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OperaFest returns to Lisbon from August to September

With artistic direction by soprano Catarina Molder, ÓperaFest will make the national premiere of ‘A Médium’, by Gian-Carlo Menotti, and the absolute premiere of ‘Until the death of us’, by Ana Seara, resident composer, as well as in the previous edition.

‘A Médium’, a dramatic opera in two acts with libretto and composition by Gian Carlo Menotti, was first presented to the public in May 1946, at Columbia University in New York. The opera, which can be seen for the first time in Portugal, is on display at OperaFest, on August 28 and 29, at 9:30 pm, and tells the story of Madame Flora, a farcical medium who ends up succumbing to her own trap.

The composer Ana Seara, on her side, presents, in an absolute debut, her opera ‘Until the death of us separate’, from the homonymous short story by Ana Teresa Pereira, on the 3rd and 4th of September, at 9:30 pm. Staged by António Pires, the opera will be directed by conductor Jan Wierzba.

The MPMP Ensemble (from the Patrimonial Movement for Portuguese Music) and the Nova Era Vocal Ensemble, as in the previous edition, are the festival’s resident orchestra and chorus, which also includes the presentation of the scenic cantata ‘Mahagonny Songspiel’, the first collaboration between Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill.

The opera, which recounts the loves and misadventures of the Japanese Cio-cio San and the lieutenant of the American merchant navy Pinkerton, will be on stage on August 20, 21, 23, 25 and 27, always at 21:30.

The program also includes an opera gala, ‘Alma em Fogo’, on September 7, at 9:30 pm, featuring a gallery of heroes and anti-heroes, of good characters who lament their misfortune, and others who rejoice with the disgrace caused.

On September 9, at 9:30 pm, the ‘Marathon Opera XXI’, the competition for new arias, takes place.

The program also includes ‘Lyrical Machine’, with singing lessons for amateurs, classes/debate and conferences around operatic themes. The festival ends on September 11, with the operatic rave ‘Show me the way to the next bar’, a title that refers to the first lines of ‘Alabama Song’, ‘Mahagonny Songspiel’.

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