This week, David Afkham returns to Madrid to conduct Schoenberg’s epic Gurrelieder. The title, meaning “Songs of Gurre”, refers to Gurre Castle in Denmark. This is a large cantata for five vocalists, a narrator, chorus and symphony orchestra, and juxtaposes magic and myth in a late-romantic score of great colour and power.
Further highlights this season with the Spanish National Orchestra include performances of Haydn’s Die Schöpfung, Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 and Shostakovich Symphony No. 7. Semi-staged concert performances of major opera works have also become an acclaimed feature of his seasons in Madrid and have recently included Wagner’s Die Fliegende Holländer in 2016, Strauss’ Elektra in 2017, Bach’s St. Mathew Passion and Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle in 2018.
As a symphonic guest conductor, highlights this season include debuts with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Czech Philharmonic and returns to the Chicago Symphony, Münchner Philharmoniker, HR Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Swedish Radio Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Orchestra of Accademia Santa Cecilia and NHK Symphony Orchestras. As an opera conductor this season, David Afkham looks forward to German Opera debuts with Humperdinck’s Hänsel & Gretel at Frankfurt Opera and Wagner’s Die fliegende Holländer at Stuttgart Opera.
For more information about Gurrelieder and how to buy tickets, please visit the Spanish National Orchestra website.