16 SEPTEMBER – OFFENBACH’S LA PRINCESSE DE TRÉBIZONDE
Paul Daniel conducts London Philharmonic Orchestra
Queen Elizabeth Hall, 7.30pm
Anne-Catherine Gillet (Zanetta); Virginie Verrez (Le Prince Raphael); Christophe Gay (Cabriolo); Antoinette Dennefeld (Régina); Josh Lovell (Le Prince Casimir); Katia Ledoux (Paola); Christophe Mortagne (Trémolini); Loïc Félix (Sparadrap); Opera Rara Chorus
On Friday 16 September, Opera Rara brings Offenbach’s 1869 comic operetta La Princesse de Trébizonde to London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. Regarded as the ‘grandfather of musical theatre’, Jacques Offenbach’s prolific output showed how high-quality music making could go hand in hand with mass appeal paving the way for the likes of Gilbert & Sullivan and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Offenbach’s popularity today is most notably recognised in the endurance of his ever-popular French cancan, the given name for the ‘Infernal Galop’ from Orpheus in the Underworld, his first big hit after founding the Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens in 1855. But his popularity at the time cannot be overstated and, the three-act version of La Princesse de Trébizonde, presented in Paris in late 1869, was another huge success, not only enjoying multiple revivals in Paris but in European capitals including Brussels, Madrid, Copenhagen and London where it was translated into English for performances at the Gaiety Theatre attended by the composer himself.
23 SEPTEMBER – LEONCAVALLO’S ZINGARI (ORC61)
Carlo Rizzi conducts Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
On Friday 23 September 2022, Opera Rara’s recording of Leoncavallo’s Zingari will be released internationally by Warner Classics. Artistic Director Carlo Rizzi conducts the restored original version of Zingari as it was first heard over 100 years ago at its London world première. Recorded in the studio prior to a performance at London’s Cadogan Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Krassimira Stoyanova sings the role of Fleana and is joined by Arsen Soghomonyan as Radu, Stephen Gaertner as Tamar and Łukasz Goliński as Il Vecchio, together with the Opera Rara Chorus.
Premièred in September 1912 at London’s Hippodrome Theatre and conducted by the composer himself, Zingari was commissioned by the theatre which, the previous year, had invited Leoncavallo to present his first opera Pagliacci. Based on a poem written in 1827 by Alexander Pushkin, the one-act Zingari marked Leoncavallo’s return - both musically and in length - to the verismo style of Pagliacci written 20 years earlier and already part of the established repertory.