On March 7th, the Lucerne Festival Strings will appear at the NCPA (National Centre for the Performing Arts) with soprano Danielle de Niese. She will perform both the classic opera arias by Mozart and classic Broadway hits of the 20th century.
In 1938, Italian conductor Toscanini founded the Lucerne Festival in the Swiss city Lucerne, which has grown into one of the most intriguing gatherings in the classical music world. In 1956, conductor Rudolf Baumgartner and violin virtuoso Wolfgang Schneiderhan co-founded the Lucerne Festival Strings. Every year, the ensemble receives warm welcome from audiences worldwide. This chamber ensemble is keen on playing not only classical at concerts but also works by modern composers, including Krzysztof Penderecki, Klaus Huber and Peter Ruzicka.
This time, the Lucerne Festival Strings will share the stage with Australian soprano Danielle de Niese. At the age of 18, Danielle de Niese was enrolled in the Lindemann Young Artist Development Programme at the Metropolitan Opera, stepping into the opera world; at the age of 19, she played Barbarina in the Metropolitan Opera production Le Nozze di Figaro. With her excellent voice and exquisite performance, Danielle de Niese has become so popular. She also played many classic operatic roles on heavyweight stages such as Opera National de Paris, Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto and De Nederlandse Opera. In 2017, she appeared at the Wiener Staatsoper and Staatskapelle Dresden, where she performed in two classic operas: Don Pasquale and Don Juan. Her ability to make frequent appearances on world-class opera stages has much to do with her expansive repertoire, since she can sing Mozart's opera role for soprano, as well as performing Italian bel canto operas. Moreover, opera arias by Handel and other composers of Baroque Period are also included in her repertoire.
In the first half of the concert, the Lucerne Festival Strings will perform Mozart’s classic Divertimento for Strings in D major first. Then, Danielle de Niese will come on stage to perform famous arias from two classic operas by Mozart: Don Giovanni and La Clemenza di Tito. Both Ah, fuggi il traditor! and Mi tradì quell'alma ingrata, two acclaimed arias from Mozart’s Don Giovanni, reveal how the female heroines in the opera complain about playboy Don Giovanni. The strong feelings and undulatory melodies are rigorous requirements for the singer to control her voice. The aria Parto, parto, ma tu, ben mio is from the opera La Clemenza di Tito.
In the second half, the Lucerne Festival Strings will perform Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta. This work of a notable modern style declares that the second half of the concert belongs to the colourful 20th century. 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of American conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein, in which the great musician will be commemorated on a global scale. The Lucerne Festival Strings and Danielle de Niese will perform a number of classic musical pieces by Bernstein. Danielle de Niese will sing Like A Dream With Me, a classic piece from musical Peter Pan, I Feel Pretty, a universally praised song from West Side Story, and A Little Bit in Love, from Wonderful Town. Apart from selections of Bernstein’s musicals, Danielle de Niese and the Lucerne Festival Strings will co-perform audience classic songs from musicals Funny Girl, Flower Drum Song, and ShowBoat. Of them, Flower Drum Song is a classic musical composed by composer Richard Rogers and playwright Oscar Hammerstein II based on Chinese writer Chin Yang Lee’s novel of the same title, which tells about the conflicts between generations in Chinatown, and the classic song I Enjoy Being A Girl.