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Fabio Luisi Releases Bruckner CD with Philharmonia Zurich, Conducts New Productions of Lear and I Puritani

Now in his fifth season as Principal Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera and his fourth as Music Director of Zurich Opera, Grammy Award-winning conductor Fabio Luisi continues to go from strength to strength this spring, having just released a 2-disc recording of Bruckner’s monumental Symphony No. 8, in its original 1887 version, with the Philharmonia Zurich on Philharmonia Records. After a winter of triumphs at the Met, including his much-lauded leadership of the Sir David McVicar-directed Cav/Pag double-bill, a new production of Manon Lescaut from Sir Richard Eyre, and a remounting of Eyre’s stylish 2014 production of Le nozze di Figaro, he debuts a new production of Aribert Reimann’s unjustly neglected Lear on May 20 at the Opéra National de Paris, directed by radical Spanish provocateur Calixto Bieito. Luisi characterizes Aribert’s treatment as “a deep, dark interpretation of Shakespeare’s tragedy” and “a major opera masterwork of the last fifty years in a production with superb singers and a great director.” Beginning June 19, at Zurich Opera, he helms a new production of Bellini’s I puritani, starring Lawrence Brownlee and Pretty Yende and directed by Zurich Opera’s General Manager, Andreas Homoki. The tireless conductor also leads a production of Strauss’s Salome at Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, starring Lise Lindstrom in the title role and opening the day after the premiere of the Reimann Lear in Paris.

Coming up this summer, Luisi helms a world premiere production of Verdi predecessor Saverio Mercadante’s newly rediscovered opera, Francesca da Rimini, commissioned by the King of Spain in 1831 but never performed. The new production will be seen in three performances starting July 30 at the Festival della Valle d’Itria in Martina Franca, Italy, where Luisi serves as Music Director. The production will be, in his words, “one of the most exciting and interesting projects of recent years, an opera by a major Italian composer of the romantic age, which has never been performed! Stay tuned and come to Martina Franca for this amazing discovery!”

The new recording of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 with Philharmonia Zurich adds to a growing catalogue on Philharmonia Records that already includes Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique; an album of Wagner Preludes and Interludes; Rachmaninov’s four Piano Concertos and Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with soloist Lise de la Salle; and Rigoletto. Citing the Philharmonia Zurich’s “huge symphonic potential,” Luisi has been dedicated to presenting an eclectic orchestral repertory with the ensemble since his appointment four seasons ago. He considers the opera orchestra’s experience with the sound-world of Wagner to be the perfect qualification for interpreting the boldness of Bruckner’s heavily Wagner-influenced musical vision. Bruckner’s symphonies are a longstanding enthusiasm for the conductor: the Eighth served as the vehicle for his 2014 debut with the London Symphony, and his 2009 recording of the Ninth with Staatskapelle Dresden won an ECHO Klassik award. Noting that “Luisi musters an assurance, incisiveness and rawness from his players in a fiery performance which is majestic yet sensual,” the UK’s Observer called the album “essential listening.”

Luisi has had high-profile engagements in recent months, guest-conducting both the Juilliard Orchestra (in Brahms’s Symphony No. 3) and the Philadelphia Orchestra, where he presented an all-Russian program that included a “benchmark performance” (Philadelphia Inquirer) of Tchaikovsky’s “PathétiqueSymphony, along with the same composer’s sole violin concerto featuring violinist Christian Tetzlaff. He returned to conduct the Danish National Symphony Orchestra (where he assumes duties as Principal Conductor next season) in Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 4 and Carl Nielsen’s provocative Symphony No. 6, as a finale to the ensemble’s celebration of Nielsen’s 150th birthday. When he conducted the orchestra in Nielsen’s Second Symphony (“The Four Temperaments”) at last summer’s BBC Proms, the London Evening Standard raved that the piece “in Luisi’s hands, was a riot of invention.” Luisi’s inaugural season as the Danish orchestra’s Principal Conductor will focus on Mahler, starting at the end: their first concert together in September will feature Mahler’s Symphony No. 9, which the celebrated conductor Otto Klemperer believed to be “not only his last but also his greatest achievement.”

For high-resolution photos, click here.



Fabio Luisi: Spring/Summer engagements
May 20, 23, 26, 29; June 1, 6, 9, & 12
Paris, France
Opera National de Paris
Reimann: Lear (new production)

May 21, 22, 25, 28
Genoa, Italy
Teatro Carlo Felice
Strauss: Salome

June 19, 22, 25, 29; July 3, 7, 10
Zurich, Switzerland
Zurich Opera
Bellini: I puritani (new production)

June 24, 28; July 2, 6 & 9
Zurich, Switzerland
Zurich Opera
Puccini: Tosca

July 21; Aug 1
Martina Franca, Italy
Fetstival della Valle d’Itria
Mozart: Così fan tutte

July 30; Aug 2, 4
Martina Franca, Italy
Festival della Valle d’Itria
Saverio Mercadante: Francesca da Rimini

Aug 18, 19, 21, 22
Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan
Details TBD

Sep 1, 2
Copenhagen, Denmark
Danish National Symphony Orchestra
Mahler: Symphony No. 9

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© 21C Media Group, May 2016

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