Elīna Garanča - a voice of hope and trust
A farewell at the beginning, a surprise at the end: it is an elaborate programme put together by Elīna Garanča together with her husband Karel Mark Chichon, the evening's musical director. Inner feelings can be heard when the mezzo-soprano starts with the aria of Johanna from "The Maid of Orleans" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The affection of the fighter-to-be for the nature that surrounds her is in the foreground - fitting for the unique setting. But also the resonating fear of the young woman who is to go to the battlefield is expressed in this aria. A strong start for a strong programme.
And even though Elīna Garanča will be taking the stage for the second time this evening, what she sings is all about leaving: Together with Arsen Soghomonyan she will sing the duet "No, no, Turiddu" from Pietro Mascagni's "Cavalleria Rusticana". As Santuzza, she begs Turiddu for his love. Soghomonyan will also perform "Mamma, quel vino è generoso" from this opera when he takes the stage as one of Garanča's "Friends". Another "friend" will be soprano Cellia Costea, who will present "Ritorna vincitor!" from Giuseppe Verdi's "Aida".
She is also Garanča's partner when it comes to singing about the "Beautiful night, oh night of love". In this "Barcarolle" - by which name it is also known - Jacques Offenbach expertly transformed the swaying of Venetian gondolas into music, creating a true classical earworm that Elīna Garanča has long enjoyed singing. More coquettish and definitely with wit and esprit, the mezzo-soprano will present herself on the other hand with "Art is Calling for Me" by Victor Herbert from "The Enchantress", this being a humorous declaration of love for art.
Also singing in English is young bass Philipp Schöllhorn, who will perform the piece with which he convinced Elīna Garanča of his ability at her competition "ZukunftsStimmen": "I got plenty of nothin'" from George Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess". Cellia Costea and Arsen Soghomonyan also have the opportunity to present themselves as soloists several times, while the Vienna Volksoper Symphony Orchestra frames the vocal pieces with orchestral highlights. Here the "Galop Infernal" from "Orpheus in the Underworld", i.e. Offenbach's famous Can-Can act, will be heard as well as the tango "A fuego lento" by Horacio Salgán and the famous waltz from "Swan Lake" by Tchaikovsky.
For the end, Karel Mark Chichon has worked out a medley that will raise the longing for the south in a lively way with "Marechiare", "Core'ngrato" and "Granada".