Thursday 24 May 2018

New Generation Festival showcase

The gardens of the Palazzo Corsini di Prato, Florence
The gardens of the Palazzo Corsini di Prato, Florence
The New Generation Festival, musical director Maximilian Fane, debuted last year in the gardens of the Palazzo Corsini di Prato in Florence and returns there again this year, presenting an operatic, dramatic and musical programme from 29 August to 1 September 2018.  The festival is intended to support young artists and all those involved are under 35.

Last night we went to a private recital at which Maximilian Fane introduced the festival and its plans, and artists past, present and future performed a diverse programme. The performers were soprano Louise Kemeny (who sings Zerlina in the 2018 production of Mozart's Don Giovanni), bass Simon Shibambu (who will be performing at the festival in 2019), baritone William Diggle (one of the festival's Young Artists, he is covering Masetto in Don Giovanni) and soprano Anush Hovhannisyan (who sang Adina in the 2017 production of Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore and will be singing Donna Anna in this year's Don Giovanni). They were accompanied at the piano by Sergei Rybin.

Anush Hovhannisyan sang three of Berg's Seven early songs, 'D'Oreste D'Ajace' from Mozart's Idomeneo and two of Richard Strauss's Four last songs. Louise Kemeny sang 'Ach ich fuhls' from Mozart's The Magic Flute, Donizetti's La conocchia and joined William Diggle for 'La ci da rem' from Don Giovanni.  William Diggle also sang Ravel's Don Quichotte a Dulcinee and Gounod's 'Avant de quitter ces lieux' from Faust. Simon Shibambu sang Verdi's 'O tu Palermo!' from I Vespri Siciliani and Rachmaninoff's 'Ves tabor spit' from Aleko.

In addition to staging Mozart's Don Giovanni, this year the festival will be staging Shakespeare's Henry V will a live performance of William Walton's film score, and will be performing an all-Tchaikovsky concert.

Full details from the festival website.

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