Thursday 24 June 2021

OperaFest Lisboa 2021: Puccini, Menotti, Weill and a premiere under the stars in Lisbon

OperaFest Lisboa
It is heartening to see smaller opera festivals springing back, despite the current climate. Still in Portugal [see my review of Portuguese baritone Ricardo Panela's Berlin im Licht disc], the second OperaFest Lisboa is taking place this Summer, 20 August to 11 September 2021, in the gardens of the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga in Lisbon. Directed by soprano Catarina Molder, the festival features operas by Puccini, Menotti and Weill, plus a world premiere as well as a song competition and more.

Puccini's Madama Butterfly will be directed by choreographer Olga Roriz with musical direction by Jan Wierzba. Actress and stage director Sandra Faleiro will be directing her first opera with Menotti's The Medium with musical direction from Rita Castro Blanco. Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's Mahogany Songspiel will be presented in a double bill with a new opera, Until death tears us apart by Ana Seara, composer in residence at the festival. This is based on the novel Ana Teresa Pereira with an irresistible film noire atmosphere, under the musical direction of Jan Wierzba and staged by António Pires.

There is also an opera gala, Soul on Fire, plus a song competition Maratona Ópera XXI which will focus not on existing music but on new arias! Whilst, Lyric machine - singing lessons for curious amateurs will be offering 40 sessions of singing lessons for those interested in learning more.

For those of us unable to travel to experience opera under the stars in the beautiful Garden of National Museum for Ancient Art, right in the heart of the Lisbon, with a mind-blowing views over Tagus river, Ana Seara's new opera will be broadcast on by Portuguese National TV RTP2.

Full details from the festival website.

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