Coinciding with the release of her brand new album ‘Monteverdi’ (on the Archiv label – the early music subsiduary of Deutsche Grammophon), Magdalena Kožená tours Europe with La Cetra Barockensemble under the direction of Andrea Marcon. The CD, which is scheduled for international release on 19 February 2016, contains a variety of early Baroque repertoire including Uccelini, Merula and Marini alongside Monteverdi. While the repertoire for the tour largely mirrors that of the CD, it also incorporates an exciting new commission ‘Arianna Has a Problem’ (inspired by Monteverdi’s aria “Lamento di Arianna”), composed by Marko Ivanovic at Magdalena’s own request, specifically for the concert project.
Another addition to the concert programme includes ‘Sequenza III’ by Luciano Berio, and it is the new commission by Ivanovic that provides the bridge between music of the 17th and 20th centuries. The stage manager for the concerts, Ondřej Havelka wrote the libretto for the commission and brings it to life onstage in its world premiere in the Rudolfinum, Prague for the first date of the tour on Wednesday 24 February.
Subsequent performances in this nine-date Askonas Holt tour include a second date in the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg on 29 February, the Philharmonie Luxembourg on 2 March, the Alte Oper Frankfurt on 5 March, the Wigmore Hall London on 8 March, the Palacio de los Festivales Santander on 12 March, the Auditorio Palacio de Congresos Príncipe Felipe Oviedo on 14 March and the Palau de la Musica Barcelona on 16 March. Performances will be a theatrical staged extravaganza with costumes, props, lighting, and a lot of drama!
Magdalena Kožená is joined on the recording and onstage by Andrea Marcon (with whom she has already recorded Vivaldi and Handel recitals) and his Basel-based ensemble La Cetra, musicians dedicated to bringing works from the past to pulsating life in the present. For Magdalena, this artistic partnership represents a great gain: “Andrea has a lot of experience in this repertory, and he is also a very spontaneous sort of person: his music-making is always highly charged and full of surprises. Of course we rehearse before a concert or in advance of a recording and agree on the basic interpretation. But we know each other so well that we can then allow ourselves the freedom to improvise. This works only with certain people and only in Baroque music – for me it’s a bit like jazz, where musicians react spontaneously to the spirit of the moment.”
Speaking about Monteverdi himself, Magdalena says “his words are all of an incredibly high quality, his librettos are so profound. In opera in general I often prefer the recitatives to the arias because as a singer I like telling stories and playing with words. And Monteverdi’s arias are written in a style known as recitar cantando, a kind of recitative-like singing.”
We wish Magdalena the best of luck on the road and with her new release!
For more details regarding the CD, please visit the Deutsche Grammophon website.
For more information regarding the tour dates and tickets, please follow the individual links below: