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Orchestra Wellington presents CAPRICCIO

JUNE 29, 2016

Orchestra Wellington presents CAPRICCIO

SATURDAY 16 JULY 2016, 7:30PM

Anna LEESE Soprano
Marc TADDEI Conductor

Capriccio, Prelude and Final Scene

New Zealand soprano Anna Leese is coming from Italy to sing one of Kiri Te Kanawa’s favourite roles with Orchestra Wellington.

Leese will sing the role of Countess Madeleine in the glorious closing scene of Richard Strauss’ last opera Capriccio with conductor Marc Taddei.

Te Kananwa was an alluring Countess Madeleine during her phenomenal career and Leese is looking forward to the glamorous role.

“I’ve enjoyed studying her character and fantasising about this woman's fabulous life,” Leese says.

“The Countess is surrounded by two talented suitors, a poet and a musician. Her biggest struggle in life is to decide whether poetry or music is more important.”

Leese’s previous encounters with Strauss include a performance of the Four Last Songs with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London in the “glorious” Canterbury Cathedral, and the role of 'Echo' in Ariadne Auf Naxos for the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in 2008.

“Strauss is both musically complex and vocally demanding, stretching the singer to their capacities in so many instances,” she says.

Leese is a graduate of London’s Royal College of Music Opera School. She has performed roles with Covent Garden, Canadian Opera, Opera Flanders and NZ Opera. She was most recently seen in Wellington in the role of Elvira in Don Giovanni.

Before the interval, the Orchestra Wellington strings will perform Strauss’ final orchestral work, Metamorphosen, written in the last years of the Second World War. Autumnal yet sumptuous, it is Strauss’ tribute to the past greatness of German culture, and his elegy for its destruction.

The concert opens with Strauss’ last fanfare, showcasing his brilliant understanding of how to write for brass.


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