FSSO with Italian soprano Eva Mei to wow audience
Concert-goers can look forward to experiencing one of South Africa’s most celebrated musicians and conductors, Gérard Korsten. The soloist for the evening is internationally acclaimed Italian soprano, Eva Mei, who will be performing a selection of some of the world’s most famous opera arias. The programme includes is a selection of famous opera arias pieces by Bellini, Donizetti, Gounod, Massenet, Mozart, Rossini and Verdi.
Born in Pretoria, Gérard Korsten began his career as an orchestral violinist and since 1996 he has dedicated his career to conducting, appearing regularly with many European orchestras. He is widely respected as an interpreter of both well-known and rarer works from the 19th and 20th centuries, and commands a wide repertoire in both concert halls and opera houses,
Gérard was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the FSSO in June 2018, the only agreement he has with a South African orchestra. The Board of the FSSO extended this invitation to him to take up this position follofollowing his acclaimed appearances with the FSSO in May 2015 and October 2017.
“Despite having lived abroad for almost 40 years, I always love coming back to South Africa, and I truly enjoy working with the FSSO’s musicians. I have an immense appreciation for the role the FSSO plays in Bloemfontein and in the region, but especially for the vision of their music education programme. It’s an honour to be involved with helping to mentor a new generation of orchestral musicians in the Free State and South Africa,” says Korsten.
Eva Mei, daughter of an Italian family of musicians, studied at conservatory “Luigi Cherubini” in Florence. In 1990, she received the Caterina-Cavalieri-Price at the international Mozart Competition in Vienna for her interpretation of Konstanze in Mozart’s Die Entführung Aus Dem Serail. Shortly after, she debuted with the same role at Vienna State Opera, which marked the beginning of her international career. In the last two decades, she appeared in the most significant opera houses all over the world.
Eva has worked with many prestigious conductors such as Nicolas Harnoncourt, Claudio Abbado, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Colin Davis, Daniel Barenboim, Lorin Maazel, Franz Welser-Möst, William Christie, Daniele Gatti, Fabio Luisi, Myung-whun Chung, Antonio Pappano and Jonathan Nott. Besides her operatic career, Eva has always been very active in the chamber and symphonic repertoire, appearing in concerts and recitals at major concert stages, and also giving masterclasses in Italy and Japan.
This event is made possible through funding by the National Lotteries Commission.
Ticket prices are as follows:
Adults – R150;
Pensioners and block bookings of 10 and more – R100;
Children 3 to 18 years – R50.
Tickets are available at the Pacofs booking office or contact 051 447 7772 to make a reservation.
For enquiries, contact Ella Kotze at the FSSO on 051 401 2342, or visit the FSSO’s Facebook page (Free State Symphony Orchestra) for more information and regular updates.
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