Conductor, Dalia Stasevska
Soprano, Ana Maria Labin
Following her vibrant UK debut at the Kirklees Concert Season in March 2018, Dalia Stasevska returns to conduct the Kirklees Concert Season finale, as well as making her Leeds Town Hall debut, opening the concert with Lutosławski’s intense Musique Funèbre for small string orchestra.
Richard Strauss’Four Last Songs are the composer’s gloriously serene and transcendent swansong, with reflections on life and death woven throughout the piece. The vocal lines, supported by solo horn, are a poignant reminiscence on his upbringing and are renowned as some of the most stunning song settings in the canon.
There are few finer culminations to a symphony than the ending of Bruckner’s 7th, and the great adagio is a song of farewell. Bruckner’s music was given little appreciation in his lifetime, but the 7th Symphony was an exception; an unqualified success at its première in 1884, it remains one of his most popular works. Inspired by Richard Wagner, our Wagner tubas get an outing too as part of the phalanx of brass performing.
Talking Music at Huddersfield Town Hall begins at 6.40pm
A pre-show talk at Leeds Town Hall will begin at 6.45pm
Four Last Songs
Symphony No. 7
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Commissioned to create a grand opera to inaugurate the new opera house in Cairo, Verdi responded by creating a historical fantasy of Egypt on a tragic theme.
Yet for all its scenes of spectacle, such as the famous triumphal march, at the heart of Aida is a web of intimate personal relationships between people caught in the crossfire of international conflict.
Egypt is at war with Ethiopia. Aida, daughter of the Ethiopian king, has been captured by the Egyptians. Secretly, she loves an Egyptian general, Radamès, and he returns her love. When Radamès is selected to lead a renewed assault against the enemy, Aida is forced to choose between betraying her country and betraying her heart.
The leading characters in Aida are as conflicted as the war-torn world they inhabit, and for the doomed lovers, Radamès and Aida, Verdi reserved some of his finest arias – his ‘Celeste Aida’ and her ‘O patria mia’ for example.
This new concert staging of Aida is by Annabel Arden, whose award-winning production of Turandot for Opera North electrified audiences in 2017.