Magical nights at the opera

20.05.2022

We invite you to the concert Magical Nights at the Opera, featuring three mysterious vocal works by three different composers:

Bohuslav Martinů – Enchanted Nights
Camille Saint-Saëns – Persian Night / Nuit Persane
Ruggero Leoncavallo – May Night / La Nuit de mai

Under the baton of conductor Robert Jindra, guest soloists – soprano Simona Šaturová, violist Monika Jägerová, tenors Daniel Matoušek and Luis Chapa – will perform. The voice of the dream will be performed by a member of the Slovak National Theatre’s Drama Department Bozidara Turzonova.

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 his living, among other things, by 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 reveal the later unmistakable handwriting of the brilliant Italian.

Ticket prices:
VIP: 40 €
1st category: 30 €
2nd category: 20 €
3rd category: 15 €

Venue: the Slovak National Theatre, Pribinova Street, Bratislava

Performance dates:

Friday 20 May 2022 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Admission: 15 – 40 €

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Venue

Bratislava, Slovensko

Price

15 EUR

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