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Luciano Pavarotti

Friday, July 21, 2017


Royal Opera House

July 15

Watch: The Royal Opera's Turandot on-demand

Royal Opera House The Royal Opera's Turandot was relayed live to BP Big Screens around the UK and streamed via YouTube on 14 July. It is now available to watch on demand for a further 30 days. The opera, set in ancient China, tells the story of Princess Turandot, who has sworn that no man shall marry her unless he can correctly answer three riddles. Prince Calaf, captivated by Turandot’s beauty, takes up the challenge. Turandot contains one of the most famous of all arias, 'Nessun dorma', sung as Calaf anticipates winning the Princess's hand – immortalized in popular culture by Luciano Pavarotti. Andrei Serban’s spectacular staging transports its audience to a beautiful but savage world. Sally Jacobs’s colourful sets and costumes are inspired by ancient Chinese culture, reflecting the traditional Chinese melodies woven into the score. American soprano Lise Lindstrom sings the role of Princess Turandot and French tenor Roberto Alagna performs the role of Calaf. Dan Ettinger conducts. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for notifications about future livestreams:

Royal Opera House

July 5

Catch The Royal Opera's Turandot livestreamed and on BP Big Screens on 14 July 2017

Grab a picnic – The Royal Opera's Turandot will be relayed live to BP Big Screens around the UK on 14 July. You can also watch the stream online, hosted on this page, live and on demand for a further 30 days. The opera will be broadcast free to 14 screens around the country, from Newcastle to Brighton, with pre-screening beginning at 7pm. The performance will start at 7.30pm. To enhance your viewing experience, access our Turandot Digital Programme , free with promo code FREETURANDOT, and enjoy a range of specially selected films, articles, pictures and features to bring you closer to the production. Marco Berti as Calaf in Turandot © ROH/Tristram Kenton, 2013 The story The opera, set in ancient China, tells the story of Princess Turandot, who has sworn that no man shall marry her unless he can correctly answer three riddles. Prince Calaf, captivated by Turandot’s beauty, takes up the challenge. Composer Giacomo Puccini spent his last years working on Turandot, his final opera, which he never completed – he died of throat cancer while working on the climactic love duet in 1924. Turandot had its premiere two years later, in a version completed by Franco Alfano. Read more: How do you compose an opera when the composer has died before finishing it? Puccini unpacked: A guide to one of the most-loved operatic composers The music Turandot contains one of the most famous of all arias, 'Nessun dorma', sung as Calaf anticipates winning the Princess's hand – immortalized in popular culture most of all by Luciano Pavarotti. But there's more to to the opera than its best-known moment; there are many memorable arias including ‘Signore, ascolta’, as Liù appeals to Calaf not to attempt Turandot’s deadly riddles, and Turandot’s defiant ‘In questa reggia’. Read more: Musical highlight: a shiver-down-the-spine moment from Puccini's Turandot The production Andrei Serban’s spectacular staging transports its audience to a beautiful but savage world. Sally Jacobs’s colourful sets and costumes are inspired by ancient Chinese culture, reflecting the traditional Chinese melodies woven into the score. This production premiered at the Los Angeles Cultural Olympiad in 1984, just 58 years after the premiere. The cast of Turandot © ROH/Tristram Kenton, 2013 The cast American soprano Lise Lindstrom made her Royal Opera Debut in the role of Princess Turandot in 2013; she will reprise this role for this Season's performances. French tenor Roberto Alagna sings the role of Calaf. The performance will be conducted by Dan Ettinger . Add your review After the relay, we will publish a roundup of audience tweets, so share your thoughts with the hashtag #ROHturandot Dionysios Sourbis as Ping, David Butt Philip as Pang and Doug Jones as Pong © ROH/Tristram Kenton, 2013 If you're watching the performance at a BP Big Screen location, send us a selfie with the same hashtag for the chance to win a prize. Turandot will be relayed for free to BP Big Screens around the UK on 14 July 2017, and can be watched online on the ROH website. Find your nearest BP Big Screen .




Royal Opera House

June 22

Drawing on our history: how sketches bring The Royal Opera’s past to life

Detail from Triumphal dance. Elektra. Page 27 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections ROH Collections works to preserve the history of the Royal Opera House by collecting and storing items that document the life of the building. Many of our precious items come from generous donations, and in December 2016 we received a remarkable offer from an artist with a long and unusual history with the Royal Opera House. Painter Alan Halliday worked front of house in the 1970s, while a student at the nearby Courtauld Institute of Art . In Halliday’s own words, the experience ‘enabled me to see night after night some of the greatest singers, dancers and productions the Royal Opera House has ever presented – Nureyev , Fonteyn , Boris Christoff , Geraint Evans , Domingo , Pavarotti , Sibley and Dowell …’. He also gained ‘a detailed, first-hand knowledge of the Royal Opera House and how it worked’. In 1979, now working as a professional artist, Halliday returned to Covent Garden and made drawings of members of The Royal Ballet from the standing area at the back of the Stalls Circle. On seeing his portfolio, the ROH’s General Director John Tooley and The Royal Ballet’s Founder Choreographer Frederick Ashton invited Halliday to draw at general rehearsals (the last rehearsal before opening night). Halliday went on to sketch both The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet for the next 25 years. Sir Georg Solti. Page 1 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra. Page 2 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra. Page 3 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra. Page 4 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra. Page 5 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Chrysothemis. Page 6 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra. Page 7 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra in despair. Page 8 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Klytemnästra. Page 9 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra. Page 10 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Klytemnästra. Page 11 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Chrysothemis. Page 12 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Klytemnästra. Page 13 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Chrysothemis. Page 14 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Orest ist tot. Page 15 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Klytemnästra. Page 16 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Was willst du, fremder Mensch? Page 17 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Orest. Page 18 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra. Page 19 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Du wirst es tun? Page 20 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Robert Tear as Aegisthus. Page 21 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Agamemnon hört dich! Elektra. Page 22 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra. Page 23 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Lust über Lust. Elektra. Page 24 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Elektra. Page 25 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Triumphal dance. Elektra. Page 26 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections Triumphal dance. Elektra. Page 27 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections The sketchbook donated to ROH Collections contains sketches made in 1990 at the general rehearsal of Götz Friedrich ’s new production of Richard Strauss ’s opera Elektra . The sketches were made during the rehearsal and run chronologically through the performance. It was offered to ROH Collections on behalf of Halliday by Stephen Camburn of the Camburn Fine Art Gallery in the south of France, which specializes in Halliday’s paintings. The sketchbook begins with a portrait of conductor Georg Solti , arms outstretched. We then move to the performers on stage: Eva Marton as the suffering, furious Elektra; Nadine Secunde as her beautiful sister Chrysothemis; Robert Hale as their brother Orest, thought to be long lost; Marjana Lipovšek as their sickly mother Klytemnästra and Robert Tear as her lover Aegisth. Above some of the images Halliday supplies text that ties the drawing to a specific line from the opera. In ‘Orest ist tot!’ (Orest is dead) the despairing Elektra clasps her hand to her mouth; and in ‘Was willst du, fremder Mensch?’ (What do you want, stranger?) the returned Orest, unrecognized by his sisters, is half submerged in darkness.The sketchbook closes with powerful images of Elektra’s final dance to her death. Was willst du, fremder Mensch? Page 17 of Alan Halliday's sketchbook of the general rehearsal of Elektra, The Royal Opera, 1990 © ROH Collections The sketchbook is a beautiful item in its own right. But it also makes a valuable addition to the ROH archive, adding detail and a unique perspective to our records of this production of Elektra. Find out more about the work of ROH Collections.

Royal Opera House

June 21

Cast changes: Ivan Magrì and Jennifer Davis to sing in L'elisir d'amore on 22 June 2017

The Royal Opera Chorus in L'elisir d'amore © Johan Persson/ROH 2009 Due to illness, Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak has had to withdraw from singing the role of Adina in L'elisir d'amore on 22 June 2017. In addition, French-Sicilian tenor Roberto Alagna will no longer be singing the role of Nemorino in the same performance, as he is suffering from tracheitis. The role of Adina will now be performed by Irish soprano Jennifer Davis . The role of Nemorino will now be sung by Italian tenor Ivan Magrì , who sang Nemorino in the performance on Sunday 11 June, in his Royal Opera debut. Ivan Magrì will return to The Royal Opera in the 2017/18 Season to sing the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto . Magrì was born in Catania, and studied at the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi in Milan and with Luciano Pavarotti . His opera engagements include Werther for Hungarian State Opera, Manrico in Il trovatore in Cagliari, Rodolfo in La bohème for Hamburg State Opera and in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Bari, Alfredo Germont in La traviata for Savonlinna Opera Festival, Berlin State Opera and in Cagliari, Valencia and Florence; Duke of Mantua for Deutsche Oper Berlin, Hamburg State Opera, Rome Opera and in Budapest and Florence; Nemorino for Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires; Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor in Lima, Rodolfo in Luisa Miller in Hamburg and Zürich, Arturo I puritani in Bratislava, Camille de Rosillon in Die lustige Witwe for Teatro Regio, Turin, and Gabriele Adorno in Simon Boccanegra in Valencia. Jennifer Davis joined the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the start of the 2015/16 Season. In her first Season with The Royal Opera, she sang Second Grace/Second Fate in Orpheus at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe, Nursing Sister in Suor Angelica and Ines in Il trovatore on the main stage, and in the world premiere of 4.48 Psychosis at the Lyric Hammersmith. During the 2016/17 Season she has sung Ifigenia in Oreste at Wilton’s Music Hall, Ines in Il trovatore and Adina, and will sing Arbate in Mitridate, re di Ponto for The Royal Opera. She has also sung in Les Enfants Terribles and Flight Pattern for The Royal Ballet and appeared in recital at the Théâtre du Châtelet. She returns to The Royal Opera in the 2017/18 Season to sing First Lady in Die Zauberflöte . If you have a ticket please see terms and conditions of sale .



Royal Opera House

June 20

10 of opera’s greatest tenor roles

Juan Diego Flórez in La fille du régiment © Bill Cooper Whether cast as heroic warriors, ardent lovers, romantic poets or revolutionary outsiders, tenors are the undisputed kings of opera. We look at a few of the greatest – and most challenging – tenor roles: Idomeneo – Mozart ’s Idomeneo Idomeneo is a rare example of a tenor role with no love interest. However, Mozart more than makes up for it by giving the eponymous King of Crete one of the greatest virtuoso arias in the tenor repertory, 'Fuor del mar', and through his moving musical representation of Idomeneo's struggle to reconcile paternal love and religious duty. Arnold – Rossini ’s Guillaume Tell Arnold famously led to the birth of the ‘modern tenor’ , when his first interpreter, Gilbert Duprez , sang the high C in the Act IV cabaletta ‘Amis, amis’ in full voice rather than the customary falsetto. From the flamboyance of this stirring cabaletta to the lyricism of Arnold’s Act II duet with his beloved Mathilde and his mournful Act IV aria ‘Asile héréditaire’, there are plenty of vocal delights for any tenor bold enough to take on the challenge. Arturo – Bellini ’s I puritani Luciano Pavarotti described the role of the heroic monarchist Arturo, caught between love and political duty during England’s Civil War, as ‘pure tightrope walking’. Particularly demanding episodes include the Act I aria ‘A te, o cara’ and the Act III ensemble ‘Credeasi misera’, in which the courageous Arturo has to sing some of the highest notes ever written for tenor. Aeneas (Enée) – Berlioz ’s Les Troyens Stamina and versatility are the key skills for interpreters of Berlioz’s Trojan hero. Aeneas bursts onto the stage in Act I with high, declamatory music – but the role also calls for a singer capable of delicate lyricism, particularly in the sublime Act IV duet with Dido, ‘Nuit d’ivresse’. Keeping back enough energy for Act V’s heroic and despairing aria ‘Inutile regrets’, with its huge vocal range, is also crucial. Siegfried – Wagner ’s Der Ring des Nibelungen Wagner’s Siegfried is arguably the hardest role in the dramatic tenor repertory. Episodes such as the Forging Song require immense vocal power, easy top notes and boundless energy. But it’s not all about decibels: the singer also has to convince as the tender, sympathetic lover of Act III of Siegfried and of Götterdämmerung ’s death scene. Most importantly, he needs the stamina to keep going throughout two five-hour operas and still sound fresh at the end! Otello – Verdi ’s Otello Otello is perhaps Verdi’s most challenging tenor role. It requires a wide vocal range, and the singer needs to project over a powerful orchestra. Otello also presents a host of dramatic challenges: his interpreter must convince as Act I’s heroic commander, and as the troubled, ultimately broken man of the later acts – and remain sympathetic despite his appalling actions. Gherman – Tchaikovsky ’s The Queen of Spades The role of Gherman not only requires a singer of great stamina – he’s rarely offstage – but also one with the acting skills to convey the character’s mental instability and obsessiveness, while making us sympathize with him in his love for Liza and his loneliness. The rewards for the tenor are great, though: Plácido Domingo described Gherman as ‘dramatically one of the most interesting characters I have ever played’. Rodolfo – Puccini ’s La bohème Rodolfo is a character that many singers find it easy to empathize with: his enthusiasm for life, youthful romantic passion and fun-loving, humorous streak. The role also contains much glorious music, including ‘Che gelida manina’, one of opera’s most beautiful lyric tenor arias. No wonder that great tenors including Enrico Caruso , José Carreras and Pavarotti have listed Rodolfo among their favourite roles. The Emperor – Strauss ’s Die Frau ohne Schatten Strauss never gave tenors an easy time of it, and the Emperor outdoes even the role of Bacchus from Ariadne auf Naxos in its vocal difficulty. He makes his first appearance with a heroic aria set fiendishly high in the voice, and further challenges await in Act II when he sings a 12-minute monologue of almost unbearable intensity. Fortunately, the music is as consistently glorious as it is difficult! Peter Grimes – Britten ’s Peter Grimes Peter Grimes’s ambivalent nature makes him one of opera’s most dramatically interesting roles. Is he a hero or a villain? A murderer or a visionary? And how much should we sympathize with him? Jon Vickers saw him as a Christ-like figure, Anthony Rolfe-Johnson as ‘a dangerous, violent, quixotic and very valuable person for whom things go wrong’. But whoever Grimes is, there’s no doubting his wonderful music, including the Act I aria ‘Now the Great Bear and Pleiades’. Otello runs 21 June–15 July 2017. Tickets are still available. The production will be broadcast live to cinemas around the world on 28 June 2017. Find your nearest cinema. The production is generously supported by Rolex and is given with generous philanthropic support from Mrs Aline Foriel-Destezet, Mrs Susan A. Olde OBE, Alfiya and Timur Kuanyshev, Lord and Lady Laidlaw, Mr and Mrs Baha Bassatne, John G. Turner and Jerry G. Fischer, Ian and Helen Andrews, Mercedes T. Bass, Maggie Copus, Martin and Jane Houston, Mrs Trevor Swete, Beth Madison, John McGinn and Cary Davis, the Otello Production Syndicate, The American Friends of Covent Garden, The Royal Opera House Endowment Fund and an anonymous donor.

Luciano Pavarotti
(1935 – 2007)

Luciano Pavarotti (12 October 1935 - 6 September 2007) was an Italian operatic tenor, who also crossed over into popular music, eventually becoming one of the most commercially successful tenors of all time. He made numerous recordings of complete operas and individual arias, and established himself as one of the finest tenors of the 20th century. He was one of "The Three Tenors" and became well-known for his televised concerts and media appearances. Pavarotti was also noted for his charity work on behalf of refugees and the Red Cross, amongst others.



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