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Clasart Classic at Avant Première 2017

In preparation for the upcoming Avant Première screenings, we would like to give a brief outlook on the programs Clasart Classic will be presenting in Berlin:

The Cleveland Orchestra performs Brahms' Requiem

As crowning point of the Brahms Cycle with The Cleveland Orchestra under the baton of Franz Welser-Möst, the composer’s great choral work was recorded.

As temporary crowning point of the Brahms Cycle with The Cleveland Orchestra under the baton of its principal conductor Franz Welser-Möst, Clasart Classic recorded the composer’s “Ein Deutsches Requiem”. This monument of choral music is a work of great intensity that speaks to people of all faiths and to believers and non-believers alike. In this concert recorded at the magnificent Baroque basilica of Saint Florian in Austria, the Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst pare down all traces of bombast wherever emotions could easily run out of control, and together with the Wiener Singverein and the soloists Hanna-Elisabeth Müller and Simon Keenlyside, they create a meditation on life and death, hailed by the press as “an event of the first order”.


Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra / Mariss Jansons

Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra perform Strauss' Don Quixote starring Yo-Yo Ma and Dvorak's Symphony No. 8.

With its ten variations on a theme of knightly character, Richard Strauss’ tone poem “Don Quixote” not only depicts the adventures of Cervantes’ chivalrous hero, but also functions as a virtuoso display of glorious solo melodies embedded in stunning orchestral passages. In this performance, Yo-Yo Ma takes on the part of “Don Quixote”. From the moment he walks onto the stage, he exudes charisma that immediately confirms his truly exceptional status as one of the best cellists in the world. Joining “the Don” later is a viola solo that personifies the faithful Sancho Panza, played by Wen Xiao Zheng.

Given its first performance in Prague in 1890, Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 sparkles with exuberance and lightness. The music of the Bohemian composer immediately takes command of the stage, with its wealth of melodies enthralling fans of symphonic music for many years now. It is the moment of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, which was chosen by internationally renowned music critics as one of “the world’s greatest orchestras.” And it is the moment of triumph of the great conductor Mariss Jansons.


The Metropolitan Opera

Alban Berg’s Lulu starring Marlis Petersen

The Met live in HD production of Alban Berg’s Lulu starring Marlis Petersen and in a production by William Kentridge sets new artistic standards.

With a globally anticipated production of Alban Berg’s Lulu, directed by the South African star artist William Kentridge, the Metropolitan Opera “again sets new artistic standards” (Kurier). Kentridge creates an independent work of art that nevertheless always serves the opera. The result is a masterful production, “serious art, on many levels” (The Washington Post). Great singing-actress Marlis Petersen, who has sung the title role to great acclaim around the world and retired the part after these Met performances, stars as the sexually irresistible woman who destroys the lives of everyone around her.


Georges Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles

In the Met’s new production of Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles Diana Damrau leads a dream cast opposite Matthew Polenzani and Mariusz Kwiecien.

The Met’s acclaimed new production of Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles, a rarity in the operatic repertoire, is directed by the British director and filmmaker Penny Woolcock. Presented by a dream cast, Bizet's sweeping romance tells the story of a beautiful Hindu priestess pursued by rival pearl divers competing for her hand. Diana Damrau leads the cast as the priestess Leïla, opposite Matthew Polenzani as Nadir, Mariusz Kwiecien as Zurga, and Nicolas Testé as the high priest Nourabad. Highlights of the score include “Au fond du temple saint,” perhaps the best-known duet for two male voices in the operatic repertory.


Gaetano Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux

For the final opera in Donizetti’s Tudor trilogy, the Met has assembled an ideal cast with an insightful conductor, Maurizio Benini.

For the final opera in Donizetti’s “Tudor trilogy”, Roberto Devereux, the Met has assembled an ideal cast with an insightful conductor, Maurizio Benini: Bel canto soprano Sondra Radvanovsky as Elizabeth I. “expresses tortured feelings of love with the most delicate phrasing and jealous rage with a fire that can make one tremble” (Huffington Post). Elīna Garanča brings “her sumptuous voice and charisma” (New York Times) to the role of the retiring, love-struck Sara opposite Matthew Polenzani as the title character. Sir David McVicar, who directed the Met premieres of Anna Bolena and Maria Stuarda, also stages the final instalment in the series.


Richard Strauss’ Elektra starring Nina Stemme

The tragedy about an ancient Greek princess hell-bent on revenge comes to the Met in the final opera production by legendary director Patrice Chéreau.

Strauss’s Elektra, the blazing tragedy about an ancient Greek princess hell-bent on revenge, comes to the Met in the final opera production by the legendary director Patrice Chéreau. As the New York Times put it, nothing prepares the audience for the “seething intensity, psychological insight and sheer theatrical inventiveness of this production”. Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts an extraordinary cast headed by Nina Stemme as the obsessed and bloodthirsty title character. “To call her merely magnetic would be rude, also silly”, hailed the Financial Times. Waltraud Meier sings Klytämnestra, with Adrianne Pieczonka as Chrysothemis, and Eric Owens as Orest.