British conductor Jeremy Silver shows his stage credentials in a programme laced with extracts from two of the world’s most beloved operas.
Mozart’s Così fan tutte – which loosely translates as Women Are Like That – is the bittersweet, third component in the incomparable trilogy of comedies which also included Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni, each penned in collaboration with the librettist Lorenzo da Ponte.
Despite the ravishing beauty of its score, Così was dismissed for more than a century after its creation in the late 18th century, as a work of irretrievable frivolity and enigmatic dramatic content.
The plot revolves around a wager in which two couples swop partners in a charade of mistaken identity. Since the early 20th century Mozart revival, however, its reputation has ascended to the Olympian heights of the world’s greatest tragi-comedies. Enticing glimpses of Mozart’s dazzling score are offered here by its mercurial Overture, and by one of its most deliciously pert arias, sung by Kimmy Skota as the maid, Despina.
In stark contrast, we are then plunged into the tragic emotional turmoil of Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, the opera’s heart-rending Prelude, followed by the glittering impact and febrile allure of the heroine, Violetta’s famous Act I ‘grande scena’.
With its rugged textures, Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 has sometimes been dubbed “Beethoven’s Tenth Symphony”, owing to its perceived likeness with the latter composer’s Ninth Symphony. Brahms took fourteen years to complete the symphony, which leaves one feeling elated at its conclusion, the experience balanced with the ideals of Brahms’ inherently profound writing.
Tickets for the series of four concerts are R600.
Individual concerts are R200 each.