LXXXV Festival of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

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by OPERA Charm Team
April 26, 2023

Maestro Zubin Mehta will conduct the Orchestra and Chorus of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino on Saturday, April 29th. 2023 at 8 p.m. in the Mehta Hall for his first symphonic concert as part of the 85th Maggio Festival

The programme includes Gustav Mahler's famous Symphony No. 2

The concert is dedicated to the memory of Vieri Torrigiani Malaspina

The concert will be broadcast deferred on Rai Radio 3

BIOGRAPHY

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INTERVIEW

The conductor emeritus for life Zubin Mehta, on his birthday, on the podium of the hall dedicated to him, for the second symphonic concert as part of the Festival del Maggio Musicale. On the stands of the Maggio Orchestra and Chorus, on Saturday, April 29th, at 8 pm, Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 in C minor for soloists, chorus and orchestra, Auferstehung (Resurrection). Composed at the end of the 19th century, when the Austrian composer was conductor of the Budapest and Hamburg Opera Houses, it is one of the most famous and best-loved symphonies of the last century and a half, and maestro Zubin Mehta, in the course of his long career, has made it one of the gems of his repertoire: in addition to having performed it numerous times in the Maggio seasons, he has recorded it several times with the world’s leading orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Soloists are soprano Christiane Karg, who returns to the Maggio two years after her symphonic concert with Daniel Harding in April 2021, and mezzo soprano Michèle Losier, returning after last January’s concert conducted by Ingo Metzmacher. The maestro of the Maggio Choir is Lorenzo Fratini.

Maestro Zubin Mehta and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino dedicate this concert to the memory of Vieri Torrigiani Malaspina, who recently passed away in Florence. The theatre pays a heartfelt tribute to Vieri Torrigiani, remembering his intense bond with the Maggio, both professionally and humanly.

The symphony
No symphony engaged Mahler as long as the Second, a grandiose work with a complex gestation whose genesis spans six years, from 1888 to 1894. The first movement was composed in 1888, the three central movements date from the summer of 1893, while the last and impressive movement is dated 1894. The five macro-sections into which Symphony No. 2 is divided thus originate separately and without a pre-established plan, which will emerge in the composer’s mind in the course of his work, only becoming explicit in its entirety a posteriori. If the first movement stands in poetic continuity with the finale of Symphony No. 1, linking itself to the figure of the hero, whose funeral Mahler now celebrates, the three central movements are conceived by the composer as moments of reflection on the experiences of the deceased. The problem for the composer was to find a Finale that would close the succession of different pages in an accomplished design. In 1894 Mahler had the decisive idea while listening to the first verses of a choral hymn on the ode Die Auferstehung by Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock during the memorial service for Hans von Bülow; the ensuing enlightenment was immediate: his Second Symphony would conclude with a grandiose movement entrusted to the human voice, with intervention by solo voices and the chorus.

Soloists
A sought-after chamber music performer, Christiane Karg has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, the Edinburgh International Festival and is a regular guest at Schwarzenberg Schubertiade, Mozarteum Salzburg, Musikverein Vienna and Wigmore Hall in London. She receives numerous awards for her recordings and was awarded the Diapason d’Or, the Choc de Classica, the Gramophone Editor’s Choice and the BBC Music Choice for her solo recital recording ‘Erinnerung’ with Lieder by Gustav Mahler in 2020. She is acclaimed for her interpretations of Mélisande, Blanche, Pamina, Susanna, Fiordiligi, Contessa, Sophie, Zdenka and Micaëla, among others, and works with conductors such as Harnoncourt, Harding, Nézet-Séguin, Mariss Jansons and Thielemann. In the 2022/23 season, Christiane reprised the role of Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at the Opéra de Paris and made her debut as Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus in Graz. Recent concert successes include a tour with Leif Ove Andsnes and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, which included a debut at the BBC Proms, Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 by Beethoven with Andris Nelsons and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Ravel’s Shéhérazade with Jonathan Nott and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, a tour with Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, and concert performances of Wagner’s Das Rheingold with Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Michèle Losier studied at McGill University in Montréal and took part in the Merola Opera Program in San Francisco, the Atelier Lyrique of the Montréal Opera and the Juilliard Opera Center in New York. He has received numerous scholarships (Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation; Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec; Canada Council for the Arts and Sylva- Gelber Foundation) and won first prize at the ‘Journées de la Musique Française’. He has sung at major opera houses and international festivals such as the Opéra Comique de Paris, Opéra de Lyon, Opéra de Montréal, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Opéra de Avignon, Opéra Lille, Fe- stival International de Lanaudière and Edinburgh International Festival. He has collaborated with numerous orchestras (Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Les Musiciens du Louvre, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Montreal Metropolitan Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, Columbus Orchestra Sinfonica, Ensemble Pigmalione) and with renowned conductors such as Louis Langrée, Patrick Fourmilier, Emmanuel Plasson, Marc Minkowski, Jérémie Rhorer, Stephane Denève and Kent Nagano.

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Alice Lechner

Alice Lechner comes from a music-loving family. Her first encounter with the opera universe was at the tender age of six. The grandeur of the stage productions and costumes, the backstage chatter, and last, but definitely not least, the music left her in awe, beginning with Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The overall feeling that opera awakens in anyone who gets a glimpse into this part of artistic eternity, that each and every day passes the test of time, was what drew her to stay and be a part of this world. The Opera House of Brașov became her second home, and the people who worked there were her second family.

Since then, Alice has devoted her spare time to maximising her musical knowledge through instrumental studies, studying both piano and violin for a short time. In the following years, her number one passion stepped out of the limelight and graciously gave way to Law Studies.
Since 2018 she has been studying Law at “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University in Iași.

Her passion for opera, even if it is no longer her top professional priority in terms of career, it has most definitely become her priority during her free time. Wanting to experience the best of both worlds and extend her musical horizons, she regularly attends opera performances throughout Romania and abroad.
With OPERA Charm Magazine, Alice aims to nurture her creative side to help it flourish and bloom and to discover, alongside the magazine’s readers, the fascinatingly complex world of opera.

Currently, she is an LL.M. in Business Law at “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University in Iași.

Oana Zamfir

Oana Zamfir is a second year MA student at the “George Enescu” National University of Arts, at the Department of Musicology.

She studied violin for 12 years at the “Stefan Luchian” High School of Art in Botosani, later focusing on the theoretical aspects of music. In 2019 she completed her bachelor studies in Musicology as a student of the National Academy of Music “Gheorghe Dima” in Cluj-Napoca. Her research during 2018-2019 brought to the forefront elements of the archaic ritual within works of composers who activated during the communist period, giving her the opportunity to start a research internship at the “Carl von Ossietzky” University in Germany. In this context, she recorded conversations with members of the Sophie Drinker Institute in Bremen, and had access to documents directly from the Myriam Marbé archive.

Since 2019 she has been a teacher of Music Education and Theoretical Music Studies, making full use of interactive methods in the musical training of students and working, at the same time, with the children’s choir founded in the first year of her activity.

Her interests include pursuing a degree in interior design in 2020.

Alexandru Suciu

Alexandru Suciu inherited his passion for art growing up in a family of several generations of musicians. He began his musical studies at the “Augustin Bena” School of Music in Cluj, where he studied piano and guitar. Even though his main study direction was philological, his passion for music prevailed. He began his academical journey at the Faculty of Letters of the “Babeș-Bolyai” University, studying Comparative literature and English. He continued by studying Opera Singing at the “Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy. He also graduated the Musical Education section, followed by Artistic Directing at the Musical Performing Arts department.

His multidisciplinary education opened the doors towards research, which is seen both through his participation in national and international conferences and symposia, such as the Salzburg Easter School PhD-forum, organized by the Salzburg Universität or the Silesian Meeting of Young Scholars, organized by the Institute of English at the University of Silesia, as well as the collaboration with Opera Charm Magazine.

During his student years, he won several prizes, including the Grand Prize at the “Paul Constantinescu” National Musical Interpretation Competition, the Romanian Composers and Musicologists’ Union Prize at the same competition, the First Prize and the Schubert Prize at the “Ada Ulubeanu” Competition.

He further developed his artistic skills by specializing in courses and masterclasses held by personalities such as Vittorio Terranova, Giuseppe Sabbatini, Marian Pop, Ines Salazar, Riccardo Zanellato, Paolo Bosisio, Valentina Farcaș and Manuel Lange in contexts such as the Internationale Sommerakademie für Operngesang Deutschlandsberg, Corso Internazionale di Canto Lirico I.M.C. Licata or the Europäische Akademie für Musik und darstellende Kunst Montepulciano. Besides his activity on-stage, he currently teaches Opera Singing Didactics, and Pedagogical Practice within the Department for Teacher Education and Training at the “Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy.

Cristina Fieraru

Cristina is a 24 year-old Romanian soprano & a student at the National University of Music Bucharest, where she pursues the MA program in Vocal Performance.

She made her debut in Pamina from “Die Zauberflöte” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at only 19 years old at the Bucharest National Opera House, as a member of the Ludovic Spiess Experimental Opera Studio. Over the years she made her debut in roles such as Contessa d’Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Mimì & Musetta (La Bohème), Alice Ford (Falstaff), Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte) in her university’s opera productions.
Her passion and experience extends in the field of choral music, too.

She has been part of our dream team since the fall of 2021. For a good period of time she took care of OPERA Charm’s social media and took you on the monthly journey through the history of opera through our Legends rubric – and a few times through the Theaters around the World rubric.

Her little soul rubric – from 2021 to present – is definitely the Conductors of the Future, where, every month, she gives you the chance to meet a young star of the world of conducting and, of course, to find out what’s the most charming feature of opera in these artists’ views.

BIANCA L. NICA

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