With 2500 seats, the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, whose stage and auditorium – designed by the Viennese architect Wilhelm Holzbauer – are integrated into the historic building of the former rail station, is Germany’s largest opera house. It forms an ideal platform for the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Easter Festival, held for the fourth time in Baden-Baden from 7 to 17 April 2017. The performance of Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca with Kristīne Opolais as Tosca, Marcelo Álvarez as Cavaradossi and Evgeny Nikitin as Scarpia forms the heart of the festival.
It is no wonder Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmoniker were inspired by Tosca, being the most brilliant of all of Puccini’s operas. The work is performed clear across the country since Tosca is not just a suspense-packed story, Tosca is a work of art. And with each passage as extraordinary as the next, it is all the more important to do justice to the countless subtleties of the score.
Orchestra: Berliner Philharmoniker
Sir Simon Rattle conductor; Philipp Himmelmann direction; Raimund Bauer stage design
Kristine Opolais (Floria Tosca) • Marcelo Álvarez (Mario Cavaradossi) • Evgeny Nikitin (Baron Scarpia) • Alexander Tsymbalyuk (Cesare Angelotti) • Peter Rose (Il Sagrestano) • Peter Tantsits (Spoletta) • Douglas Williams (Sciarrone) • Walter Fink (Un carceriere) • Philharmonia Chor Wien • Cantus Juvenum Karlsruhe
The founding of the Berliner Philharmoniker on the first of May in 1882 is annually celebrated with a concert in an European city of cultural significance. In 2017, the orchestra will travel to one of the most mythical places in its history: Paphos, birthplace of Aphrodite.
Latvian conductor Mariss Jansons will once again return to the Berliner Philharmoniker’s rostrum, while the orchestra’s principal clarinetist Andreas Ottensamer will be the solo clarinetist for the 2017 Europakonzert. He will perform his interpretation of von Weber‘s Clarinet Concerto, which is known as a much more elaborate composition than Mozart‘s clarinet concertos owing to the cooperation between the composer and clarinetist Joseph Heinrich Bärmann. The concert will conclude with Dvořák‘s 8th Symphony, an unsually optimistic and lighthearted composition.
Repertoire: Carl Maria von Weber: Overture to Oberon J. 306 • Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in F minor, Op. 73, J. 114
Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 8 in G major op. 88
If we are to believe this well-known proverb, the Berliner Philharmoniker’s traditional season end concert at Berlin’s Waldbühne is practically destined to be a sweeping concert. After all, it will be the third time Gustavo Dudamel will guest conduct this event. Back in 2008, the Venezuelan conducted the Berliner Philharmoniker’s traditional open air concert, debuting with the orchestra at the same time. In 2014, he returned for “A Midsummer Night” honoring Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, and 2017 will see him perform an all-German program.
For his third concert at Waldbühne, Gustavo Dudamel is favoring exclusively German romantic Music; works by two composers who are almost exactly the same age and are both from Saxony, but in personality and musical conception could not be more contrary: Robert Schumann and Richard Wagner.
Repertoire: Schumann: Symphony No. 3 in E flat major ‚Rheinische‘
Wagner: Einzug der Götter in Walhall from Das Rheingold • Siegfrieds Rheinfahrt and Trauermarsch from Götterdämmerung • Waldweben from Siegfried • Walkürenritt from Die Walküre
»EISBRECHERINNEN«, or rather ice breakers they had to be, but now more and more women conquer the once male-dominated field of conducting and cut a dash. This movie tells their story on how they accomplished this difficult task and which new musical directions these female conductors choose. »EISBRECHERINNEN« follows the trail of three internationally successful artists, emanating from three different generations. Emmanuelle Haïm, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and Sylvia Caduff allow us to partake in the secrets of their art, and show us magnificently that gender becomes irrelevant when it comes to conducting.
What have both harpsichordist Emmanuelle Haïm, choir master Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and pianist Sylvia Caduff in common? They all share the audacity and the authority to succeed in a field that has been almost exclusively been reserved for their male counterparts: conducting. The stage is the center of their lives; the orchestra is their “instrument”.
These female conductors are part of a groundbreaking awakening: 20 years ago, they were nothing more but an exceptional phenomenon, yet more and more conducting women push onto the highly competitive job market these days. Only few, however, make the breakthrough.
Europe in 2016 comprises of 50 countries, about 120 languages, 742 million inhabitants and uncountable variations of folk music. Music whose legacy shaped the identities of generations and offers young people an open space for experimentation today. Music that succeeded to inspire exceptional artists such as Sophie Hunger and whose influence helped to lift bands like Gogol Bordello to cult status. Music that infused with punk, hip-hop or rock 'n' roll turned into something new, exciting and so far unprecedented. Music that has nothing in common with the folksy folk music of popular television programmes.
Does this music succeed, where Europe’s politicians seem destined to fail? Can it help to reinforce solidarity in Europe, while alarming evidence is bearing witness to its lingering collapse? Is a peaceful, unified and open Europe an idea that it is worth fighting for, financial crisis, refugee drama and terrorist threat notwithstanding? How are we to maintain our identity without isolating ourselves from our neighbours? Is it possible to view diversity as enrichment and not as threat?
The German soul musician Joy Denalane travels through Europe, exploring the traditional music scene, in search of answers to these questions. European folk music has been instrumental to expressing love and romance, struggle and revolution, suffering and yearning for centuries. It travels across national borders, takes seat in its own regions and yet remains open to influences from foreign cultures. It is the safe keeper of the heritage of a lively past and reflects the voices of the present.
view more trailer here