Festive debuts for Askonas Holt artists

The end of the year may be fast approaching, but the season continues for many Askonas Holt artists, including Andrew Staples, Daniel Lebhardt, Karen Gomyo, Nicholas Carter and Giulia Semenzato – all of whom make debuts over the festive season.

Following a tremendous year, including an acclaimed tour of Britten’s War Requiem with the Orchestre de Paris, British tenor Andrew Staples will make his house debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Andres in Berg’s Wozzeck on 27 Dec. Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will lead all performances, directed by South African artist William Kentridge. After wowing audiences with his production of Lulu in 2015, Kentridge now focuses his extraordinary visual imagination on Berg’s other operatic masterpiece, set in an apocalyptic pre–World War I environment.

Pianist Daniel Lebhardt will finish his year with two prestigious concerto debuts: first at London’s Barbican Centre on 28 Dec followed by Symphony Hall, Birmingham on 30 Dec. Alongside the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Oliver Gooch, Daniel will perform Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 Emperor. Both performances also see Oliver Johnston sing the tenor part in Beethoven Symphony No. 9. Find out more about this exciting young talent in our full interview here.

New Year’s Eve will see Karen Gomyo make her Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin debut, with conductor Cristian Măcelaru, performing favourites by Massenet and Piazzolla, amongst others, to bring in 2020 with flair. This ends an exciting year for Karen, which has included the release of her debut solo album. Together with guitarist Ismo Eskelinen, the recording showcases a programme of works by Italian violinist-composers Vivaldi, Locatelli, Paganini and Corelli.

Australian conductor Nicholas Carter sees in the new decade leading a performance of Strauss’ Die Fledermaus at the Wiener Staatsoper, marking Nick’s house debut with the eminent Vienna theatre. He conducts further performances on 1, 4 and 6 January 2020. Die Fledermaus holds a special place in the Wiener Staatsoper’s season, performed every New Year’s Eve since 1900. A piece of tradition and a musical entertainment theatre classic, the internationally renowned production by Otto Schenk takes the audience on a bumpy ride through all kinds of intrigues, clothing mix-ups and mistaken identities, until we finally reach a rather hung-over happy end.

The festivities will continue into the New Year where Italian soprano Giulia Semenzato will make her Royal Opera House, Muscat debut, performing the role of Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte on 3 Jan. Click here to read our full interview with Giulia, where she discusses her inspirations, passion for Baroque music and creating experimental recital programmes.


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