Magdalena will embark on an Asia concert tour. In April, Magdalena is going to prove her profound musicianship and beguiling artistry to the Chinese and Korean audiences, who could hear her live last five years ago. Magdalena tours in the company of the Basal-based La Cetra Baroque Orchestra with the programme Con che soavi accenti under the direction of Andrea Marcon.
She has prepared a truly unusual piece of musical theatre for audiences in cooperation with the stage director, Ondřej Havelka. The Monteverdi program constitutes a unique and significant shift from a regular concert recital to a theatrical performance which will also exceed the framework of so-called semi-theatrical performances thanks to the stage design, costumes, lighting and in particular the acting. “As well as arias by Monteverdi, the first section also contains two works which deviate from the usual concert framework in their form and interpretation. However, we want this to be a surprise, so we will not reveal any more. The second section contains an essentially regular theatrical performance of Monteverdi’s dramatic scene Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda – the Duel of Tancred and Clorinda,” is how the director, Ondřej Havelka, describes this quite exceptional production. Magdalena will sing and play all three characters in the piece, i.e. Clorinda, Tancred and the narrator. It is therefore a kind of baroque operatic one-woman show. “The idea for me to sing all three roles came from Andrea Marcon few years ago; I have already sung the Duel like this several times and I have also recorded it for a new CD. But for all that, it seemed to me that a concert performance with a single soloist would be overly chaotic and that this has been made for a theatrical performance. I therefore contacted my long-time friend and the excellent director, Ondřej Havelka, and the project was launched!”
Havelka said the following with regard to his directorial concept: “As far as the external accoutrements are concerned, we have taken inspiration take from baroque theatre; by that I mean the costumes or the typical shell-shaped lights on the leading edge of the stage, for example. However, Magdalena’s actual performance has been inspired more by the folk actors or conjurers who set up an improvised stage somewhere in the marketplace and told the public stories. They played all the characters with true emotion and at the same time they would alsogo out of character and comment on the characters’ motives and actives,” continued Havelka, who is also the librettist of another of the performed works, Ariadne has a problem. The composer Marko Ivanović took his inspiration for this work from Monteverdi’s aria Lamento di Arianna. It forms a kind of bridge between the baroque works and Luciano Berio’s Sequenza III dating from 1965 which Magdalena has incorporated into the program: “Berio’s Sequenza may sound to listeners like playful vocal improvisation, but in reality every sound has been precisely noted in the music. This is one of the most demanding works I have every studied,“ revealed Kožená.
This “dramatic concert” will be performed in Asia as follows:
8th April 2018 at 7:30 pm Guangzhou Opera House
11th April 2018 at 8 pm Hong Kong City Hall
13th April 2018 at 8 pm Shanghai Symphony Hall
15th April 2018 at 7:30 pm Beijing NCPA
17th 2018 April at 8 pm Seoul LG Arts Centre
The photos were taken by Pavel Veselý during Magdalena´s rehearsals with Ondřej Havelka, in Prague, 20th and 21st of March.