Friday, December 9, 2011

José Carreras Leads Holiday Celebrations For Voice in Prague

"Like the fragrance of mulled wine, holiday music fills the air in Prague during December. The city’s usual bounty of classical and traditional music becomes a rich feast during the Christmas season, when perennial favorites return to the halls and churches, and the opera houses, orchestras and chamber ensembles stage special holiday programs...For star power, there’s world-famous tenor José Carreras, who will be singing a program of classics and Christmas music with support from soprano Mi-Hae Park, the Prague Philharmonic Children’s Choir and the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra (O2 Arena, Dec. 10). Fans of another singing star,
Mezzo-soprano Dagmar Pecková
Czech mezzo Dagmar Pecková, will have a chance to hear her in a much more intimate setting with a fine chamber group, Vojtěch Spurnýʼs Ensemble 18+ (Sts. Simon and Jude Church, Dec. 20)...The Prague Philharmonia is moving to Žofín for its Christmas concert, which will feature a program of popular opera arias by Verdi, Puccini and Donizetti sung by soprano Tereza Mátlová and tenor Aleš Briscein, who will also lead the audience in a closing set of Christmas carols (Žofín main hall, Dec. 21)....The Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra will serve up a confection of two seasonal J.S. Bach works, the Christmas Oratorio and Cantata No. 1 for the First Holiday of Christmas, with a strong cast of local singers that includes alto Markéta Cukrová, tenor Jaroslav Březina and the Prague Philharmonic Choir (Rudolfinum, Dec. 19). And the indefatigable Libor Pešek will lead the Czech National Symphony Orchestra and a large cast of local singers in a program of Pachelbel, J.S. Bach and Rybaʼs Czech Christmas Mass (Obecní dům, Dec. 20)...One could go no further
Soprano Eva Štruplová
than the State Opera and have a very enjoyable holiday season. With its storied history and fabulous rococo interior, it offers the most charming atmosphere in the city. On Christmas day, a brass quintet and the Kühn Children’s Choir will perform Czech composer Jan Seidelʼs popular program of “Bethlehem Songs.” And on New Year’s Eve, the State Opera offers an ideal setting for a lively production of Straussʼ Die Fledermaus...Organist extraordinaire Irena Chřibková will be at the giant console at St. James for two programs of light classics, the day after Christmas with soprano Eva Štruplová and flutist Mario Mesany, and on New Year’s Day with a brass quartet (St. Jamesʼ Basilica, Dec. 26 & Jan. 1)...And a delightful segue back to the serious season comes from the Talich Chamber Orchestra, which will be backing two very good singers, Chinese soprano Lily Zhang and American baritone Richard Zeller, in a program of opera arias (Sts. Simon and Jude Church, Jan. 2). [Source]

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