04 / 09 / 2021 - Saturday 19:30
Plácido Domingo and his guests
Opening gala concert
The opening gala concert will be a festive celebration of the festival birthday and a showcase of important opera personalities. Famous opera overtures, arias, duets, trios as well as memories of the protagonists who have performed at the festival during its 30-year history. Three personalities will meet on stage to offer their congratulations – opera legend, baritone and conductor Plácido Domingo, who will return to Český Krumlov after 10 years. During the past years the Maestro has not slowed down. He is still an active singer and conductor and presented his 150th role on the opera scene last year. Outstanding opera singer soprano Adriana Kučerová and mezzosoprano Štěpánka Pučálková will perform alongside Maestro Domingo. This festive gala concert will be accompanied by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Eugene Kohn. The concert is presented by Jiří Vejvoda.
Plácido Domingo – baritone, Adriana Kučerová – soprano, Štěpánka Pučálková – mezzosoprano, Czech National Symphony Orchestra, conductor Eugene Kohn, moderator Jiří Vejvoda
Opera overtures, arias, duets, trios (G. Verdi, G. Puccini, G. Bizet, J. Massenet…)
World-renowned eclectic artist. Recognized as one of the best opera singers, Domingo is also a conductor and has been Honorary Artistic Director of the Centennial Festival of the Arena di Verona, General Manager of Los Angeles and Washington Opera.
His repertoire includes 151 roles, an achievement unmatched by any other singer and over 4,050 performances. His debut in Italy dates back to 1969 with Turandot at the Arena di Verona and a few months later he opened the season at Teatro alla Scala with Ernani. To his credit has more than a hundred recordings with 12 Grammy Awards and over 50 videos. He was the protagonist of three famous film-opera: Carmen di Rosi, La traviata and Otello by Zeffirelli. Cavaradossi’s historical interpretation was followed by over a billion people on live TV, from Rome in the places and times of Tosca. For over ten years, since 1990, he has performed in the concerts of The Three Tenors with Carreras and Pavarotti, attracting new audiences to the opera. Since 1993 he presides over the prestigious international singing competition Operalia of which is also the founder.
He has received honorary degrees and awards for his contribution to music and the arts. He has performed world premieres of several operas including Goya by Menotti and Il Postino by Catán. In parallel to singing, he performs as conductor; to his credit more than 500 opera performances and symphonic concerts with some of the most prestigious orchestras and his recent debut at the Bayreuth Festival conducting Die Walkure.
In recent years he has dedicated himself to interpreting the great roles of the baritone repertoire, especially Verdi’s: Simon Boccanegra, I due Foscari, La traviata, Nabucco, Il trovatore, Giovanna D’Arco, Macbeth, Ernani, Don Carlo, Luisa Miller, Thaïs and Gianni Schicchi, performing on the main stages of the world. In 2017 again a foray into the tenor repertoire such as Bajazet in Tamerlano on the stage of the Teatro alla Scala. During this summer, after receiving the Österreichischer Musiktheaterpreis 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award in Salzburg, he returned to perform starting from Italy with an impressive concert at the Reggia di Caserta and then at the Arena di Verona with two highly acclaimed Gala evenings, singing and conducting. Following the success at the Staatsoper in Vienna where he played Simon Boccanegra, he sang Nabucco at Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, after receiving the CC Forum Award in Monte Carlo for his humanitarian commitment, and conducted Manon Lescaut and sang in a Gala Eveing at Bolshoi Opera House. In December 2020 he sang I due Foscari in Montecarlo, the opening night of Teatro alla Scala for Season 2020/2021 and Nabucco at Mariinsky Opera House with Valery Gergiev.
The Czech mezzo-soprano Štěpánka Pučálková is a soloist and a member of the Semperoper ensemble in Dresden. She was born in Berlin and graduated from the University Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria with master’s degree. There she studied under Prof. Elisabeth Wilke, E. Gramsse and J. Wallniga. She is a laureate of the Lilli Lehman Medal (Stiftung Mozarteum Foundation) and received the “Best Female Voice” award from the Concours International de Belcanto Vincenzo Bellini 2015 in Marseille.
She has participated in many significant international music festivals and theatres such as Mozartwoche Salzburg, Salzburger Festspiele, Osterfestspiele Salzburg, Beijing Music Festival, Landesthetater Salzburg, Landestheater Bregenz, Landestheater Innsbruck, the Slovak National Theater, Teatro Romano Fiesole Florence, The State Opera and the National Theater in Prague and Vienna Volksoper. She has performed at concerts in Japan, China, Norway, Denmark, Italy, France, Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic.
She has cooperated with leading conductors such as Christian Thielemann, Danielle Gatti, Wladimir Jurowski, Christine Poska, Plácido Domingo, Alan Gilbert, Antonio Fogliani, Friedrich Haider, Marco Guidarini, Leo Hussein, Roland Böer, Martin Leginus and directors such as Peter Konwitschny, Vera Nemirova, Stefan Herheim, Mariusz Trélinski, George Heřman, Eike Gramss and Keith Warner.
At the 50th Salzburg Easter Festival, she debuted as “Siegrune” in Die Walküre, an opera conducted by Christian Thielemann, accompanied by Staatskapelle Dresden, directed by Vera Nemirova. This production also premiered in Beijing in autumn 2017 as a co-production with the Beijing music festival.
In 2013 she performed at the Salzburger Festspiele as “Lehrbube” in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, an opera led by D. Gatti and S. Herheim.
In 2018 she made her debut at the National Theater in Prague as Charlotte (Werther), for which she was awarded the National Theatre Award for the artists under the age of 35 and was nominated for the Thalia Award.
In 2019 she performed under the baton of Maestro Plácido Domingo at a concert “Mozart’s birthday” at the Estates Theater in Prague. She also performed at the Elbfilharmonie in Hamburg, the Salzburg Festspielhaus and made her debut as Carmen at the Vienna Volksoper.
She cooperates with Czech and foreign leading orchestras such as Staatskapelle Dresden, Wiener Phillharmoniker, Mozarteumorchestr Salzburg, Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra, PKF Prague Phillharmonia, Prague Symphony Orchestra or Czech Ensemble Baroque Orchestra.
She has already performed several roles on her home scene (Semperoper Dresden) such as the role of Pope Urbain in Meyerbeer’s Hugenotech, Sesta Pompeo in Giulio Caesare, Mercédes in Carmen and the 2nd solo voice in Schöberg’s Moses und Aron. In the following season she will debut as Cherubino in Figaro’s Wedding, Muse / Nicklaussee in Hofmann’s short stories, Rosina in The Barber of Seville, Maddalena in Rigolett, Olga in Eugene Onegin and also as Hagar in the world premiere of Thorsten Rasch’s Die andere Frau.
Adriana Kučerová follows up on the tradition of Slovak sopranos such as Lucia Popp, Edita Gruberová and Ľubica Vargicová. She graduated from vocal studies at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava in Viktoria Stracenská’s class and from the National Conservatory in Lyon. She has a number of awards from international competitions to her credit. Among the most important are 1st prize, overall win and four other awards at the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Vienna in 2005.
Adriana Kučerová was a guest at prestigious opera houses such as Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Berlin State Opera, Vienna State Opera, Opera de Bastille in Paris, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires and Tel Aviv Opera. She has sung at numerous festivals such as Glyndebourne, Salzburg Mozart Wochen, Salzburg Festival, Prague Spring, Ravenna Festival, BBC Proms and others. She has cooperated with important conductors including Daniel Barenboim, Gustavo Dudamel, Vladimir Jurowski, Riccardo Muti, Nicolaus Harnocourt, Fabio Luisi and Kent Nagano.
Her repertoire includes several soprano roles. Recently it was the title role in The Cunning Little Vixen at the State Opera in Hamburg, the role of Adina in the opera L’elisir d’amore at the Vienna State Opera (alongside Juan Diego Florez). She also sang the role of Rosina in the opera Il barbiere di Siviglia. She performed the role of Mařenka in The Bartered Bride at the Slovak National Theatre.
As a concert artist in the past months she made an appearance in Saint Petersburg, London, Rome, Stockholm, Barcelona, Prague, Český Krumlov and Tokyo.
Among her new roles you will find Susanna in Le nozze di Firgaro, which she sang in Dresden, and Juliet in the opera Romeo and Juliet, which she sang in Tasmania.
The Czech National Symphony Orchestra
Performing and continuously growing for 26 years, the CNSO has earned an enviable reputation among both Czech and Europe’s top symphonic ensembles. Renowned for its versatility, the orchestra annually presents a broad programme ranging from classical music concerts to contemporary genres, film scores, jazz and musicals.