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Opera Premieres

Fridays in January at 21:00


Stingray Brava starts 2019 with four operas premieres. Every Friday evening our viewers can sit back and enjoy 19th century masterworks. The special starts with two of Giacomo Puccini’s (1858-1924) celebrated operas, Tosca and La Bohème. Then, viewers will enjoy two lesser known jewels: Stradella by César Franck and the amusing and playful plot of Otto Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor.

Friday, January 4 at 21:00 | Puccini – Tosca

From the Opéra Royal de Liege, an opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini. Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa (according to Victorien Sardou). With Barbara Haveman (Floria Tosca) ; Marc Laho (Mario Cavaradossi); Ruggero Raimondi (Il Barone Scarpia); Roger Joakim (Cesare Angelotti); Laurent Kubla (Il Sagrestano); Giovanni Iovino (Spoletta); Marc Tissons (Sciarrone); Pierre Gathier (Un carciere); Orchestra and chorus from Opéra Royal de Wallonie, Liège. Tosca is the fifth Puccini's opera and it marks a stylistic turning point. Bohemia, his previous opera, can be considered as the first of his masterpieces: it's also the last one with a "verismo" theme, in other words based on people's daily reality. Tosca returns to the pure tragedy, with historical figures (great names of history). It doesn't mean a step backwards, because the theatrical and musical treatment differs from Verdi's way of composing. It's a dense work, focused on a few characters with very detailed psychology. There is little room for genre scenes or crowd. Puccini was very strongly influenced by actress Sarah Bernhardt's interpretation in the play Tosca by Victorien Sardou. The actress haunts the composition and creates her Floria Tosca's melodic tones.

Friday, January 11 at 21:00 | Puccini - La Bohème

Gustavo Dudamel conducts the Paris Opera Orchestra and Choir in a performance of Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème. Recorded at the Opéra National de Paris in 2017 and directed by Claus Guth. Among the soloists are Nicole Car, Aida Garifullina Atalla Ayan and Artur Ruciński. La Bohème premiered in 1896 at the Teatro Regio in Italy. The opera's libretto focuses on the relationship between Rodolfo and Mimì. When young poet Rodolfo meets seamstress Mimì, it's love at first sight. But faced by the cruel realities of poverty and ill health, will the flame that burns between them flicker and die? Or will the timeless strength of their youthful passion withstand every trial and tribulation that life can throw at them?

Friday, January 18 at 21:00 | Nicolai - The Merry Wives of Windsor

Sir John Falstaff leads a dissipated life. Permanently penniless, he sends the same love letter to Frau Fluth and Frau Reich, two rich bourgeois women. These women, seeing through the ruse, are highly put out. From that time on, their only amusement comes at the expense of the inept suitor. Thrown into the Thames with dirty laundry or expelled from the room with great sweeps of the broom while disguised as a woman, Falstaff becomes the laughing-stock of the village children when he walks through the woods in a ghost costume. The performance features an opera by Otto Nicolai, libretto by Hermann Von Mosenthal, and is based on William Shakespeare’s play. Performed at the Opéra de Liege in Opéra Royal de Liege with conductor Christian Zacharias and star singers Franz Hawlata, Anneke Luyten, Werner Van Mechelen, Sabina Willeit and Laurent Kubla.

Friday, January 25 at 21:00 | Franck - Stradella

On September 19, 2012, Liège, the economic and cultural centre of Wallonia, reopened its Opera house, anchoring one of Europe's most important Operas in modernity. The season opens with Stradella, the uncompleted work of the youth of the composer César Franck, who was born and raised in Liège, the 1842 manuscript of which was found in the National Library of France in 1984. The world's first production is therefore performed at the Royal Opera House of Wallonia, orchestrated by Luc Van Hove and directed by the film maker Jaco Van Dormael. The opera tells the story of the Duke of Pesaro.  He has ordered his lieutenant Spadoni to abduct the beautiful maiden Leonor in the middle of the Carnival in Venice. Having locked her away in his mansion, the Duke tries to win her love by employing the famous singer Stradella to woo her, unaware that Stradella and Leonor are actually an item. Music by César Franck, Libretto by Emile Deschamps and Emilien Pacini.