Betrayal and deceive

“The worst, the better”

In the beautiful set of the Garden of Nacional Museum of Ancient Art, surrounded by scenographic elements, opera TOSCA by Giacomo Puccini opens this Festival’s first edition. Betrayal, lust, passion, murder – the great puccinian thiller, which Lisbon has not seen for twelve years. This new production is directed by the Portuguese-Polish conductor Jan Wierzba, in a staging by Otelo Lapa and Catarina Molder that promises a more contemporary and surprising reading, with a cast including herself in the leading role, the acclaimed Spanish tenor Xavier Moreno as Mario Cavaradossi, young luso-columbian, talented baritone Christian Lújan as perfidious Scarpia, in the new version for an ensemble of 16 musicians by the composer Ana Seara! The Gardnen NMAA also receives a Surprise Opera Gala alluding to the theme of this first edition - Betrayal and Deception, by Rodrigo Porras Carulo, Mexican tenor on the rise internationally. Finally, a contest for contemporary opera – MARATONA OPERA XXI, where seven selected operas by the most talented young Portuguese composers, with exciting plots, are presented in absolute creation, conducted by Rita Castro Blanco and directed by António Pires, to be evaluated both by the audience and by a varied jury, from different artistic fields, moving way the idea of niche opera and strengthening the bond with the audience of today, with a prize comprehending a new opera commission, to be presented in future editions.

The recently opened, multi-cultural Center of Carpintarias de São Lázaro, right in the city heart, will host the CINE-OPERA Cycle, in partnership with the German distributor Unitel, some of the most iconic filmed versions from great operas, with stratospheric interpreters ranging from Plácido Domingo to Gwyneth Jones, in films such as: Tosca de Puccini, directed by Gianfranco di Bosio, Cavalleria rusticana by Mascagni, directed by Franco Zeffirelli and also, to mark the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth, and his only opera, Fidelio, directed by Ernst Wild.

Also noteworthy OPERA SATELLITE, proposing new opera explorations and challenges, with conferences that explore the central theme of this first edition's programming: betrayal and deceive by Philosopher Maria Filomena Molder, or the great operatic heroines by Musicologist Rui Vieira Nery and a debate on the dramaturgical construction in opera with various guests, or blending opera with other musical genres in Operatic Rave with social distancing, which closes this Festival, in which pop music and opera blend in, with operatic happenings, exciting lyrical mixtures and the absolute premiere of the micro-opera “Prazer” (Pleasure) by Ana Seara , composer in residence, with a dress code and a lot of frenzy in the good opera way!

Welcome to Operafest Lisboa, welcome to the tragic world of opera!