French Opera Special
Sundays in December
This December, Stingray Classica viewers are invited to indulge in dreamy French operas; on three subsequent Sundays, we shine the spotlight on France’s finest. The special commences on the 8th of December with a 2017 interpretation of Jules Massenet’s Cendrillon (1896) by the Philharmonisches Orchester Freiburg, starring Kim-Lillian Strebel, Katharina Melnikova and a variety of internationally acclaimed vocalists. The following week, the Opéra de Lyon presents a performance of George Bizet’s operatic masterpiece Carmen from 2012. Since its 1875 premiere at the Parisian Opera Comique, the work has established a reputation of being the most popular opera of the world – and this interpretation, directed by Olivier Py, lives up to it. Finally, on the 22nd of December, Claude Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande concludes the French opera special on a high note with a performance from the Opernhaus Zürich from 2017.
Massenet - Cendrillon
Jules Massenet’s fairy-tale opera Cendrillon (‘Cinderella’) was an immediate success at its premiere in 1899 at the Opéra-Comique in Paris. Massenet, then at the height of his powers, creates a magical sound-world full of wit, enchantment and perfumed elegance to match librettist Henri Cain’s coming-of-age adaptation of this classic fairy tale. The colourful fantasy world created by the acclaimed stage director Barbrara Mundel and set designer Olga Motta features the British-Swiss soprano, Kim-Lillian Strebel, in her critically acclaimed title role. Philharmonisches Orchester Freiburg is led by Fabrice Bollon. Other soloists are Katharina Melnikova (La Fée), Anat Czarny (Le Prince Charmant), Anja Jung (Madame de la Haltière) and Juan Orozco (Pandolfe). Recorded at the Theater Freiburg, Germany in 2017.
Carmen - Bizet
Stefano Montanari conducts the Orchestra Choirs and Children's chorus of the Lyon Opera in a performance of Bizet’s Carmen. Main soloists are Josè Maria Lo Monaco (Carmen), Yonghoon Lee (Don José), Giorgio Caoduro (Escamillo) Elena Galitskaya (Frasquita) and Nathalie Manfrino (Micaëla). The opera, written in the genre of opéra comique with musical numbers separated by dialogue, tells the story of the downfall of Don José, a naive soldier who is seduced by the wiles of the fiery gypsy Carmen. Georges Bizet's 19th century masterpiece of French opera has constantly been a worldwide success since its laborious creation at the Opera Comique in Paris; to such an extent, in fact, that today it is the most popular opera in the world. This production is directed by Olivier Py and recorded at the Opéra de Lyon in 2012.
Debussy - Pelléas et Melisande
Alain Altinoglu conducts the Philharmonia Zürich, Zusatzchor Opernhaus Zürich and SoprAlti der Oper Zürich in a performance of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, an opera in five acts to the French libretto from Maurice Maeterlinck's play. It was premiered at the in Paris by the Opéra-Comique in 1902. The plot concerns a love triangle; Prince Golaud finds Mélisande, a mysterious young woman. After marrying her he brings her back to the castle of his grandfather, King Arkel, where Mélisande becomes attached to Golaud’s younger half-brother Pelléas. Main soloists are Brindley Sherratt (Arkel), Jacques Imbrailo (Pelléas), Kyle Ketelsen (Golaud) and Corinne Winters (Mélisande). Directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov and recorded at the Opernhaus Zürich in 2016.