A few more high spots still to come – and remember the advance booking reduction!
The next-to-last week of the 2011 Savonlinna Opera Festival is filled with the Festival’s three own productions: Don Giovanni (July 19), Lohengrin (July 20) and Tosca (July 21). That of Don Giovanni, with its brilliant cast of soloists, is sold out, but there are still some tickets left for the other two. Singing the part of Elsa in the last performance of Lohengrin is Amber Wagner, hailed by the media as “a minor vocal sensation”. Cast as Ortrud is a singer with a voice admirably suited to the part, Jordanka Milkova. Juha Uusitalo as Scarpia in Tosca has sent both the media and audiences into ecstasy. As one newspaper raved: “And Juha Uusitalo’s voice. Powerful, rich in nuance and utterly steely and manly. Making himself heard above the orchestra is child’s play for him. (Itä-Savo, July 16).
Superb Hungarian visit
Taking the stage during the last week of the festival is the Hungarian State Opera with three productions. One of the greatest of Budapest’s artistic establishments, the Hungarian State Opera is also a symbol of Hungary’s over 300-year-old operatic history, famous for its high artistic standard and its dynamic soloists. To the Savonlinna Opera Festival it is bringing one of the best-known of all the operas by Giuseppe Verdi, Don Carlo
, in four performances of the four-act Italian version. The Hungarian State Opera will also be featuring items from its own national repertoire: Zoltán Kodály’s Psalmus Hungaricus and Béla Bartók’s one-act opera Duke Bluebeard's Castle, at a Hungarian Evening
on July 24. Psalmus Hungaricus is an oratorio for tenor, choir and orchestra and was composed for the 50th anniversary of Budapest. Bartók’s only opera, Duke Bluebeard's Castle, is one of the greatest works in operatic literature. It is the only Hungarian opera performed the world over and repeatedly requested by opera-house audiences.