The Palau LEs Arts Reina Sofia has presented the season 2021-2022, which also marks the beginning of a new period for the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana that, with the appointment of James Gaffigan as the new musical director of Les Arts for the next four years, begins a period of stability and growth ".
James Gaffigan will be in charge of opening and ending the season with two reference appointments: the revolutionary staging of Romeo Castellucci's 'Requiem' by Mozart; and the avant-garde and still unpublished ‘Wozzeck’, by Alban Berg; plus a concert, in which he directs works by Rodrigo, Ravel and Dvořák.
According to its director, Jesus Iglesias Noriega, the programming axes remain: the presence of Mozart ('Requiem') and Verdi with 'Macbeth'; the recovery of the Central European repertoire, con ‘Wozzeck’; the restitution of Spanish heritage, with Manuel García; the inclusion of unpublished masterpieces with ‘Les contes d’Hoffmann’, by Offenbach; as well as diversity of styles, from the Baroque of 'Ariodante' and 'Partenope' by Handel, going through the verismo of Puccini or contemporary opera with ‘Trouble in Tahiti’, de Bernstein”.
The search for new aesthetics materializes with the premiere of the co-production of ‘Requiem’ in which Castellucci transforms the unfinished mass for the dead into a hymn to life; Richard Jones' adaptation of the chivalric intrigue of ‘Ariodante’ to a fishermen's island in 20th-century Scotland; Johannes Erath's powerful theatrical exercise in ‘Les contes d’Hoffmann’; Benedict Andrews' sober staging of 'Macbeth'; or Andreas Kriegenburg's production of ‘Wozzeck’, reference montage of the work.
In the staging, two women sign the only two new productions of the season: Barbara Lluch, with a growing presence on the national scene, directs 'A warning to the jealous', by Manuel García; while Sol Picó presents a new dance show, ‘Titanas’, in which her recognized talent converges along with the language of three other choreographers.
The musical direction of each of the proposals is entrusted to specialists in each of the titles: William Christie and Andrea Marcon in the Baroque repertoire; Marc Minkowski to direct with the OCV the critical edition of ‘Les contes d’Hoffmann’; Michele Mariotti as a reputed Verdean; and the emerging Antonino Fogliani para Puccini; Jordi Bernàcer for ‘Doña Francisquita’.
In the same way, in the symphonic section, the most prestigious conductors work with the OCV: Juanjo Mena with a monograph by Kaija Saariaho, key figure in contemporary music; Gustavo Gimeno on his rise in the Mahlerian universe; the emerging Riccardo Minasi in a suggestive program that combines the Viennese fascination for the Italian imaginary; Josep Pons for Falla and Ravel; or the sought-after Mark Elder who debuts in Les Arts with Strauss and Stravinsky.
In the voices section, the artistic director has underlined three reference quotes. Marina Rebeka, that captivated in 2018 with on Traviata, will make her first foray into the role of Cio-Cio-San in ‘Madama Butterfly’. While another of the great stars of the moment, Pretty Yende, will debut with one of the great challenges of his career: to incarnate for the first time the four muses of ‘Les contes d’Hoffmann’. In addition to the return of Carlos Álvaro to Les Arts to star in ‘Macbeth’.
Among the interpreters you will be able to hear unpublished voices such as Piero Pretti (‘Madama Butterfly’), John Osborn y Alex Esposito ("Hoffmann's Tales"), David Hansen, Christophe Dumaux, Jane Archibald y Sandrine Piau ('Ariodante') y Peter Mattei (‘Wozzeck’).
Established artists such as Anna Pirozzi and Marco Mimica also return, and ‘Macbeth’; or renowned voices from the German repertoire such as Eva-Maria Westbroek and Christopher Ventris in ‘Wozzeck’ along with Ruth Iniesta and Ismael Jordi in ‘Doña Francisquita’.
After their exquisite performances this season, Joyce DiDonato and Marianne Crebassa star in two of the sessions of ‘Les Arts és Lied’, in which the audience of Les Arts will be able to hear for the first time artists of the stature of Matthias Goerne, Benjamin bernheim, Lissette Oropesa and Jakub Józef Orliǹski. While ‘The Arts is Great Voices’, offers the reunion of two singers highly appreciated by our audience, Leo Nucci y Erwin scrap, with a program dedicated to Giuseppe Verdi.
Meanwhile, ‘Les Arts és Dansa’ continues with its commitment to show the different aspects of this discipline. In addition to the new production ‘Titanas’ with the Alcoyana Sol Picó, Spanish dance will come from the hand of the National Ballet of Spain, who will present ‘Invocation’, which includes some of his most recent creations. The cycle will be closed by one of the great works of the repertoire, 'The Bayadere', with which the Perm Opera Ballet is presented, one of the most traditional companies in Russia.
further, in collaboration with the CNDM a new section is established to attend to a historical debt of the programming with the baroque and old music and its important national tradition. The main formations integrate ‘The Arts is Baroque and Early Music’, in which Carles Magraner and his Chapel of Ministers make his debut in Les Arts together with Marian Rosa Montagut's also Valencian Harmonia del Parnàs.
Finally, Jesús Iglesias Noriega recalled that the remaining lines of the programming are maintained and grow in diversity, with new appointments in ‘Les Arts és Flamenco’ and ‘Les Arts és Altres Músiques’, in addition to the cycle ‘Les Arts és Per a Tots’ and the sections on education and training.
Photograph: Mikel Ponce