Berlioz’s ‘La Mort de Cléopâtre’ with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Joyce DiDonato returns to Chicago to perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Riccardo Muti on May 2, 4 & 7 in Orchestra Hall and on May 3 at Wheaton College, as part of the CSO’s annual series of concerts in the institution’s 2,357-seat Edman Memorial Chapel. Following her performances of Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust in Strasbourg, she takes on another work of Berlioz, his La Mort de Cléopâtre (The Death of Cleopatra). Mr. Muti will also conduct the CSO in two dramatic and evocative works about Rome: Bizet’s Roma and Respighi’s Pines of Rome.

CSO Sound & Stories describes Berlioz’s scène lyrique saying: “Based on a text by Pierre-Ange Vieillard, a 19th-century French poet, La Mort de Cléopâtre tells of Cleopatra’s suicide on Aug. 12, 30 B.C., after the defeat of her naval fleet during the pivotal Battle of Actium. She invokes the spirits of the pharaohs and wonders if she has lived up to the great rulers of the past. “Here was an idea worth expressing in music,” wrote Berlioz in his Memoirs. “I had often in my imagination conceived a musical equivalent of Juliet’s wonderful monologue, ‘How if, when I am laid into the tomb,’ a passage that had something in common, at least in its sense of dread, with the feelings contained in the invocation which our French rhymester had put into the mouth of Cleopatra.” In November, Ms. DiDonato will perform the work with the CSO at Carnegie Hall, as part of her second Perspectives series.

 

20 hours ago

It was special for us, as well!! https://t.co/CRE1u1r0ix

14 Jul

Can we have a shout-out for brilliance, please? #shoutoutforbrilliance https://t.co/k85WeodIlx

12 Jul

Thank you!!! https://t.co/ROYLl0BESD

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📺 Watch "In War & Peace - Harmony though Music” on @arteconcert at 5:30pm London time / 6:30pm CET today. 👉 🔗link in bio. @ilpdo @warner_classics @liceu_opera_barcelona 🕊🎶 #TalkPeace #DoPeace 📷: @brookeshaden

🌈 50 years ago. So much progress. So far to go. While I wish I could be there in person to help ring in this momentous occasion, through music, memories, commitment, and connection we can all actually be united across the miles for this day! Hope everyone on the @metopera float sings out loud and clear for me, reminding us all that it’s not about tolerance, or acceptance - it’s about LOVE and EQUALITY FOR ALL! Pride on, People - PRIDE ON! ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜 watch the entire clip: 🔗link in bio.

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I arrive (nearly) to the end of this very full season, and it’s good moment to remind each of you reading this that YOU are the reason I travel the world, away from home for months at a time, working towards an unattainable perfection, exposed in ways very few people can imagine, singing the stories of characters searching for enlightenment/redemption/hope/relief/joy, and why I dedicate a large part of my life to this century’s old art form. I do it to entertain you at a minimum, but mostly to offer you comfort, to help us all join in a communal “event” that connects us across time and space despite our perceived differences, and I do it because I truly believe it makes the world a better place. I know you feel this most of the time as well. It’s likely what keeps bringing you back! I hope that after this season, perhaps you feel a bit more inspired to take what you receive as an audience member and activate that sensation in your own life, to bring hope and joy to the world around you. Don’t ever underestimate your power to do that - one doesn’t need the spotlight to bring transformation. #Songplay #Winterreise #Agrippina #Didon ✨

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There will always be more freedom to acquire and more truth to uncover.

~ Joyce DiDonato