New Year's concert for young people
The Creation is a multi-layered masterpiece that is enjoyed by young and old alike. Joseph Haydn's oratorio proclaims the greatness and incredible richness of earthly existence, with each passage revealing the particulars of this miracle to the listener like a picture book - with vibrant colours, great warmth and charm, and no little humour. One can practically see the birds and slithering creatures coming to life before one's eyes while the seas, mountains and rivers are born as God creates the sun, the moon, light, and finally, man. This matinée concert will feature the most spectacular parts of the work to be heard at the New Year's concert later that same evening, delivered courtesy of a host of excellent performers and conducted by the world-renowned Adam Fischer.
Born near the city of Agadez in 1980, Goumour Almoctar taught himself to play guitar listening to recordings of Jimi Hendrix, Dire Straits and Ali Farka Touré. He performed with various Nigerian bands and was given the nickname Bombino as he was always the youngest. In 2006, he travelled to America where he had the chance to record a desert blues version of the Rolling Stones classic Hey Negrita, written in 1976 by Jagger and Richards, alongside Ron Wood and Charlie Watts (to which Mick Jagger's harmonica track was added later). The track appears on the album entitled Stones World: The Rolling Stones Project Volume 2. In 2009, he released his first album with a Seattle-based record label. The following year, director Ron Wyman made a documentary about Bombino and also produced an album with him (Agadez). In 2013, Bombino released the album Nomad, which was recorded with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys in Nashville. In 2016, he recorded his next album, Azel, in Woodstock with Dirty Projectors frontman David Longstreth as producer (with some tracks featuring the Jamaican-inspired Tuareggae sound). Bombino returned to Africa and his roots to record his most recent album, Deran, in Casablanca, singing in his native Tamasheq. His current world tour brings him and his band to Hungary for the first time.
Lehár: The Land of Smiles
Premièred in 1929, The Land of Smiles is one of Lehár's later works, although it is in fact a new version of his own earlier work from 1923, The Yellow Jacket. One of the key triumphs of the composer's career, this revision came decades after The Merry Widow (1905) and The Count of Luxembourg (1909). Who has not heard the operetta's irresistible hit, the song Dein ist mein ganzes Herz, which even the very greatest opera singers - ranging from Mario Lanza to Plácido Domingo - have fondly performed over the years? The story is about love, naturally, and the thrilling relationship between a European woman and a Chinese man - the countess Lisa Lichtenfels and the Chinese ambassador Prince Sou-Chong - is an exciting thread that, sadly, proves unviable: the generous Asian aristocrat eventually himself helps Lisa, with whom he is hopelessly smitten, flee from him with the man she has chosen: Gustav von Pottenstein-Hatfaludy. The unique feature of Müpa Budapest's production is the international cast: Prince Sou-Chong is being sung by Chinese tenor Yijie Shi, with Lisa portrayed by Armenian soprano Karine Babajanyan, who is already well known to the Müpa Budapest audience. The production's conductor, Xu Zhong, is also from China, while the director is Hungary's Csaba Káel. Grand operetta in three acts, in two parts. German-language production with Hungarian surtitles. The première takes place as a collaboration between Müpa Budapest and the Shanghai Opera House.