Teatro Real Opera Week
May 20 to 26
During Stingray Classica’s Teatro Real Week (May 20 to 26), our viewers will enjoy no less than nine operas, of which eight productions have never aired on Stingray Classica! All operas are produced and recorded at the renowned Teatro Real, one of the greatest theatres of Europe, and since its renovation in 1997, the host of monumental productions featuring leading international artists and orchestras. The Teatro Real Week presents a hugely varied selection of the opera repertoire, from early baroque works by Purcell and Handel, to classical masterpieces by Gluck and Mozart, topped off by the great Italian masters of the 19th century by the likes of Verdi and Puccini! Don’t miss out on this mesmerizing programming special on Stingray Classica, which offers magical moments for the lovers of opera seria, buffa, and bel canto styles!
Monday, May 20 at 21:00 | Puccini - Madama Butterfly
Puccini portrayed brilliantly the fragility of a geisha in love who naively believed the dashing North American marine officer also loved her. The musical score evokes agreeably harmonized traditional Japanese melodies. Despite the fiasco of the debut of Madama Butterfly in Milan, the composer stood fast in his determination to make a success of what he considered his most sincere and expressive work. The passing of time has proved him right. Mario Gas places the story in a 1930s film studio. He narrates this moving drama from three simultaneous perspectives: the opera itself, the film being made of the opera, and its projection in black and white on a large screen. The work is performed at the Teatro Real Madrid in 2017, with conductor Marco Armiliato, the orchestra and chorus of the Teatro Real Madrid and star soloists: Enkelejda Shkosa, Jorge de León, Angel Odena, Francisco Vas, Tomeu Bibilioni and Fernando Radó.
Tuesday, May 21 at 14:00 | Handel – Alcina
Teatro Real Madrid presents one of Georg Friedrich Handel’s masterpieces, the opera Alcina. Handel got inspired by the fantastical story Orlando furioso by Ludovico Ariosto. With the operas Ariodante and Orlando, Handel created a trio of operas out of this epic poem. The story features the sorceress Alcina, who draws the protagonists to her island to seduce them and turn them into parts of the landscape. Stage director David Alden took this magical story to today’s reality with reference to Hollywood, magazines, and musical comedy. The orchestra and chorus of the Teatro Real play under the baton of Christopher Moulds with soloists Karina Gauvin, Anna Christy, Christine Rice, Sonia Prina, Luca Tittoto, Allan Clayton, and Erika Escriba.
Wednesday, May 22 at 21:00 | Verdi – Otello
Based on a story by William Shakespeare, the Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi wrote the opera Otello. Stage director David Alden created his version of this tragedy for the Teatro Real, in Madrid. Renato Palumbo conducts the orchestra and chorus of the Teatro Real. The performance also features Gregory Kunde, Ermonela Jaho, and George Petean. Othello, the Venetian governor of Cyprus, returns to the island after a victorious campaign. Iago, his ensign, feels snubbed by Cassio's promotion to captain and seeks revenge on Othello. After arranging for Cassio to be dismissed, Iago makes Othello believe that his wife Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio. Othello decides to kill her. At night, he wakes her with a kiss and asks her to admit that she betrayed him. Although she tries in vain to convince him of her innocence, Othello strangles her. Emilia then exposes Iago's plot. Racked with guilt, Othello plunges a dagger into his heart.
Thursday, May 23 at 14:00 | Mozart - Così fan tutte
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. Michael Haneke created a contemporary staging for the Teatro Real Madrid. The orchestra and chorus of the Teatro Real performed this masterpiece in 2013 under the baton of Sylvain Cambreling. The work features Anett Fritsch, Paola Gardina, Juan Francisco Gatell, Andreas Wolf, Kerstin Avemo, and William Shimell.
Friday, May 24 at 14:00 | Purcell - The Indian Queen
Peter Sellars created a fresh version of Purcell’s last masterpiece “The Indian Queen.” He rewrote the text to translate the story into a 21th century perspective. The original story by John Dryden was situated at the courts of Lima and Mexico before the Spanish invasion. There, an impossible love story between the Queen of the Aztecs and the general of the Yncas developed to provoke an imaginary conflict between Yncas and Aztecs. Sellars personal vision is more political; it intertwines music, dance, literature, theatre, and visual arts and describes the first contact between the Europeans and the Mayas of the New World, a personal and choral narration of the Conquista through the lives of two women who created a new culture. MusicAeterna, under the baton of Teodor Currentzis, performed this opera in 2013 at the Teatro Real in Spain. The solo parts are sung by Vince Yi, Julia Bullock, Markus Brutscher, Nadine Koutcher, Noah Stewart, Christophe Dumaux and Luthando Qave.
Friday, May 24 at 21:00 | Verdi - La Traviata
After its initial rejection, Verdi’s unique opera La Traviata became one of the most acclaimed works of this composer. This love story brought the tragedy of Violetta Valéry and Alfredo to light. The rich courtesan has everything she wishes for, including money, friends, and lovers, but when she falls in love with the young Alfredo, she gets in trouble. Giorgio Germont, Alfredo’s father, disapproves the relationship and tells Violetto that she should leave Alfredo forever. This story brought Verdi legendary status through music with a profound sense of humanity and psychological portrayal of the characters and their feelings. Stage director David McVicar sets this drama in a world of romantic references while retaining an up-to-date perspective. The performance features Ermonela Jaho (Violetta Valéry), Francesco Demuro (Alfredo Germont) and Juan Jesús Rodriguez (Georgio Germont). The orchestra and chorus of the Teatro Real Madrid play under the baton of Renato Palumbo.
Saturday, May 25 at 14:00 | Mozart - Le nozze di Figaro
From the opening notes of the overture to the final curtain, Emilio Sagi’s classic, triumphant production brings to life all the elegant wit and theatricality of Mozart’s comic masterpiece “Le nozze di Figaro.” Leading baritone Ludovic Tézier shines as the lustful Count Almaviva who attempts to obtain the favors of Figaro’s bride-to-be, Susanna (Isabel Rey), while Luca Pisaroni gives a feisty performance as Figaro. Conductor Jesús López Cobos masterfully captures the enchanting score. It is a witty yet profound tale of love, betrayal, and forgiveness performed by Ludovic Tézier, Barbara Frittoli, Luca Pissaroni, Isabel Rey, Marina Comparato, Jeanette Fischer, Carlos Chausson, Raúl Giménez, Enrique Viana, Soledad Cardoso, and Miguel Soda at the Teatro Real Madrid in 2009.
Sunday, May 26 at 14:00 | Wagner - Parsifal
The premiere of Parsifal in major opera houses was not until 1914, the Bayreuth Festival having maintained the exclusivity of the opera since its opening in 1882. Parsifal, the innocent, compassionate guileless fool, embodies the spirit of redemption. This is the starting point for the staging by German director Claus Guth. Already being one of the most important names in contemporary staging, he makes his début at the Teatro Real with this acclaimed production. The action takes place in a dilapidated hospital for war-wounded soldiers. Inspired by the sanatorium in The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann, it embodies the trauma and despair following World War I, when hopes for a new leader led to disaster. This performance was recorded in 2016 at the Teatro Real, in Madrid.
Sunday, May 26 at 21:00 | Gluck – Alceste
"Alceste" by Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787) is the story of a wife who gives her life to save her husband, King Admète, which ultimately convinces the gods to reprieve both of them. Gluck wanted to return opera to its origins, focusing on human drama and passion and composing words and music of equal depth. As a bridge between baroque and classical, Gluck used themes of simplicity, truth and naturalness. With Alceste, he wrote a radically innovative score that restored dignity to woman stained by eighteenth-century libertinism. In his idealization of the feminine, Gluck preferred women like Alceste or Iphigenia, beautiful heroines sacrificing themselves for others. Is Alceste the last tragic heroine or the first truly Romantic character? If not out of self-destructive, pre-Wagnerian love, why does Alceste decide to die? Krzysztof Warlikowski offers a multi-layered, postmodern revision of the original material. Composer: Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787). Conductor: Ivor Bolton. Stage Director: Krzysztof Warlikowski. Performers: Angela Denoke (Alceste), Paul Groves (Admète), Willard White (High Priest of Apollo/Thanathos, an infernal deity), Magnus Staveland (Évandre), Thomas Oliemans (Hercules), Isaac Galán (Apollo). Location: Teatro Real de Madrid.