Our Spring programme has an operatic theme, opening with the Prelude to Wagner’s only comic opera, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. The Prelude introduces us to the noble Hans Sachs and the guild of master-singers, romantic Walther who sings his Prize Song to win the hand of his beloved Eva, and the cheeky apprentices, who mock the stuffy town clerk.
Bizet’s Carmen is one of the world’s most popular operas and introduces the ultimate femme fatale. In the orchestral suite of highlights that include many of Bizet’s best-loved melodies, we experience romance, high drama and exotic Spanish colour.
It was after seeing a production of Carmen that Tchaikovsky first became obsessed with the idea of Fate controlling destiny. The Fate motif permeates the Fourth Symphony, written at a time of great personal crisis. In this work, however, joyful, dance-like melodies ensure that optimism finally triumphs over gloom.