For this edition of the Venice Concerto di Capodanno (New Year’s Concert) in 2006, the legendary Kurt Masur steps up to the podium at the magnificent Teatro La Fenice—the “phoenix” that had risen from the ashes of a recent fire to reopen in all its glory just three years earlier.
The stirring, ebullient program begins with the overture from Verdi’s La forza del destino (The Force of Destiny), immediately recognizable from the first measure with its famed motif of fate knocking at the door. Strains of the most sublime operas by Puccini, Mozart, and Donizetti fill the hall next, before Verdi returns for the grand finale.
Alongside Maestro Masur, soprano Fiorenza Cedolins and tenor Joseph Calleja are the guests of honor at the Italian-flavored opera extravaganza, interpreting beloved arias with assurance and emotion: marvel at the poignant power of “Una furtiva lagrima” (A furtive tear) from Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore and then stand up and join the chorus for “Libiamo ne’ lieti calici,” the beloved drinking song from Verdi’s La Traviata!
Liliana Cavani (stage director), Riccardo Muti (conductor) – With Salvatore Licitra (Riccardo), Maria Guleghina (Amelia) – Teatro alla Scala