The Summer Night Concert of The Vienna Philharmonic is the world's biggest annual classical open-air concert set in the magical Schönbrunn Palace Baroque park in Vienna. The concert will take place on 31 May 2018 and its theme for this year is 'An Italian Night'. The concert is broadcast on TV and radio in more than 60 countries, and thus reaches an audience of millions. The evening’s repertoire is an attractive combination of extremely popular works for orchestra including the William Tell Overture, the March from the opera Aida and the Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana, as well as famous Soprano arias like Vissi d’arte, vissi d‘amore from the Opera Tosca. Valery Gergiev returns to conducts the Summer Night Concert and is joined by star Soprano Anna Netrebko in what promises to be one of the most popular concerts this year!
"O Mio Babbino Caro" (“Oh, My Dear Daddy”) is the only true aria in Puccini’s opera Gianni Schicchi. Performed by almost all famous sopranos throughout history from Maria Callas to Anna Netrebko it is probably ranked within the top ten soprano arias. "O Mio Babbino Caro" has crossed-over into pop music, cinema and television advertising.
International superstars Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón give inspired performances in Massenet's passionate opera, Manon. Netrebko gives full range to her abilities as a singer and actress in portraying innocence, lust, greed and, above all, beauty. It is Netrebko's mesmerizing performance which makes Villazón's youthful passion and ultimate despair even more authentic and heart-breaking. The setting in this production has been updated to the 1950s and the entire opera takes place as if Manon were the star of her own film. Indeed, Netrebko transforms her character from the innocence of Audrey Hepburn through the voluptuousness of Marilyn Monroe into the tragedy of Ingrid Bergman. The work of director Vincent Paterson, known for his work on Broadway and in music videos, is especially effective in creating an energetic and ultimately tragic performance with stunning visual splendor. Netrebko and Villazón, the true dream-team for this opera, are joined by the conductor Daniel Barenboim who leads the Staatskapelle Berlin in a spontaneous and passionate performance.
Baroque music is not the usual province of soprano Anna Netrebko, or contralto Marianna Pizzolato, or conductor Antonio Pappano, or the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Roma, so the listener might approach this tribute to the 300th anniversary of Giovanni Battista Pergolesi with some skepticism, but the performers do a terrific job. The orchestra uses modern instruments, so this is never going to be mistaken for a recording by Baroque specialists, but everyone involved approaches the challenge with such sensitivity and such evident excitement that listeners who don't demand absolute adherence to cutting-edge developments in early music practice are likely to be swept up.