Programme 2014

New Year’s Day Concert, Vienna

Sunday 2nd February (afternoon)

I Puritani by Bellini

Sunday 23rd March (afternoon), Thursday 27th (evening), Sunday 30th (afternoon)

This recent production (2009) from Bologna stars the leading exponent of the bel canto style, Juan Diego Flórez, perfectly matched by the less well known Nino Machaidze. Only performers of this quality can do justice to this demanding but lyric opera.

The Barber of Seville by Rossini

Sunday 8th June (afternoon), Thursday 12th (evening), Sunday 15th (afternoon)

From 1972, this is a traditional version by Jean Pierre Ponnelle with a top line cast including Prey, Berganza and Alva. All give sparkling performances without resorting to base comedy. The sets and costumes are entirely authentic and the orchestra and chorus of La Scala are conducted by Claudio Abbado.

Opera Rara: The Tales of Hoffman by Offenbach

Sunday 27th July (afternoon and evening)

This is the unique film made by Powell and Pressburger in 1951, part opera, part ballet and entirely magical. However in this rare German edition, the British singing voices are replaced with with those of opera stars, Rudolf Schock, Rita Streich, Anny Schlemm and others.

Aida by Verdi, Tokyo 1973

Sunday 14th September (afternoon), Thursday 18th (evening), Sunday 21st (afternoon)

To mark the unexpected death in July this year of the great tenor Carlo Bergonzi, this performance replaces that previously listed from Barcelona in 2003. In this production, Bergonzi perfectly demonstrates why he is regarded as one of the greatest tenors of the 20th Century and is ably supported by Fiorenza Cossotto as Amneris and Orianna Santunione in the title role.

Ballet: Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky

Sunday 2nd November (afternoon)

This is surely the classic version. Filmed in 1966, it stars Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev with the Wiener Symphoniker and Vienna State Opera Ballet, conducted by John Lanchberry.

Met. Opera Centennial Gala (1983)

Sunday 30th November (afternoon), Thursday 4th December (evening), Sunday 7th (afternoon)

This is a stellar performance of opera arias, duets, ensembles and choruses, featuring the greatest performers of the time in a varied selection from Mozart to Richard Strauss.