Project Description

「East of La Mancha」:

紀念塞萬提斯逝世400週年音樂會

地點:香港大會堂 劇院
日期:9/11/2016 (三) 7:30PM

“East of La Mancha ” 《堂吉訶德所啟發的歌曲演唱會》由Musica Viva 非凡美樂主辦,盧景文教授在西班牙語社區的邀請下執導。香港著名歌劇演唱家將演唱一個世紀、奔放激情的堂德訶德主題作品。作品包括西班牙查瑞拉小輕歌劇和法國藝術歌曲。音樂會由兩間領事館舉辦,BBVA銀行及 Johnson Electric贊助,屆時將演唱在港從未演出過的歌曲。

音樂會節目有 Jules Massenet 的 Don Quichotte 歌劇和百老匯音樂劇 Man of La Mancha 的選段、Maurice Ravel 和 Jacques Ibert 的聲樂套曲,更有Ruperto Chapí、Francisco Asenjo Barbieri, Rodolfo Halffter所作的西班牙文曲目。

塞萬提斯和莎士比亞的死亡只相距一天,正正就是400年前的1616年。就如同莎士比亞一樣,塞萬提斯不單代表自己國家的文學,更代表整個語言的文學。《堂吉訶德》是個不受時空所限的故事,內裡講述一個年老、誠實但又有點瘋狂的遊俠和他忠心的僕人Sancho的故事。那裡是個只要敢想願望就會成真的世界,作品對讀者甚至其他藝術家都有不可取替的豔力。這故事啟發了無數的畫作、劇目、電影、歌劇、芭蕾和器樂及歌唱表演。我們很高興能將其中一些最精彩的部份在我們的 “Año cervantino en Hong Kong” 中帶給香港觀眾。

塞萬提斯由整個西班牙語世界分享。此音樂會將包括Rodolfo Halffter 的作品,都是 第一次在香港演出的。他本人就正正在新舊世界都居住及作過曲。

Musical Viva 非凡美樂今年已舉辦了兩個莎士比亞主題的歌劇和音樂會演出。「我們非常高興有這個機會。在西班牙語社區的支持下,得以將我們的歌曲表演帶到和莎士比亞同年代中的西班牙。我們更得以與香港觀眾分享塞萬提斯如何在多個世紀中影響音樂的發展。領事館和贊助商的支持使我們能探索這些美好的音樂,這些音樂很少在這裡演出。」

Cervantes 400在香港的慶祝活動包括創設 “Cervantes Schools Book Prize”,表揚優秀西班牙語的中學生,及出版 Quixotica: Poems East of La Mancha詩選,收集香港及亞洲詩人受堂吉訶德啟發而作的詩歌,音樂會上更會朗讀其中選段。

曲目

MIGUEL DE CERVANTES
Reading from ‘Don Quixote’
Nicole Garbellini
MAURICE RAVEL
Trois chansons de Don Quichotte à Dulcinée
Chanson romanesque
Chanson épique
Chanson à boire
錢深銘,男中音
黃歷琛,鋼琴

The first sound film of Don Quixote was the 1933 adaptation by Georg Wilhelm Pabst, starring the great Russian bass Feodor Chaliapin. Pabst commissioned five different composers—Jacques Ibert, Maurice Ravel, Marcel Delannoy, Manuel de Falla and Darius Milhaud—to write a song series for Chaliapin to perform in the film, without informing any of the composers that the others had also been approached.

Maurice Ravel’s “Don Quichotte a Dulcinée” would be his last composition; it was in fact written from his sick-bed. He was however too ill to meet the deadline, and Ibert’s submission (performed later in this programme) was chosen instead. The result strained the friendship between the two composers and Ravel considered suing the producers. But Ravel’s three songs have their debut anyway the following year, sung by baritone Martial Singher at Paris’s Théâtre du Châtelet.

In “Chanson romanesque”, Don Quixote proclaims his love for Dulcinea by swearing to grant her every wish, or die in the attempt. In “Chanson épique”, Don Quixote solemnly prays to Saint Michel to aid in his defence of his lady and asks that his blade be blessed by a beam from Heaven: D’un rayon du ciel bénissez ma lame. The last, “Chanson à boire”, is a buoyant drinking song: Je bois à la joie! — “I drink to joy!”

Ravel (1875-1937) came from the Pays basque near the Spanish border; his mother had grown up in Madrid. The influence of Spain is evident in these songs.

LOCAL POETS
Reading from ‘Quixotica: Poems East of La Mancha’
Nicole Garbellini

A collection of poems by both award-winning and emerging poets from Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines and beyond, Quixotica illustrates how Don Quixote continues to inspire and illuminate across oceans and centuries.

This evening’s selections are from some of Hong Kong’s best-known English-language poets. These include a cycle of three poems by Viki Holmes in which she re-imagines Dulcinea. followed by three poems by Page Richards (“An offering to the one who properly goes mad”), Kate Rogers (“My father and Don Quixote”) and Tammy Ho Lai-Ming (“Books as wild grass”), in which the themes of Don Quixote are brought forward to illuminate the present-day.

RODOLFO HALFFTER
Tres epitafios
Para la sepultura de Don Quijote
Para la sepultura de Dulcinea
Para la sepultura de Sancho Panza
非凡美樂合唱小組
孫子承,合唱指揮

Spanish composer Rodolfo Halffter (1900- 1987), hailing from a family whose members remain musically active today, was Music Secretary for the Propaganda Ministry in the 1930s Republican Government. After the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) he went into exile to Mexico, where he lived until his death in 1987. His brother Ernesto, also a composer, had been on the other side, and stayed in Spain. Halffter was able to return to Spain from the 1960s and in 1986 was awarded Spain’s Premio Nacional de Música.

Hallfter was not alone in being exiled to Mexico, where Cervantes became one of the expatriates’ cultural touchstones. The text for Halffter’s “Three epitaphs” comes from imagined, and somewhat ironic, funerary inscriptions in the novel itself. They are labelled “Para la sepultura de” (“For the tomb of”) Don Quijote, Dulcinea and Sancho Panza respectively.

It isn’t possible to separate Halffter’s opus from the effects of his exile. This work harks back to the solidity of a sixteenth-century Spain — including references to music of the period — as a comment on the regime from which the composer had been exiled.

JULES MASSENET
Scènes de l’opéra ‘Don Quichotte’
Aire de Dulcinée: Quand la femme a vingt ans
Aire de Don Quichotte: Quand apparaissent les étoiles
Duo: Don Quichotte et la belle Dulcinée (Et c’est dans la fleur… dans la fleur de tes lèvres!)
連皓忻,女中音
杜洛沙,男中音
納塔利亞.托卡,鋼琴

Composed towards the end of his life, Don Quichotte is the last of the operas of Jules Massenet (1842-1912) that is performed with any regularity. In Massenet’s version of the story, the farm girl Aldonza of the original novel becomes the far less simple Dulcinée, a flirtatious local beauty. As is sometimes the case, art imitated life: Massenet, who was 67 was in love with Lucy Arbell who sang Dulcinée at the first performance. The role of Don Quichotte was specifically conceived for Feodor Chaliapin who starred in the film more than twenty years later.

In “Quand la femme a vingt ans” (“When a woman is twenty”) Dulcinée sings that riches and tributes are very well, but that le temps d’amour s’enfuit—the time for love is fleeting.

Don Quichotte’s ode to Dulcinée is “Quand apparaissent les étoiles”(“When the stars appear, when night veils the land from the depths of the heavens, I pray to your eyes!”) Dulcinée then appears for a duet that has no counterpart in the novel. Don Quichotte sings to her poetically of la fleur de tes lèvres!—“the flowers of your lips”—and she flirts with him encouragingly, enjoying the attention and finally sends him off on a quest, as a preuve d’amour…—“test of love”.

MIGUEL DE CERVANTES
Reading from ‘Don Quixote’
Nicole Garbellini
RUPERTO CHAPÍ
En el cielo de Oriente la luna raya
from the Zarzuela ‘La Venta de Don Quijote’
黃加恩,男高音
黃歷琛,鋼琴

Ruperto Chapí (1851-1909) was one of the foremost composers of the Spanish national op- era known as zarzuela. Reportedly the composer’s favourite of his many zarzuelas, with a libretto from his frequent collaborator Carlos Fernández Shaw, the one-act La venta de Don Quijote takes place in a mill. Present are a priest, his niece, a barber and the housekeeper of a certain Alonso Quijano who had vanished from his house a few days earlier in the company of his friend Sancho Panza. Who should arrive shortly but Don Alonso, now Don Quixote, with his “squire” Sancho, mistaking the mill for a castle and the landlady for a spellbound princess. Cervantes himself is a guest at the inn, and witness to the scene which inspires him to write his great novel.

In the short aria En el cielo de Oriente la luna raya (“The moon shines in the Eastern sky”), a shepherd offstage sings how the face of one the girls of the village resembles the moon. While short, the piece is an excellent introduction to the particular rhythms of Spanish zarzuela.

FRANCISCO ASENJO BARBIERI
Quien menoscabe mis bienes
Ovillejo from incidental music to the drama ‘Don Quijote de la Mancha’
黃加恩,男高音
黃歷琛,鋼琴

In 1861, the Real Academia Española commissioned successful playwright Ventura de la Vega to produce a new theatrical version of Don Quijote de la Mancha to be performed on the anniversary of Cervantes’s death. The composer Francisco Asenjo Barbieri (1823-94), another great name of Spanish zarzuela, provided one musical number for each act.

The romantic tenor aria “¿Quién menoscaba mis bienes?”, sung by the character Cardenas in Act I, is a love poem taken from the novel. It takes the form of an ovillejo: three pairs of rhyming long and short lines (known as pies quebrados, or “broken feet”) followed by a rhyming quatrain. Cardenas is a love-lorn poet found barefoot and bedraggled by Don Quixote and Sancho, pining for Luscinda.

LOCAL POETS
Reading from ‘Quixotica: Poems East of La Mancha’
Nicole Garbellini

A collection of poems by both award-winning and emerging poets from Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines and beyond, Quixotica illustrates how Don Quixote continues to inspire and illuminate across oceans and centuries.

This evening’s selections are from some of Hong Kong’s best-known English-language poets. These include a cycle of three poems by Viki Holmes in which she re-imagines Dulcinea. followed by three poems by Page Richards (“An offering to the one who properly goes mad”), Kate Rogers (“My father and Don Quixote”) and Tammy Ho Lai-Ming (“Books as wild grass”), in which the themes of Don Quixote are brought forward to illuminate the present-day.

JACQUES IBERT
Quatre chansons de Don Quichotte
Chanson du départ
Chanson a Dulcinée
Chanson du Duc
Chanson de la mort
杜洛沙,男中音
納塔利亞.托卡,鋼琴

These four songs by French composer Jacques Ibert (1890-1962) went on to feature in the 1933 film, starring Chaliapin.

The text for the first, “Chanson du départ” (“Song for the departure of Don Quixote”) is by sixteenth-century poet Pierre de Ronsard. It tells of a castle and knightly virtue and has deliberate antique flourishes. The other three songs have texts by contemporaneous poet Alexandre Arnoux. In the “Chanson à Dulcinée”, Don Quixote sings about being apart from Dulcinea. He continues his praise of Dulcinea in the “Chanson du duc” (“Song for the Duke”). And in “Chanson de la mort” (“Song of Death”), he implores Sancho not to cry for him: Ne pleure pas Sancho, ne pleure pas, mon bon.

MITCH LEIGH
Selections from the Musical ‘Man of La Mancha’
I, Don Quixote
Aldonza
Dulcinea
What do you want of me?
The Impossible Dream
黃華裳,女高音
錢深銘,男中音
黃歷琛,鋼琴

This Broadway musical, with music from Mitch Leigh (1928-2014), is based on Dale Wasserman’s teleplay I, Don Quixote. It takes the form of a play within a play, with the author Miguel de Cervantes having been thrown in prison. The recital concludes with the best known selections from this ever-popular example of musical theatre.

In “I, Don Quixote”, the elderly knight sings of his duty: “I am I, Don Quixote the Lord of La Mancha; my destiny calls and I go…” In “Aldonza”, the object of Don Quixote’s chivalric affections protests that “I am not your lady! I am not any kind of a lady! I was spawned in a ditch by a mother who left me there…”

In “Dulcinea”, Don Quixote sings to Aldonza, who is still trying to convince him of her true identity: “Dulcinea… Dulcinea… I see heaven when I see thee, Dulcinea…” She protests in “What Do You Want Of Me?” and asks Don Quixote “Why try to be what nobody can be?”

And no concert would be complete without “The Impossible Dream”. Aldonza asks “Why do you do these things?” and Don Quixote famously replies “To dream the impossible dream, to fight the unbeatable foe, to bear with unbearable sorrow, to run where the brave dare not go…”

The set ends with the duet, “Odi l’aura che dolce sospira” from the azione teatrale, La pace fra la virtù e la bellezza (theatrical action: The Peace brtween Virtue and Beauty) of 1738. Here, Beethoven exquisitely depicts the rustling breezes and roaring waves in the piano. Against this backdrop, the singers echo one another of the delight and sorrow brought by love.

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