the concert will finish at 10 pm
Wagner. Brahms. Berlioz: The War of the Romantics
The season started in a grandiose manner and so it will end in grand style. The programme linking Wagner, Berlioz and Brahms is in effect a reconstruction of the ‘War of the Romantics’, the biggest musical dispute of the 19th century. It was a clash between the conservatives – traditionalists led by Johannes Brahms on one side and the Wagnerians, defending their innovative approach and above all the idea of programme music on the other side. The closing concert in the Orchestral series (A) will present works that are emblematic of the two approaches. The unusual chord opening of the Overture to Wagner’s opera Tristan and Isolde is a symbol of the traditional harmony in crisis, to this day it is called ‘Tristan’s chord’. The last symphony by Johannes Brahms, the Symphony No. 4 in E minor is, on the other hand, an ingenious piece of traditional structure that, in addition, refers to the past with a quote of a theme by Johann Sebastian Bach. Between the two rivals stands Hector Berlioz’s cantata La mort de Cléopatre. The enthralling monologue by the Egyptian Queen who reflects on what she had lived through will be performed by the renowned mezzo-soprano and specialist on Berlioz’s music, Stéphanie d’Oustrac.
Richard Wagner: Prelude from Tristan und Isolde
Stéphanie d’Oustrac – mezzo-soprano
The start of her singing career is mainly connected with Baroque music and the prominent French conductor, the founder of the famous Les Arts Florissants ensemble, William Christie. That era took her to the famous opera festival at Glyndebourne, the Théâtre du Châtelet a Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, the Barbican Centre in London, and the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels. The great-great-niece of the French composer Francis Poulenc, she is also one of the most sought-after singers of the Mozart and French repertoire, performing, for example, Carmen in David McVicar’s famous production at the Glyndebourne Festival. She has worked with many leading directors, who in addition to the above-mentioned David McVicar include Robert Carsen, Romeo Castellucci, Willy Decker, Jérôme Deschamps and Calixto Bieito, and conductors such as Myung-Whun Chung, Sir Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Marc Minkowski, and Tomáš Netopil. As a soloist she has performed with celebrated orchestras – Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestre de Paris, Concertgebouw Orkest Amsterdam and the Royal Philharmonic in London, with whom she performed Falla´s El amor brujo at the BBC Proms. Her forthcoming engagements include performances at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Opernhaus Zürich, the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, the Salzburg Festival, the festival in Aix-en-Provence and a return to the Glyndebourne Festival in Great Britain..
Emmanuel Villaume — conductor
Emmanuel Villaume has been the principal conductor and music director of the PKF — Prague Philharmonia since the 2015-2016 season, and is in his seventh year as musical director of Dallas Opera. The 2019-2020 season sees his return to the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London (with Puccini’s La Bohème in both cases), a gala concert with Plácido Domingo, and the very first classical music concert at the o2 universum in Prague, a newly established congress and cultural centre in Central Europe, with an international line-up for Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Together with the soprano Diana Damrau he was awarded the prestigious ECHO Klassik award in the category Opera Album of the Year, for their recording of Meyerbeer’s arias in 2017. In December 2017 he conducted the much-anticipated Metropolitan Opera’s production of Puccini’s Tosca, broadcast as part of the MET: Live in HD to more than 2000 cinemas in 73 countries. He regularly works with prestigious opera houses around the world: the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London; Deutsche Oper in Berlin, Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, Metropolitan Opera New York, Lyric Opera in Chicago and San Francisco Opera. He has led productions in Washington National Opera, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Teatro Real in Madrid, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Bavarian State Opera and Teatro La Fenice. Maestro Villaume has conducted leading world orchestras: Bavarian Radio Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Royal Philharmonic in London; Chicago, San Francisco and Boston Symphonic Orchestras, Los Angeles Philharmonic and NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo. He is a sought-after partner of leading opera stars: Anna Netrebko, Diana Damrau, Bryan Hymel and Angela Gheorghiu. Born in Strasbourg in 1964, Emmanuel Villaume studied music at the Conservatoire de Strasbourg, followed by studies at École normale supérieure at the Sorbonne in Paris where he received degrees in literature, philosophy and musicology. As an author of noted articles on musicology, Emmanuel Villaume was appointed Dramaturge of the Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg at the age of 21. In the years 2001—2010 he was Music Director of Spoleto Festival. He holds an Honorary Doctorate from Indianapolis University.