Parlando: The COC Blog


Johannes Debus in Spoleto

The annual Festival dei Due Mondi (Two Worlds Festival) in Spoleto, Italy runs for three weeks each summer and features a phenomenal array of performances including opera, orchestral concerts, dance, and theatre. Both this year and last, our music director Johannes Debus has travelled to the festival to conduct. This year, he conducted the opera Amelia Goes to the Ball by the festival's founder, Gian Carlo Menotti.

Johannes shared some of his photos from Boston with us earlier this year when he stepped in for Sir Colin Davis to conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and his photos of Spoleto, including the interior of the Teatro Nuovo Gian Carlo Menotti, are beautiful to see.



Click "Read more" to see the rest of the photos.


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Johannes Debus in Boston

After making his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood in the summer of 2010, our music director Johannes Debus was invited to return to work with the BSO for a second time this month, stepping in for Sir Colin Davis in a program of Haydn and Mozart April 8 through 12. He was wrapping up his COC tour to New York City with The Nightingale and Other Short Fables when he first heard about the possibility of returning: "I was on the bus to LaGuardia airport," he said, "when I got the e-mail from my agent." 

Although he'd worked with the BSO before, this was under somewhat different circumstances. Tanglewood, a summer festival away from the city, has "a certain spirit, a certain energy," he said, that gives it a special character. This time it would be at the BSO's main venue, as part of the main season, and in a non-operatic program. In a way it would be his official debut with the orchestra. Happily, he has found the orchestra to be warm, welcoming, and co-operative, "an orchestra with a human face."

There were two days of rehearsal before the performance, and before rehearsal he prepared by working through the score at the piano and listening to recordings of the three works. Asked if it is more difficult to prepare to conduct less familiar works, such as the Mozart and Haydn symphonies, he replied that it might actually be less difficult, because the orchestra has not settled into a certain way of playing them and the audience comes in with fewer expectations.


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Johannes Debus and Jennifer Taverner at the RCM

This Friday, many of us at the COC will be getting dressed up and ready for Operanation VII. But if indie rock and theremins aren't your style, there's another place on Friday where you can see our artists at work: our Music Director Johannes Debus (copy for a previous RCM concert describes him as "urbane") will be conducting the Royal Conservatory Orchestra roughly four subway stops away from the Four Seasons Centre.

The program includes works by Fauré, Schumann, and Barber, and features a performance by the winner of this year's Glenn Gould School Concerto Competition, soprano Jennifer Taverner. It begins at 8 p.m. in the high-tech and beautiful Koerner Hall, and ticket prices start at $20. More information about the concert can be found on the RCM website

If you'll be at Operanation (or elsewhere) instead that evening but still would like to see Johannes at work, you've got two more chances this year: he'll conduct the final performances of Aida on Nov. 2 and 5.

Photo: Michael Cooper © 2009

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Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001



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