the concert will finish at 10 p.m.
The programme of the penultimate concert of this season will feature only 20th century compositions. Franz Schreker, the teacher of Ernst Křenek and Alois Hába, was one of the most played opera composers in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. However, since he had Jewish ancestry, even in his case, anti-Semitic feelings contributed to the gradual decline of his career. The soloist Ailyn Pérez, a soprano who regularly performs in New York's MET, will perform the song cycle Schéhérazade by the Impressionist composer Maurice Ravel, and we will also hear her in Knoxville: Summer of 1915, in which Samuel Barber depicts the idyllic American countryside. He sets the text of a poem written by John Agee, a later Pulitzer Prize winner in memoriam. The final part of the evening will belong to Kurt Weill's Symphony No. 2. The composer of the famous Threepenny Opera was also one of those who, due to his Jewish origin, became the target of Nazi restrictions. However, Weill was also one of those who managed to immigrate to the USA, where he tried his best to forget what his life and work had been like in his native Germany.
Ailyn Pérez — soprano
Ailyn Pérez, receiver of the Richard Tucker Award (2012) and Plácido Domingo Award (2012), graduated from Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts and Indiana University. Among her most successful roles to this day is that of Violetta (La Traviata) sung at Opernhaus in Zürich, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper, San Francisco Opera, Teatro alla Scalla and at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, where she later returned to sing Massenet’s Manon and Liù in Puccini’s Turandot. She has also appeared at the MET in New York, in Chicago and Santa Fe, as well as at the renowned Glyndebourne opera festival (Falstaff). As a sought-after concert singer, she collaborated with Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal (Verdi’s Requiem) and the famous Accademia Santa Cecilia Orchestra led by Antonio Pappano, gaining particular attention for her performance in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem. This season she will have her debut as Antonia (The Tales of Hoffman) at the Opéra de Paris, portray the title role in Dvořák’s Rusalka in Santa Fe Opera, and Nedda in a new production of Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci at the Dutch National Opera. The Vienna State Opera will hear her again (Manon) as will the MET, where she will sing Mimi (La bohème) and Amelia Grimaldi (Simon Boccanegra).
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 eighth year as musical director of Dallas Opera. In the 2020–2021 season he returns to the Metropolitan Opera in New York (Roméo et Juliette), Lyric Opera of Chicago (Samson and Delilah) and the Dallas Opera, where he is music director (Nozze di Figaro, Lohengrin, and a world premiere “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"). 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.