On New Year’s Eve 2012 Joyce DiDonato became the first singer to take the title role in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. With her at its heart, the production became, in the words of Opera magazine, “a high point of the season and of the company’s performance history of bel canto operas”.
In spring 2011, the first-ever performances at New York's Metropolitan Opera of Rossini's Le Comte Ory brought standing ovations and critical-acclaim. The spectacular trio of Juan Diego Florez, Diana Damrau and Joyce DiDonato ignited vocal and theatrical fireworks. Le Comte Ory tells the story of a libidinous and cunning nobleman who disguises himself first as a hermit and then as a nun ("Sister Colette") in order to gain access to the virtuous Countess Adele, whose brother is away at the Crusades. The 2011 Met production was directed by the Tony Award-winning Broadway director Bartlett Sher, who in recent years has also staged Il barbiere di Siviglia and Les Contes d'Hoffman for the Met. Sher presented the action as an opera within an opera, updated the action by a few centuries and giving the costume designer, Catherine Zuber, the opportunity to create some particularly extravagant headgear. Juan Diego Florez starred as the title role while Diana Damrau plays his love interest, Countess Adele, and Joyce DiDonato was in breeches as his pageboy Isolier. The trio had appeared in Sher's production of Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia.
Like you ve never seen him before. As Joe Bonamassa grows his reputation as one of the world s greatest guitar players, he is also evolving into a charismatic blues-rock star and singer-songwriter of stylistic depth and emotional resonance. His ability to connect with live concert audiences is transformational, and his latest project, the live acoustic Blu-ray Joe Bonamassa: An Acoustic Evening at the Vienna Opera House captures the magnetism and maturity Bonamassa showcases as an artist. Joe Bonamassa: An Acoustic Evening at the Vienna Opera House, to be released in March 2013, was recorded at the historic Vienna Opera House last July during a very special two-week long unplugged tour, played to a limited audience over seven exclusive European shows. Varying from his predominantly electric blues shows, this presentation was an all-acoustic concert performance, making it a unique and very special show fans had been waiting years to experience.
For twenty years the Berliner Philharmoniker has celebrated its 1882 founding with a concert at a major European venue, and the 2011 event takes place at the magnificent Teatro Real in Madrid. The renowned orchestra, under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle, performs Joaquín Rodrigo’s beloved Concierto de Aranjuez, Emmanuel Chabrier’s exuberant España, and Sergey Rachmaninov’s dramatic Second Symphony. It is joined for the Concierto by the famous flamenco guitarist Cañizares, whose virtuosity and sensitivity are given full opportunity to shine in this multi-faceted and subtle work.
The Elbphilharmonie, the “hall of wonders” (The Guardian), is undoubtedly the new landmark of Hamburg, a monumental synthesis of breath-taking architecture, a unique location and a world-class concert hall. In varying instrumentation the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra under the baton of Principal Conductor Thomas Hengelbrock and several top-class soloists explores in the opening concert the possibilities of the Elbphilharmonie’s Grand Hall and ist acoustics with an exciting programme that spans across all musical eras, from the Renaissance to the present. It culminates in a brand-new commissioned work, created especially for this occasion by the most important living German composer, Wolfgang Rihm.