2009-2010 Season Presentation
Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía continues in its endeavour to offer the public a varied programme in which priority is given to artistic quality by performers and the modern, vanguard approach of its productions. The Palau's scenic proposals support and are in agreement with the advanced idiosyncrasy of the building designed by Santiago Calatrava. That is why each season's productions are expected to reflect the vanguard and Mediterranean nature of the impressive sculpture that is Palau de les Arts. The building suggests proximity to the sea thanks to its nautical profile, and plays with the five senses of spectators, who are attracted by this feat of conceptual and scenic architecture, that combines space, light, water and vegetation.
For the public to witness and take part in the magic enclosed in this titanic building, Palau de les Arts once again is holding an Open Doors Day for the Valencian Society (October 11th) to show the public the different areas and spaces free of charge, with live concerts by the teachers of the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana and members from the Placido Domingo Advanced Centre. The Palau is and wants to felt as a cultural centre for the society that supports it and which it serves.
In terms of artists, the Reina Sofia opera house continues to believe in the two cornerstones of the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana: Lorin Maazel, the musical director, who conducts four lyrical performances in the season and two symphonic concerts, and Zubin Mehta, president of the Festival del Mediterrani who conducts two operas and three concerts in the third edition of this competition, and who, after the celebrated Tetralogy by Wagner, has become a must for music lovers.
In the 2009-10 season great scenic directors such as Graham Vick, Giancarlo del Monaco, Carlos Saura and Francisco Negrín will be collaborating with Palau de les Arts, and internationally renowned singers such as Camilla Nylund, Marcelo Álvarez, Stephen Gould, Lance Ryan, Francesco Meli and Daniela Barcellona, just to mention some.
The season kicks off on October 31st with Les Troyens by Hector Berlioz, one of the climaxes of the Frenchman's repertoire and perhaps his most ambitious piece of work, which is also a challenge for any theatre both in terms of its complexity in staging and the demanding vocal cast it requires.
Fura dels Baus and its director Carlus Padrissa are the architects of the vanguard montage for the opening of the season with the great opera by Berlioz. A scenic version in which all his creative imprint is deployed and where the use of new technologies is made and impressive samples of human architecture. Valery Gergiev, one of the most highly rated conductors today, conducts the pit of the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana. This is an exceptional fact because it is the first time that Guerguiev takes on the musical direction of a Spanish orchestra, and it is also unusual for the Russian conductor to conduct ballet performances. He will conduct the Orchestra and the Mariinsky Theatre Ballet for three nights for a performance that will alternate with other performances of Les Troyens and whose star guest is Carlos Acosta.
In the solid vocal cast of Les Troyens are the voices of the tenors Stephen Gould and Lance Ryan, who share the role of Énée, and the mezzo sopranos Daniela Barcellona and Veronica Simeoni both performing the role of Didon. The cast is completed with prestigious singers who have already had their debuts at Palau de les Arts, such as the soprano Elisabete Matos (Cassandre), the baritone Gabriele Viviani (Chorèbe) or the bass Stephen Millin (Narbal). This is a co-production by the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg and the Wielki Theatre in Warsaw.
In December Lorin Maazel took on the musical direction of Madame Butterfly, with the soprano Oksana Dyka and the tenor Misha Didyk. The bel canto arrives at Palau de les Arts in January, with one of Donizetti's masterpieces, Lucia di Lammermoor, to whom Graham Vick was sought for the success of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the Great Geneva Theatre. The leading roles will be performed by the Georgian soprano Nino Machaidze, one of today's most outstanding voices, and the tenor Francesco Meli, another increasingly popular voice who recently triumphed at Covent Garden with Rigoletto.
In February the Martin i Soler Theatre will be the venue for the premiere of a new production of Una cosa rara but the Valencian composer who lends his name to this singular hall at Palau de les Arts. The main roles will be performed by the Valencian international soprano Ofelia Sala and the Puerto Rican tenor Joel Prieto. Supporting them will be singers from the Plácido Domingo Advanced Centre. The music at the performances will be directed by Ottavio Dantone and the valencian Sergio Alapont. Scene direction will be the responsibility of Francisco Negrín who returns to Palau de les Arts after his successful montage with Orlando by Händel and La corte de Faraón by Vicente Lleó.
The Czech opera repertoire is represented by The Bartered Bride by Bedřich Smetana, with music directed by Tomáš Netopil (currently director of the Prague National Theatre) and with stage production by Daniel Slater, who previously earned great success among the public at Palau de les Arts with his applauded montages for Betrothal in a Monastery by Prokofiev and L'arbore di Diana, by Martín i Soler.
The musical director of Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana, Lorin Maazel will be present throughout the whole month of April. On the one hand he will be in charge of directing a double programme that includes the operas La Vida Breve by Falla and Rustic Chivalry by Mascagni, and on the other, there are eight performances of La Traviata to close the season. The state production will be carried out by Giancarlo del Monaco with his debut at Palau de les Arts with this new production of La Vida Breve which is offered in conjunction with the montage of Rustic Chivalry that the renowned Italian director premiered two seasons ago at the Royal Theatre. Performances will be given by singers such as Cristina Gallardo-Domâs, Anna Smirnova and Jorge de León. In La Traviata the soprano Marina Rebeka (Violetta Valéry) will perform recently highly praised at the Salzburg Festival, the tenor Vittorio Grigolo (Alfredo) and Gabriele Viviani (Germont).
The symphonic choice comprises five concerts. Lorin Maazel, musical director at Palau de les Arts, will direct the main formation at two concerts with performances of pieces by Tchaikovsky and Sibelius. The symphonic proposal is completed by a concert of pieces by Prokofiev and Rimsky-Korsakov conducted by Gianandrea Noseda and another concert directed by Omer Meir Wellber with pieces by Beethoven, Bernstein and Berlioz. The Valencian maestro Enrique García Asensio will be in charge of the concert to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the death of the Valencian composer Joaquín Rodrigo.
Moreover, Palau de les Arts, with the objective of taking its contents closer to all publics, will present a complete educational programme, that has new, innovative proposals, all of which are designed to be enjoyed and at the same time to contribute to forming other publics.
In June 2010 the III Festival del Mediterrani will be held. Two composers, Richard Strauss and Georges Bizet will be the axis of this new edition, with the figure of Zubin Mehta as protagonist. Mehta will direct the new production of Salome commissioned to the stage producer Francisco Negrín, in which actors such as the Finn soprano Camilla Nylund and the baritone Albert Dohmen will perform. Maestro Mehta will also direct the performance of Carmen by Bizet devised by Carlos Saura for Palau de les Arts, with outstanding performances in the singing cast with Marcelo Álvarez playing Don Jose or Elīna Garanča and Elena Maximova sharing the role of Carmen.