Innsbruck Festival to Mark Mozart Year with Ren_ Jacobs Leading a Period-Instrument Don Giovanni

Classic Arts News   Innsbruck Festival to Mark Mozart Year with Ren_ Jacobs Leading a Period-Instrument Don Giovanni
Like its more lavish compatriot in Salzburg, the 2006 Innsbruck Festival will be celebrating the 250th birthday of Austria's favorite son with lots and lots of Mozart.

Headlining the festival will be a new production of Don Giovanni conducted by the festival's artistic director, Ren_ Jacobs. Vincent Boussard will direct the staging, with costumes by the renowned fashion designer Christian Lacroix. Johannes Weisser sings the title role, with a cast including Svetlana Doneva, Alexandrina Pendatchanska, Sunhae Im, Werner G‹ra, Marcos Fink and Nikolay Borchev; in the pit will be the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra. The performances (August 12-18) will be recorded and edited for release on Harmonia Mundi; Jacobs's previous Mozart opera recordings for the label, CosÐ fan tutte and Le nozze di Figaro, have been critical favorites and won numerous prizes. For those who can't make it to Innsbruck, the production will travel to the Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden, Germany from October 4-8, with the October 6 performance to be broadcast live in Germany, France and the Benelux nations by the television network ARTE. There will also be two semi-staged concert performances at the Salle Pleyel in Paris on October 28 and 29.

The Innsbruck Festival will also feature two fully-staged performances (August 24 and 26) of a rarely-performed Mozart opera seria, Il re pastore. Alessandro de Marchi will conduct the Accademia Montis Regalis (on period instruments) and singers Laura Polverelli, Kristina Hansson, Raffaella Milanesi, S_bastien Droy and Thomas Walker.

Other Mozart programs include a recital of songs and arias by soprano Rosemary Joshua and fortepianist Christian Curnyn; Ensemble Explorations performing rarely-heard string quintets; "Mozart's Playroom," keyboard music performed by Gary Cooper on fortepiano; two symphonies (including the "Jupiter") and concert arias with Joshua, Jacobs and the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra; and early keyboard virtuoso Andreas Staier in a solo recital on fortepiano.

For visitors to Innsbruck interested in the works of other composers, there will be a concert of English lute songs by soprano Carolyn Sampson and lutenist Matthew Wadsworth; Cantus C‹lln performing music for Vespers composed by Claudio Monteverdi for St. Mark's Basilica in Venice; and English vocal ensemble I Fagiolini in a Spanish Renaissance program titled "Dance merrily to your death."

Complete information on the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music is available at

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