Teodor Currentzis © Nadia Rosenberg
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Teodor Currentzis © Nadia Rosenberg
Choral Concert 4
musicAeterna orchestra and chorus of Perm Opera | Teodor Currentzis | soloists
Giuseppe Verdi did not think much of the Church. He found it outrageous that the Vatican claimed political power for itself and was appalled by Rome’s rejection of such values as tolerance and freedom of conscience, as well as by its critical attitude towards Italian Unification. He also had a personal quarrel with God after losing his wife and children at an early age and suddenly finding himself alone. Yet it was this heretic, of all people, who created one of the most shattering and powerful settings of the Catholic Mass of the Dead. You can almost smell the incense in Verdi’s music, which stages the Last Judgement with a graphic naturalism and which celebrates the celestial dimension with the most exhilarating “Sanctus” ever written. And in its most beautiful moments, as in the plea for salvation, it feels as if the sky is actually opening up… Verdi’s magnificent Messa da Requiem is a work that seems to have been created for Teodor Currentzis, since this Greek-Russian conductor is a master of musical truth-telling whose performances tend to radically push the envelope: to heaven and hell.
Musica Aeterna © Priska Ketterer/LUCERNE FESTIVAL
musicAeterna orchestra of Perm Opera
The orchestra musicAeterna was founded in 2004 by Teodor Currentzis in Novosibirsk with the aim not only of performing Baroque and Classical works as they originally sounded but also of giving a fresh impetus to the field of contemporary music. Since the 2011-12 season the ensemble, which also includes a choir, has made its home at the Opera and Ballet Theatre in Perm, where it performs annually in several productions. Over the past years, musicAeterna has developed into a sought-after export: the ensemble has toured with Currentzis to Vienna, Amsterdam, London, Baden-Baden, Bregenz, Moscow, and St. Petersburg and, at the invitation of the Berlin Philharmonic, to their hall, the Philharmonie. In 2015 they performed Wagner’s Rheingold at the Ruhrtriennale, and in 2016 they presented Purcell’s Indian Queen, in a semi-staged version directed by Peter Sellars, at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, the Philharmonie in Cologne, and the Musikfest Bremen. In the summer of 2017 musicAeterna makes its debut at the Salzburg Festival, where they will perform in a new production of Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito and will give two concerts. Numerous recordings have appeared in recent years, including of Shostakovich’s Piano Concertos (with Alexander Melnikov), Mozart’s Requiem, the Rameau project The Sound of Light, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto (with soloist Patricia Kopatchinskaja) paired with Stravinsky’s Les Noces, and a highly touted recording of the Mozart-Da Ponte opera cycle: Le nozze di Figaro (2013), Così fan tutte (2014), and Don Giovanni (2016). For this cycle musicAeterna garnered two Echo Klassik Awards, and the ensemble has won the Russian National Theatre’s Golden Mask Award 17 times – more frequently than any other opera orchestra in Russia.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 25 March 2015, performing an all-Rameau program led by Teodor Currentzis.
Teodor Currentzis, who was born in 1972 in Athens, was accepted at the age of 12 to the National Conservatory of his native city, where he initially studied violin and took up composition as well starting in 1987. In 1994 he moved to St. Petersburg and completed his studies in conducting with Ilya Musin, a legendary teacher who also taught Semyon Bychkov and Va-
lery Gergiev. Currentzis’ first leadership position brought him to the Novosibirsk State Opera in 2004, where for six years he was General Music Director. Since 2010 he has served as Music Director of the State Opera House in Perm. He has gained international fame with the orchestra he founded in 2004, musicAeterna, which specializes in historically informed performance practice. Currentzis has toured with this ensemble to the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and the Philharmonie in Berlin. As an opera conductor, he has led Berg’s Wozzeck and Mozart’s Don Giovanni at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater, as well as Verdiʼs Macbeth at the Bavarian Staatsoper, Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth at Zurich Opera, and Wagner’s Tristan at the Teatro Real in Madrid. Currentzis made his debut in Aix-en-Provence in the summer of 2015 with Stravinsky’s Persephone and Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta, and the summer of 2017 brings his Salzburg Festival debut with Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito. During the current season he is working with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Vienna Symphony and is touring with music-Aeterna in six European countries. Currentzis has twice won the Echo Klassik Award: in 2014 for his recording of Mozart’s Figaro and in 2016 for Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps. This past fall, the critics of the magazine Opernwelt named him Conductor of the Year. His most recent recording, of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, was released in November 2016.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 25 March 2015, with musicAeterna in an all-Rameau program.
February 2017Other dates
Born in 1983 in Kuwait, bassist Tareq Nazmi received his degree in vocal studies as the recipient of scholarships from the German National Academic Foundation and the Steans Institute of the Ravinia Festival from 2005 to 2010, studying with Edith Wiens at the Munich University for Music and Performing Arts; he has continued his education in a graduate program with Christian Gerhaher, also participating in master classes with such artists as Matthias Goerne, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and Malcolm Martineau. In 2010 Nazmi was accepted into the Bavarian Staatsoper Opera Studio, where he has appeared as the Second Prisoner in Calixto Bieito’s Fidelio staging, Alidoro in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, the Marquis d’Obigny in Verdi’s La traviata, and Sir Gualtiero in Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux. Beginning in the 2012-13 season he will become a permanent member of this renowned company’s ensemble. Nazmi has participated in various productions of the Bavarian Theater Academy, including Die Nacht, a scenic project by Anna Viebrock based on music by Mozart, in which he also performed at the Ruhrtriennale. He has also sung Lord Syndham in Lortzing’s Zar und Zimmermann and Sarastro in Mozart’s The Magic Flute at the Theater of Augsburg. The Munich Radio Orchestra has invited him to sing in various concert performances of operas conducted by Ulf Schirmer, including Weber’s Silvana, Orff’s Orpheus in der Unterwelt, and Puccini’s La Bohème. Along with his performances with Philippe Herreweghe, in the summer of 2012 Nazmi performs in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass under Kent Nagano, Schubert’s Mass in E-flat under Manfred Honeck, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at the Herrenchiemsee Festival under Enoch zu Guttenberg.
18.30 | Introduction to the Concert (in German) with Susanne Stähr | KKL Lucerne, Auditorium