......Some of the highlights of the Festival, in no particular order:
- Royal Concertgebow Orchestra (considered number 1 in the world by Gramophone) conducted by Mariss Jansons
- Bavarian Radio Orchestra conducted by Mariss Jansons
- Martha Argerich/Charles Dutoit/Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
- Joshua Bell/Horia Andreescu/Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
- Maggio Musicale Fiorentino conducted by Roberto Abbado
- George Enescu Philharmonic conducted by Maxim Vengerov
- Il Giardino Armonico
- Christian Zacharias and Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne
- Murray Perahia and Saint Martin in the Fields
- Helene Grimaud/Yuri Temirkanov/Sankt Peteresburg Orchestra
- Nelson Freire/orchestre du Capitol de Toulousse
- Elisabeta Leonskaya - recital
- Monte Carlo Ballet
- Daniela Dessi and Marco Armiliato in Manon Lescaut
- Frank Ferrari in Oedipe
- Franco Farina and Alberto Gazale in Otello
- Lado Ataneli in Machbet
......The first one to talk was Mr Holender. He's also the Director of Vienna Operahouse and thanks to him the artists agreed to come to Bucharest in the first place. He talked about the highlights of the Festival. That he's sorry that Nicolas Joel can't be present due to illness (I don't know what the cause is) but he already saw the production in Toulousse (Mr Joel is the ex Director of the Operahouse in Toulousse and also the Director of Opera de Paris and those who attended the Met HD series know that he directed several of the operas). Then Mr Holender stressed upon the importance of the presence of the first two most important orchestras in the world (according the Gramphone Magazine), Royal Concertgebow and Bayerishe, both conducted by the great Mariss Jansons.
......One new things is the presence of Joseph Calleja, on September 20th, in an open air concert (this one is for free). The tenor is well known for his roles in Rigoletto and Traviata in Vienna of Les Contes D'Hoffmans (the future production at the Met). If the weather is bad on that particular day, the concert will take place inside Palace Hall.
......Speaking of the Palace Hall (one of the venues that host the Festival along with the Athenaeum and Opera House), mr Holender certified that the capacity was reduced with 1000 seats in order not to use mics anymore. Jansons had this as a condition of his coming to Bucharest. So there are 3100 seats insted of 4100.
......Another premiere is "Celan", opera in concert. Celan was a Romanian poet and this opera is composed by Peter Ruzicka. You can see this opera in concert on September 24th at the Romanian Opera House.
......The Director of the Opera House, Mr Catalin Ionescu Arbore said it's the first time when the Festival is opened at the Opera House and it's a great honor for this institution.
......The Director of TVR Cultural, Mrs Daniela Zeca Buzura, said that 85% of the concerts will be broadcasted live or after being recorded. Every night at 09:30pm there'll be an Agenda of the Festival on TVR Cultural. 3 channels will broadcast the event: TVR (The Romanian Television), TVR Cultural and TVR International, with a total of 16000 minutes (267 hours) of broadcasting (compared to 11000 minutes (184 hours) two years ago).
......The Chief Editor for Radio Romania, Mrs Liliana Staicu, said they'll broadcast live 59 concerts and recitals. You can listen live on both stations. Please see Radio Romania Cultural and Radio Romania Muzical for details of the program. They'll also have an Agenda of the Festival, every day after the News at 1pm. Radio Romania is member of the European Union of Radio Stations and will broadcast live everywhere in Europe 5 concerts (please note: it's local time - Bucharest is GMT+2):
- the Gala of the George Enescu International Competition - September 6th - 5pm
- Cristian Zacharias and Lausanne Chamber Orchestra - all 3 concerts - September 11th, 12th and 13th - 10:30pm
- Orchestre Philrmonique de Radio France with Remus Azoitei (violin) - September 9th - 07:30pm
- for the Competition there are 51 people in violin contest, 49 in piano contest and 181 in composition contest
- there are 89 people from foreign press, including CNN, Mezzo, RFI, Duetsche Welle.
- Mezzo TV will broadcast 5 recorded concerts/operas: Oedipe (it was filmed yesterday, August 30th), Gala Concert of the Competition, Bayerischen conducted by Mariss Jansons on September 24th (and 2 more but I missed them) and 2 live concerts - Royal Concertgebow conducted by Mariss Jansons on September 19th (at 07:30pm local hour and 08:40 France time - see the schedule on Mezzo TV. This broadcast is followed by an interesting program - "Voyage musical en Roumanie: les vampires n'existent plus") and 20th (11:00am).
- there are 17 concerts sold out before the start of the Festival. Among others: Martha Argerich on September 11th, Joshua Bell on September 12th, Murray Perahia (both concerts), Christian Zacharias (all 3 concerts)
- the contract with CNN is worth 100000 USD and involves broadcasting the promo spot for 450 times (1 spot broadcasted during the live transmission of the ceremony of investment of President Obama)
......The Festival was opened with Oedipe by George Enescu. It's not very well known becuase it's rarely performed. It's difficult. And to my surprise there's little about it on the internet. Mostly in French. I find the music beautiful. The premier was at Palais Garnier, in Paris, in 1936 and Philippe Gaubert conducted the orchestra. Then it was performed in Bucharest, years later. During the years there were several productions but I think this one is the best (speaking of sets/costumes/general idea). The best Oedipe remains David Ohanesian. There are some video clips on You Tube, short but it's enough to have an idea
.......The plot is a combination of Sofocle's play and "Oedipe at Colonus" (the final act). There are 4 acts and one interval. Here's the libretto, in French (original). Many people compare this work with Stravinsky's "Oedipus Rex" (more details here). But our Oedipe is more than that. You have to listen. I don't know who to explain. Philosophically and musically it's a masterpiece. The conception of the opera was interesting. Grey people (clothes and faces) moving in a Greek Theatre. The only colors came with the Sphinx and in the end, when Oedipe goes to "the other world".
......10+ for Mr Ferrari, for the orchestra, the choire, the conductor, the director, EVERYBODY.
Series "Opera and Ballet"
OEDIPE by George Enescu
Coproduction Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse - Bucharest National Opera
Director: NICOLAS JOEL
Sets: EZIO FRIGERIO
Costumes: FRANCE SQUARCIAPINO
Lights: VINICIO CHELI
Conductor: OLEG CAETANI
Conductor of the choir: STELIAN OLARIU
Orchestra and choir of the Bucharest National Opera
Oedipe - FRANCK FERRARI
The great priest - STEFAN SCHULLER
The Shepard - VALENTIN RACOVEANU
Iocasta - OANA ANDRA
Laios - MIHAI LAZAR
Tirésias - HORIA SANDU
Phorbas - POMPEIU HARASTEANU
Mérope - ADRIANA ALEXANDRU
Antigone - CRINA ZANCU
The guardian - MIHNEA LAMATIC
The Sphinx - ECATERINA TUTU
Théseu - VICENTIU TARANU
Women of Thebe - SIDONIA NICA
Creon - IONUT PASCU
Scenes during the first act - the celebrations to honor the birth of the heir of the King Laios
Scenes from the second act - Oedipe asks himself about his faith
Scenes during the third act - the dialogue with the Sphinx - Oedipe has the right answer for the Sphinx's question. The man is more powerful than Destiny. The city is now saved and Oedipe is the hero. He doesn't know that his brave act will kill him.
Scenes from the last act. Oedipe goes away from the city with his daughter. In the end he dies.
Curtain call - the conductor of the choire
......There are several recordings available on amazon.com:
- Enesco - Oedipe / van Dam · Hendricks · Lipovsek · Bacquier · Gedda · Courtis · Hauptmann · Quilico · Aler · Vanaud · Albert · Taillon · Foster by Georges Enesco, Lawrence Foster, José van Dam, and Barbara Hendricks (Audio CD - Sep 4, 1990)
- George Enescu: Oedipe by Davide Damiani, Egils Silins, Goran Simic, and Peter Koves (Audio CD - Jan 17, 2006)
- Oedipe by George Enescu, Lawrence Foster, Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, and Barbara Hendricks (Audio CD - Sep 16, 2008)
- And 2 more recordings, with Brediceanu as conductor with David Ohanesian in the title role and another with Ian Hobson as conductor and Stefan Ignat in the title role
There are some reviews and informaton in the press, about the press conference and Oedipe:
- Evenimentul Zilei
- Mediafax - I forgot to mention that our President attended the opening. there are several pictures on these web sites
- Jurnalul National
......I'll go again on September 2nd. See you there.
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