Giacomo Puccini – Turandot

Giacomo Puccini

China National Centre for the Performing Arts
Orchestra & Chorus

Conducted by Daniel Oren
Staged by Chen Xinyi
Finale composed by Hao Weiya

Turandot, the late gem of Italian opera, is a celebration of the sounds and the mythical figures intimately associated with Chinese culture. The dramatic punch of the libretto inspired Giacomo Puccini to imagine a sound world of unusual splendour: The score features original Chinese melodies, Asian pentatonic scales and colourful orchestration with percussion writing that is strongly reminiscent of Asian music.


Vincenzo Bellini – I Capuleti e i Montecchi

Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835)

I Capuleti e i Montecchi
Tragedia lirica in two act

Fabio Luisi, Conductor
Christof Loy, Stage Director

Philharmonia Zürich, Chor der Oper Zürich
Joyce DiDonato (Romeo)
Olga Kulchynska (Julia)


The story of Romeo and Juliet, who pay for their passion with their lives, has been interpreted in the widest variety of literary and musical genres ever since the Renaissance. Vincenzo Bellini’s much too rarely staged Romeo and Juliet opera, I Capuleti e i Montecchi, is far removed from Shakespeare’s version: rather than telling the story of a tenderly burgeoning love, the piece is an account of the last 24 hours in the two young people’s lives. The underlying mood of the piece is thus one of melancholy – which then develops into a catastrophic maelstrom. The première of the thrilling Zurich production of this bel canto gem, directed by Christof Loy and conducted by Fabio Luisi, was enthusiastically received by critics and audiences alike. The two protagonists also met with acclaim: experience world star Joyce DiDonato in the trouser role of Romeo, with the young Ukrainian soprano Olga Kulchynska at her side as Giulietta. (more…)

Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Le nozze di Figaro

Commedia per musica in four acts Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Text by Lorenzo Da Ponte

from the
China National Centre for the Performing Arts

Conductor: Lü Jia
Staged by: José Luis Castro

NCPA’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) shines a new light on one of the most famous operas created by W. A. Mozart in 1786 during the summit of his composing life: It combines traditional Western elements with an outstanding Chinese cast. Stage director José Luis Castro from Seville – where the story happens – embeds the opera in the traditional setting of his hometown. The NCPA Orchestra and Chorus, under the baton of their music director Lü Jia, bring the music to life in a fresh contemporary interpretation that lays the ground for the excellent lead soloists. Le Nozze di Figaro once more shows that the NCPA is a venue of choice for opera lovers in the Chinese capital and well beyond.


Music – A Journey For Life – Riccardo Chailly

A documentary by Paul Smaczny

“Without inner fire, without physical energy, this profession would be unthinkable,” according to Riccardo Chailly, in whose style of conducting accuracy and elegance are unforgettably united with an inexhaustible temperament. This is clear in Music – A Journey for Life, the first film portrait of the Italian maestro, which accompanies him working with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, at La Scala in Milan, and in rehearsals for La Bohème at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia. Chailly’s impressive physical and mental strength lend a uniquely personal dynamic to the musical processes and the collaboration between the conductor and musicians. Music – A Journey for Life also reveals the private person Riccardo Chailly, for whom the rigorous study of scores and time with his family are as important as a steady routine is not. (more…)

Barbara Hannigan – concert & documentary

Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Barbara Hannigan (soprano/conductor)

She crosses boundaries and loves to explore new territory. Barbara Hannigan is one of the most fascinating and multi-facetted artistic personalities of our time. She sets new standards as a singer, conductor, and performance artist. The intimate portrait “I’m a creative animal” takes the viewer into the world of an exceptional musician – a world of both passion and discipline. Her performances possess a breathtaking intensity because of her exquisite vocal technique and virtuosity, musical and theatrical expressivity, and uncompromising engagement. In this concert with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Hannigan both sings and conducts to effortlessly build bridges linking different musical epochs. With a phenomenal performance of Ligeti’s Mysteries of the Macabre, a work for which she is famous, she once again confirms her reputation as the performer of contemporary music – “The audience went wild.” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung)

“She is one of the best musicians out there.”
(Simon Rattle in The New York Times)


Beethoven, Mozart – Claudio Abbado, Lucerne Festival Orchestra

Claudio Abbado
Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Christine Schäfer, Juliane Banse, Bruno Ganz

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No. 35 in D major, Haffner, K. 385

Misera, dove son! – Ah, non son io che parlo, K. 369
Ah, lo previdi! – Ah, t’invola – Deh, non varcar, K. 272
Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio!, K. 418
Christine Schäfer (soprano)

Ludwig van Beethoven
Incidental music to Goethe’s tragedy Egmont, Op. 84
for soprano, narrator and orchestra
Juliane Banse (soprano), Bruno Ganz (narrator) (more…)

Memorial Concert for Claudio Abbado

It was a deeply affecting and appropriate farewell. The spirit of Claudio Abbado, the great conductor and founder of orchestras who died in January 2014, was present in music, words, and silence. Thousands upon thousands came to the Basilica di Santo Stefano in Bologna and the Piazza della Scala in Milan to pay their last respects. In Lucerne, the members of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA paid tribute to this extraordinary man and friend with a deeply moving concert – “The emotional intensity was unbelievable; this could only be achieved by true musicians, by those capable of love.” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung) Friends and associates look back fondly on Claudio Abbado and speak of how they experienced these moments of grief and farewell.

Isabelle Faust, violin
Bruno Ganz


amarcord – The Book of Madrigals

The secular repertory of the Renaissance seems made to order for the five singers of amarcord. In the incomparable setting of the Villa Godi in northern Italy, the group recorded some of the best-known and most beautiful madrigals of the 16th century, creating a bridge to the present day. Fiery declarations of love and the deep pain of parting, erotic innuendoes and bawdy humor – in the interpretations of this prizewinning ensemble, the texts always seem contemporary and relevant. The members of amarcord are accompanied by the exceptional instrumentalists Hille Perl (viola da gamba) and Lee Santana (theorbo), as well as the virtuoso percussionist Michael Metzler.

Wolfram Lattke, Tenor
Robert Pohlers,
Frank Ozimek,
Daniel Knauft,
Holger Krause,

Hille Perl, Viola da gamba
Lee Santana,
Theorbo & Guitar
Michael Metzler,
Percussion (more…)

Giacomo Puccini – La Bohème, conducted by Riccardo Chailly

Giacomo Puccini (1857-1919)
La Bohème
(opera in four acts)

Directed by Riccardo Chailly
Staged by Davide Livermore

The musical notes of this Puccini masterpiece provide the starting point and foundation for a new, highly successful collaboration between Riccardo Chailly and Davide Livermore. In their interpretation, there is “no moment, no movement, that goes against the musical meaning” (R. Chailly). (more…)

Viva Verdi – China National Centre for the Performing Arts

China National Centre for the Performing Arts
Orchestra & Chorus

Conducted by Lu Jia, Staged by Hugo de Ana
Presented by Zhang Guoli

Unlike any other composer Giuseppe Verdi illuminates the great emotions and opulent melodies of the Italian opera. Created exclusively for the occasion of the celebrated composer’s 200th birthday, Beijing’s most important opera house, the National Centre for the Performing Arts, presents an exceptional gala: Viva Verdi. It features stars from the opera world such as Dilbèr or Roberto Scandiuzzi as they perform the best moments from Verdi’s operas and his Messa da Requiem in a visually stunning production by director Hugo de Ana. (more…)