New Year’s Eve gala with star guest: Jonas Kaufmann, “currently the hottest tenor in opera” (New York Times), is one of the most sought-after tenors today. The singer, whose sometimes powerful and metallic, sometimes gently darkened timbre is just as much in demand in the Italian and French repertoire as in the German, is regularly to be heard in houses such as Vienna State Opera, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Royal Opera House in London.
Accompanied by the Berliner Philharmoniker, Jonas Kaufmann will present well-known and lesser-known opera highlights to mark the turn of the year, such as Alvaro’s dramatic aria “La vita è inferno all’infelice” from La forza del destino, Giuseppe Verdi’s family saga of several outcasts. The programme also includes: Romeo’s monologue from Riccardo Zandonai’s Giulietta e Romeo, a composer who during his lifetime was mentioned in the same breath as Puccini. Classics of verismo and arias from Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana and Umberto Giordano’s Andrea Chénier complete the list. The conductor for the evening is chief conductor Kirill Petrenko, who, as the longstanding general music director of Bayerische Staatsoper, knows his way around opera.
In addition to Nino Rota’s film music for the Fellini melodrama La strada, the festive evening also offers detours into Russian music history: with Tchaikovsky’s brilliantly orchestrated Capriccio italien, which – as is clear from the music – was written during a holiday in Italy, while Sergei Prokofiev’s popular Romeo and Juliet ballet captivates with neoclassical charm in its minuet, gavotte and waltz.