A special and one-of-a-kind concert of Magical Nights at the Opera, featuring a stellar cast of singers performing three mysterious vocal works by three composers.
In 1918, Bohuslav Martinů composed two vocal-instrumental compositions. The monumental Czech Rhapsody, which was later used as a celebration of the founding of Czechoslovakia, and three songs with orchestral accompaniment under the joint title Magical Nights. In this way, Martinů linked his beloved home with a kind of (then still hidden) longing for distances. The world of Chinese poetry comes alive in Magical Nights, just as Gustav Mahler had conveyed it shortly before with his songs (Song of the Earth) and Krzysztof Penderecki a hundred years later in his Symphony No. 6. All three composers used Chinese lyrics from Hans Bethge’s collection.
During his lifetime, Camille Saint-Saëns made 179 journeys to 27 countries around the world. It is quite possible that he also visited what was then Persia. However, the impetus for his song cycle with piano accompaniment, Mélodies Persanes (Songs of Persia), was a collection of poems by Armand Reanud in 1866. Although the very subject matter encouraged the use of musical elements with an exotic flavour, Saint-Saëns did not do so, setting one of his most impressive song cycles firmly in a European harmonic setting. In 1892, a beautiful version with orchestral accompaniment was also published in print under the title Nuit Persane (Persian Night), which today appears more than sporadically on concert stages and recordings.
Ruggero Leoncavallo left his most significant mark in the history of opera with his one-act opera The Comedians. Even before he became a constant in veristic opera, he spent the 1880s as a “bad boy” in Paris, where he earned a living by, among other things, accompanying various artists in Parisian cafés. The symphonic poem for tenor and orchestra Le Nuit de Mai (May Night), set to a text by Alfred de Musset, also dates from this period. It is a brilliant dialogic duel between a nameless poet and a greedy muse. The peculiarity and ‘unscholarliness’ of the form and the unusual instrumentation still hark back to Hector Berlioz, but some details already betray the later unmistakable handwriting of the brilliant Italian.
VIP: 40 €
1st category: 30 €
2nd category: 20 €
3rd category: 15 €
Conductor Robert Jindra
Soprano: Simona Šaturová
Viola: Monika Jägerová
Tenor: Daniel Matoušek Luis Chapa
Voice of the Dream: Bozidara Turzonova
Venue: the Slovak National Theatre, Pribinova Street, Bratislava
Friday 20 May 2022
Starts: 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
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