December 24 - 26
Stingray Classica celebrates Christmas with a series of seasonal favourites! From the 24th of December until the 26th, let hand-picked holiday classics become part of your holiday tradition. With several enchanting ballets on ice, celebratory operas and oratorios and spiritual concerts, this selection offers a colourful palette of captivating seasonal programs for everyone. Special highlights are Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248), as presented by the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists on the 24th and an enchanting interpretation of Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel from the Semperoper Dresden on the 25th. Ending the holidays on a spiritual note, the Staatskapelle Dresden and Tölz Boys' Choir perform a concert program titled Silent Night, Holy Night, alongside beautiful wintery visuals turning the concert into a romantic winter storybook on the evening of the 26th.
Baroque Christmas Concert
This splendid Christmas concert was recorded live from the Freiburg Cathedral in 1999. It features soprano Barbara Bonney, recognized worldwide for the clarity of her voice and the precision of her diction, and the baritone Matthias Goerne, one of the most promising singers of his generation. Accompanied by the Baroque Orchestra of Freiburg and the German Brass, they perform pieces from Bach's Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248), Mozart's Mass in C minor (KV 427), and Handel's Messiah.
English Conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner (*1943) found the perfect setting for his recording of J. S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio; the historic Herder Church in Weimar. Against the backdrop of the church's dramatic altarpiece by painter Lucas Cranach the Younger, the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists perform Gardiner's new interpretation of this classic piece. For the renowned conductor, this Weimar concert is a special performance, marking the start of his Bach Cantata Pilgrimage. With this new interpretation of the Christmas Oratorio, Gardiner shows himself once again to be an incontestable specialist in Bach's music. In this documentary, he explains his interpretations, the setting, and more about Bach and his Christmas Oratorio.
J. S. Bach - Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248)
Sir John Gardiner dirigiert den Monteverdi Chor und Englische Barock Solisten in einer Aufführung von Bachs Weihnachtsoratorium (BWV 248), Teil I bis III/ Teil IV-VI. Die Solisten sind Claron McFadden (Sopran), Christoph Genz (Tenor), Bernarda Fink (Alt), Dietrich Henschel (Bass). Ursprünglich angedacht war das Weihnachtsoratorium als eine Sammlung aus sechs Kantaten, von denen jede an einem anderen der weihnachtlichen Festtage, zwischen 1734 und 1735 in Leipzig, aufgeführt werden sollte. Bach entnahm einige Arien und Chorale aus Werken, die er bereits komponiert hatte. Die Musik ist daher ein Vorzeigebeispiel für die Parodietechnik, in der bereits geschriebene Stücke für neue Zwecke adaptiert werden. Gardiner ist einer der feinfühligsten Interpreten von Bachs Gesangsstücken und scheint die üppige und reiche Vielfalt des Chores als ein Soloinstrument zu vereinen. Der Chor hat eine ähnliche Größe, wie jener zu Bachs Zeiten. Die Aufführung wurde am 23. Dezember 1999, in der Herderkirche in Weimar, aufgenommen.
Humperdinck - Hänsel und Gretel
Recorded at the Semperoper Dresden in 2006, the orchestra of the Sächsische Staatskapelle is directed by Michael Hofsteller in a production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel. Soloists are Irmgard, Vilsmaier, Hans-Joachim Ketelsen, Antigone Papoulkas and Iris Vermillion. The composer of Hansel and Gretel, Engelbert Humperdinck, wrote was born in Germany in 1854. In the 1890s, his sister, Adelheid Wette, had written a libretto based on the Grimm fairy tale, and asked her brother to set it to music as a Christmas entertainment for her children. Later, Engelbert and Adelheid decided to turn this modest home project into a full-scale opera. Hansel and Gretel, premiered on December 23, 1893 at Weimar, was an instant hit and remains an everlasting masterpiece. The composer Richard Strauss, who was the assistant conductor for the premiere, called it "a masterwork of the first rank."
Sleeping Beauty on Ice (2013)
The award-winning Imperial Ice Stars are 26 Olympic, World, European and National Championship skaters, who jointly hold over 250 competition medals, performing theatrical ice skating on a frozen theatre stage. The Imperial Ice Stars have received five-star praise from critics and standing ovations from audiences at some of the world's most prestigious venues - London’s Royal Albert Hall and Sadler's Wells, Singapore's Esplanade Theatre, Montreal's Place des Arts and Cape Town's Artscape. This stunning performance, filmed at the Melbourne Theatre Company in Australia, offers a new look on the secular tale of Sleeping beauty, with the original music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893).
The Nutcracker on Ice (2011)
This stunning performance of theatrical ice dancing brings viewers into the enchanting world of Tchaikovsky's magnificent holiday classic, The Nutcracker On Ice, performed by the internationally renowned Imperial Ice Stars, and including former champion figure skaters, Vadim Yarkov and Olga Sharutenko. This very special performance and soundtrack was performed by the Manchester Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Tim A. Duncan, and filmed live in Cape Town, South Africa in 2011.
Handel - Messiah, HWV 56
The Messiah (HWV 56) by Georg Frederich Handel, also known as “A New Sacred Oratorio”, tells the life and suffering of Christ: a story of passion, fire, and sacrifice. This is one of Handel's best-known works, which took only three weeks to compose this oratorio and its famous "Hallelujah". The work has immense popularity since its premiere in Dublin in 1742, and is often presented at Easter. This performance of the Dutch ensemble Ribattuta Musica under the direction of conductor Dick Duijst was filmed in the grand church of the city of Ermelo, the Netherlands, in 2016. The soloists are Elvire Beekhuizen (soprano), Rosina Fabius (viola), Oscar Verhaar (counter-tenor) Satriya Krisna (tenor), and Hans Voschezang (bass). Ribattuta Musica is a professional ensemble that delivers authentic performances based on current musical practices at the time of the composers.
Tchaikovsky - The Nutcracker
This visually stunning production of Nutcracker is a graceful and timeless adventure on a grand scale. From the lovely Waltz of the Flowers to the crystalline beauty of the stunning Snowflake Waltz, each scene is more breathtaking than the last, bringing to life all the well-known and beloved characters with fresh sparkle and compelling originality. It is Christmas Eve and we are brought to a party at which Drosselmeyer gives young Clara a nutcracker doll - beginning a night that includes a magically growing Christmas tree, a midnight battle of toy soldiers at which the Nutcracker defeats the villainous Mouse King and his army of mice, and a headlong pas de deux in which Clara and Hans-Peter meet and celebrate their triumph before being enveloped in a magical snowstorm. Act II whisks the young pair off to the Kingdom of the Sweets, where they are entertained by the Sugar Plum Fairy with her handsome Prince and her glittering court in a series of dazzling dances. Under the direction of Andreas Morell, Valery Gergiev conducts the Mariinsky Orchestra and Choir. Soloists are Mikhail Makarov, lldar Abdrazakov, Anna Markarova, Sergei Skorokhodov, Timur Abdikeyev, Vladislav Sulimasky. This production was recorded at the Mariinsky Theatre in 2012.
Cinderella on Ice (2008)
This stunning, new interpretation of Cinderella On Ice, is a theatrical ice dancing performance not to be missed.This story of Cinderella focuses on a humble chorus dancer who is thrust into the spotlight, captivates the heart of the most eligible bachelor in town, and despite rival attempts by her stepsisters to steal his heart, shows viewers that true love always triumphs. Recorded in 2008 in Australia by award winning artistic director Tony Mercer , this twist on the classic tale, features the international Imperial Ice Stars, including Albena Denkova and Maxim Staviski, former world champion ice dancers.
Swan Lake on Ice (2015)
The Imperial Ice Stars are an ensemble of 24 world class skaters, holding more than 300 competition medals between them. Praised by critics and audiences alike, they never fail to enchant with creative and powerful story-telling, sumptuous sets, spectacular special effects and opulent costumes. Set to the original score of Tchaikovsky's masterpiece, the Imperial Ice Stars present their 2015 interpretation of Swan Lake on Ice, complete with an exhilarating choreography from leading ice director Tony Mercer. “Inspired by my research into Tchaikovsky’s original score and intentions for the story, I wanted to create a more realistic interpretation of this much-loved tale and transpose it onto ice, creating a new art form in the process – ice dance in a full theatrical setting,” the choreographer explains. “I always felt it was a natural fit, to have swans gliding on ice.”
Silent Night, Holy Night
This Christmas concert, recorded at the Berlin Schauspielhaus on the Gendarmeriemarkt, was one of the first joint musical productions of reunited Germany. Beautiful visuals of landscapes and other locations in snow and ice turn the concert into a romantic winter storybook. On the program are works by J. S. Bach, G. F. Handel and Prätorius. The Tölz Boys' Choir is led by Gerhard Schmidt-Garden, the Zagorsk Monastery Choir by Matfej Mormyl and the Staatskapelle Dresden by Ferdinand Leitner. Soloists are Maria Graf, Doris Soffel, Siegfried Jerusalem, Jochen Kowalski and Hermann Prey. Recorded in 1990 and directed by Bob Rooyens.