150 years without Berlioz
August 30 & 31
In the last weekend of August, Stingray Classica pays tribute to Hector Berlioz (1803-1869), in honour of the 150th year of his death. Stingray Classica will premiere two operas by the French composer on the evenings of August 30 and 31: La damnation de Faust (1946) and Béatrice et Bénedict (1862).
Friday, August 30th | Berlioz - La damnation de Faust
Philippe Jordan conducts the beautiful opera La damnation de Faust at the Opéra national de Paris. Renowned soloists Sophie Koch and Jonas Kaufmann play the main roles and are accompanied by the Paris Opera Orchestra and Chorus. The staging of this 2014 production is by Alvis Hermanis. Hector Berlioz finished La damnation de Faust in 1846. His opera is based on a story by Goethe that he discovered in 1828. He wanted to create a masterpiece based on the story as soon as he read the story, but he did not manage to make something that he was proud of. Later, after travels through Europe, he created this big opera and added many of the texts himself. The work premiered at the Opéra-Comique in Paris and was not very successful. Nowadays, it is a regularly performed opera by all the big opera houses and companies.
Saturday, August 31st | Berlioz - Béatrice et Bénédict
The opera Béatrice et Bénédict by Hector Berlioz is an opéra comique in two acts. Berlioz’ also wrote the libretto himself, based on the story ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ by Shakespeare. The opera premiered in 1862 at the opening of the Theater Baden-Baden. The opera was quite a success in Germany and later also in France. In 2016 this opera was performed by the Symphony Orchestra and Chorus of La Monnaie in Brussels. The roles of this story based on Shakespeare are sung by Frédéric Caton, Étienne Dupuis, Julien Dran, Sébastien Dutrieux, Pierre Barrat, Anne-Catherine Gillet, and Stéphanie d’Oustrac.
Saturday, August 31st | Discovering Masterpieces – Symphonie Fantastique
Watch the series ‘Discovering Masterpieces’, your audio-visual concert guide to the great masterpieces of classical music. The series brings you 20 half-hour documentaries on 20 classical masterpieces: acclaimed experts, famous soloists and outstanding conductors take you on a journey back to the time and place of composition. In today’s documentary, Hector Berlioz’ ‘Symphonie Fantastique’. This ‘Fantastic Symphony’ is widely regarded as one of the most important and representative pieces of the early Romantic period. Leonard Bernstein once called it “the first musical expedition into psychedelia” because of its hallucinatory and dream-like nature. The German musicologist Wulf Konold describes the idea behind and the realization of this fascinating work.