Where shall you greet the New Year 2015? Everyone is probably dreaming of a wonderful celebration. And if you wish to have some truly fantastic impressions, we welcome you to an exceptional evening at the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre - on 31 December the LNOBT shall be presenting a Gala Concert with one of today's most famous musical personalities, the superstar tenor José Cura.
World-famous for his intense and original interpretations of opera characters, as well as for his unconventional and innovative concert performances, José Cura is a familiar name atop the marquees of the most prestigious theaters. But Cura is much more than an operatic star: as a trained composer and conductor and as an established opera director and stage designer, José Cura is a multifaceted artist focused on using music to entertain and educate.
After studying composition and orchestra conducting in his home town, Rosario (Argentina), in 1984 José Cura moved to Buenos Aires. To gain insights into theater life, from 1984 to 1988 he worked in one of the professional choirs of the Teatro Colón. He stayed there until 1991, the year in which he moved to Europe to begin a singing career that would become legendary.
In 1999, José Cura resumed his conducting career, having worked since then with top orchestras like the London Philharmonia, the London Symphony, the Vienna Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia, the Toscanini Orchestra, and the Hungarian Philharmonic, among others, in both operatic and symphonic works. José Cura has released several well-received recordings, including a powerful version of Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2: “I have listened to several recordings of this work recently. Janssons with the St Petersburg sounds more natural but lacks the same impulse as Cura’s. Sanderling and the Philharmonia are so much broader, but are not remotely as exciting. Svetlanov's battered and cut 1960s recording is perhaps the closest in urgency to Cura's. A performance dreamt about, but which you never imagined you would experience” (Classical Music Editor).
2007 saw the world-premiere of La Commedia è finita — a re-imagining of Pagliacci coupled with dance and mime, designed and directed by José Cura — marked the beginning of his career as a stage director and designer. In 2010 Cura sets the scenery, directs and stars Saint-Saëns's Samson et Dalila at the Badisches Staatstheater, engraving a skillful and innovative take on the French classic: “The exceptional project lent wings to the ensemble and created an artistic result that would do credit to any international operatic stage” (Opernglas). The production is available on DVD. The unanimous plaudits of the audience and critics for his La Rondine (Opéra national de Lorraine), Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci (Opéra Royal de Wallonie), both in 2012, consolidated him as director of distinction. His production of Otello at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires was selected one of the most successful productions of 2013 by international voting.
Other participants of the Gala Concert include Lithuanian pearls of opera Jovita Vaškevičiūtė (mezzo-soprano), Tadas Girininkas (bass), the theatregoers will also see and hear sopranos Irena Zelenkauskaitė and Julija Stupnianek. The evening shall be further embellished by LNOBT's Chorus (chorus master Česlovas Radžiūnas) and LNOBT's Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Robertas Šervenikas.