Michieletto, J. Font.

Lately she sang the role of Isolier in Rossini’s “Il Conte Ory” in Malmo Opera House, Sweden, Dorabella in Così fa tutte by Mozart and Neris in Medea by Luigi Cherubini in Nizza, Tolomeo in Giulio Cesare by Haendel in Toulon, Anna Bolena at Teatro Donizetti in Bergamo and Neris in Medea by Luigi Cherubini in Nizza, Angelina in La Cenerentola by Rossini in Turin.

In the next future she’ll sing the main role in Herculanum by David at Wexford Festival, Despina in Così fan tutte by Mozart at Teatro Costanzi in Rome and Meg in Falstaff by Verdi at Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich.

Lorenzo de Caro, tenor
One of the most promising tenor of his generation, Lorenzo Decaro has sang the leading roles in operas by Verdi and Puccini in some among the most important Italian and European Theaters, including Teatro alla Scala, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence, Teatro Filarmonico di Verona, Teatro San Carlo di Napoli, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Teatro Regio di Torino, Teatro Massimo di Palermo, Teatro Petruzzelli di Bari, Opéra de Nice.

He worked with such conductors as Roberto Abbado, Riccardo Frizza, Nicola Luisotti, Gianandrea Noseda, Stefano Ranzani, and with stage directors as Daniele Abbado, Gianfranco de Bosio, Jean Louis Grinda, Maurizio Scaparro, Graham Vick and Robert Wilson.

His operatic repertory includes Verdi’s roles such as Alfredo (La traviata), Duca di Mantova (Rigoletto), Riccardo (Un ballo in maschera), Ismaele (Nabucco), Radames (Aida), Arrigo (I Vespri Siciliani), and such Puccini’s roles as Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly), Rodolfo (La bohème), Cavaradossi (Tosca) and Des Grieux (Manon Lescaut).

He opened the 2016/17 season performing Cavalleria Rusticana (Turiddu) at Opéra de Toulon. Among his future plans are productions of Madama Butterfly (Pinkerton) in Tokyo, Kanazawa and Osaka, Médée (Jason) at Bustan Festival in Beirut, Manon Lescaut (Des Grieux) at the Theaters of Livorno, Pisa and Rovigo, Norma (Pollione) at Opéra de Rouen, as well as Das Lied von der erde by Mahler with Orchestra Sinfonica G. Verdi di Milano.

During the 2015/16 season he performed Macbeth (Macduff) at Teatro Comunale di Bologna,  Madama Butterfly (Pinkerton) at the Theaters of Livorno, Pisa and Rovigo, La fanciulla del West (Dick Johnson) in Grange Park and Cavalleria Rusticana (Turiddut) in Lisbon.

In the 2014/15 season he made his Teatro La Scala company debut for two subsequent productions covering the roles of Gabriele Adorno in Simon Boccanegra, under the baton of Daniel Barenboim, and Radames in Aida under the baton of Zubin Mehta.

His recent engagements have also included La bohème (Rodolfo) at Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence, Tosca (Cavaradossi) at Teatro Regio di Torino, Teatro La Fenice di Venezia and Bucharest National Opera,  Cavalleria Rusticana (Turridu) at Teatro Comunale di Bologna and at Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari, Macbeth (Macduff) at Theatro Municipal de São Paulo, Turandot at Festival Puccini di Torre del Lago.

Goderzi Janelidze, bass
For the biography of Goderzi Janelidze, please refer to the concert of Wednesday, February 22

Choir of the Serbian National Theatre
For the biography of Choir of the Serbian National Theatre, please refer to the concert of Wednesday, February 22

The Al Bustan Festival Orchestra
For the biography of The Al Bustan Festival Orchestra, please refer to the concert of Wednesday, February 15

Gianluca Marcianò, conductor
For the biography of Gianluca Marcianò, please refer to the concert of Wednesday, February 15

Luigi Cherubini (1760 –1842)

Opera MEDEA (Italian version)
Luigi Cherubini was one of the most admired creative artists of his day. A pupil of Antonio Salieri, Cherubini won the adoration of the father of German opera Carl Maria von Weber. Beethoven considered Cherubini his greatest contemporary. Cherubini was at once the high priest of classicism and a path breaking romantic. Having studied Palestrina’s counterpoint in Florence, Cherubini went on to absorb the instrumental innovations of Haydn and Mozart. (Like Cherubini they divided their compositional time between the theater and the concert platform.)
During his long residency in Paris he carried Gluck’s operatic reforms to a new level.
Cherubini composed forty operas. Most of these scores are long forgotten. The exception is “Medee.” That score received its premiere in Paris on March 13, 1797. The Italian version – “Medea” – has been
performed with some frequency over the last six decades. (The title role was a showcase for the remarkable talents of Maria Callas at La Scala with Leonard Bernstein conducting.) Brahms considered Cherubini’s score to be “the highest peak of dramatic music.” Beethoven and Goethe admired the libretto by F.B. Hoffman – a theatrical version of the Greek legend of Medea’s murderous revenge on her husband’s faithlessness.