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Opera Premieres

Sundays in February at 14:00


Every Sunday afternoon in February, Stingray Brava broadcast a new opera production. February 3rd opens with Luigi Rossi’s l’Orfeo (1647), one of the earliest operas ever to be staged in France. The following week, Martinů’s one-act opera Ariane takes viewers three centuries forward. After these lesser-known works, enjoy two of the greatest opera compositions: Rossini’s fairy tale opera La Cenerentola and Mozart’s romantic comedy Così fan tutte, set to a libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte. 

Sunday, February 3 at 14:05 | Luigi Rossi - L’Orfeo

The Ensemble Pygmalion performs Luigi Rossi’s (c. 1597-1653) l' Orfeo (1647), an opera in three acts in a staging by Jetske Mijnssen. The libretto written by Francesco Buti is based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. L’Orfeo is one of the earliest operas ever to be staged in France. The Ensemble Pygmalion is directed by Raphaël Pichon. Among the soloists are Judith van Wanroij (Orfeo), Franscesca Aspromonte (Euridice), Giuseppina Bridelli (Aristeo), Giulia Semenzato (Venere, Proserpina) and Luigi de Donato (Augure, Plutone). Recorded at the Opéra National de Lorraine in Nancy, France in 2016.

Sunday, February 10 at 14:00 | Martinů – Ariane

Václav Neumann conducts the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance of Martinů’s one-act opera, Ariane. Bohuslav Jan Martinů (1890-1959) was a Czech composer of modern classical music. He based his libretto on the play "Le Voyage de Thésée" by his friend and trusted source of inspiration, Georges Neveux. Martinu is said to have written this opera for singer Maria Callas. In this production, the role is sung by the internationally renowned American prima donna, Celina Lindsay. Other soloists include Norman Phillips, Vladimír Dolezal, Lubomír Mati, Richard Novák, Miroslav Kopp and Ludúk Vele. Recorded in 1992 at Prague and directed by Tomás Simerda.

Sunday, February 17 at 14:00 | Rossini - La Cenerentola

The opera La Cenerentola by Gioachino Rossini, with a libretto by Jacopo Ferretti, was first performed in February 1816 following the success of Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Interestingly, much like its predecessor, the first performance of the opera was received with some hostility, but soon became popular throughout Italian theaters and beyond. The opening of La Cenerentola is one of the most famous Rossini pieces, evoking a spirit of lightness and freshness. The work’s originality lies in the violent contrast between the heroin’s tenderness and the plot’s sentimentalism mixed with Rossini’s virtuosity and unbridled sense of humour. This 2015 performance of La Cenerentola at the Opéra de Rennes is conducted by Darrell Ang and features the Symphonic Orchestra of Brittany and choir of the Opéra de Rennes and José Maria Lo Monaco, Daniele Zanfardino, Marc Scoffoni and Bruno Pratico.

Sunday, February 24 at 14:05 | Mozart - Cosi fan tutte

Stefano Montanari conducts Mozart’s opera Così fan tutte in a staging by Adrian Noble. The opera, based on a libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte, is a romantic comedy about the complexity of relationships between men and women. With his sensual, spirited and passionate music, Mozart poses fundamental questions about love and brings to the libretto surprising psychological depth and an underlying seriousness not present in the original farce. The major roles are played by Lionel Lhote, Daniel Behle, Vito Priante, Maria Bengtsson, Tove Dahlberg and Elena Galitskava in this 2011 performance from the Opera de Lyon in France.