Opera Tickets Italy

Gran Teatro La Fenice

Platea B, € 108
Platea A, € 96

Ives / Bellini / Wagner, Markus Stenz

Ives / Bellini / Wagner, Markus Stenz

La Fenice Opera House in Venice hosts a run of concerts under the baton of the German conductor, Markus Stenz, as he offers renditions of works by Charles Ives, Vincenzo Bellini and Richard Wagner. These performances have a varied programme of music that will delight and entertain in equal measure. Venice's Gran Teatro La Fenice is the venue where Stenz made his operatic debut in 1988 and his return there marks another highlight in his distinguished career.

Each concert opens with one of Ives' best-known works, The Unanswered Question, a title that is attributable to The Sphynx, a poem written by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Ives wrote this music in 1908 but he revised it considerably between 1930 and 1935. Therefore, its true premiere - according to most musicologists who specialise in American music – took place at The McMillin Theatre in New York City on 11 May 1946, some time after it had been initially conceived. The work is split into three sections, a trumpet, four flutes and a string section, each of which play in a deliberately asynchronous way.

Next on the programme is Bellini's Norma Sinfonia which the Italian composer used as a kind of overture to introduce the themes he would explore in his opera. Norma is a tragic opera in two acts which was first performed at La Scala in Milan on 26 December 1831. The Sinfonia kicks off in suitably dramatic style with unison chords. The grand sweeps of strings of the opening soon fade, however, as woodwind instruments come to the fore, before the string section pushes its way back to grab audiences' attention.

The final section of the performance focuses on the German composer, Richard Wagner. Sections of his musical drama, Parsifal, which debuted on 26 July 1882 at the Bayreuth Festival in Bavaria, have been chosen to close the programme. This part of the concert centres on Wagner's use of interlude – or transformation – music known as “Verwandlungsmusik” which he used to change the mood between scenes in his drama. At this concert, much of the music is drawn from Parsifal's opening act.

Stenz has conducted Wagner many times before, notably offering renditions of his entire Ring Cycle, as well as Lohengrin and Tannhäuser among others. In the past, he has made award-winning recordings of Gustav Mahler's symphonies. Stenz holds an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Northern College of Music. Given the varied programme and such an illustrious maestro, these concerts are sure to provide thought-provoking entertainment.

image Gran Teatro La Fenice / Fondazione Teatro La Fenice, Michele Crosera