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Thu, 04 Apr

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Romanian Cultural Institute

A Peek into the Fascinating World of Opera

Bucharest National Opera House in the Enescu Concerts Series

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A Peek into the Fascinating World of Opera
A Peek into the Fascinating World of Opera

Time & Location

04 Apr 2024, 19:00 – 21:00

Romanian Cultural Institute, 1 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PH, UK

About the event

The April recital of our Enescu Concerts Series brings to London audiences an unmissable event organised in partnership with Bucharest National Opera House and featuring two of its most renowned and internationally acclaimed musicians, soprano Marta Sandu and tenor Daniel Magdal, who is also the Artistic Director of the Bucharest National Opera House. The singers will be accompanied by pianist Alexandru Burcă. 

The programme of the recital, carefully curated, honours the 100th anniversary of the death of the great Master Giacomo Puccini and the legacy of legends of Romanian classical music such as George Enescu and Nicolae Bretan as well as the most well-known Romanian contemporary composer, Dan Dediu.

The event also features the screening of a short documentary on the 2023 edition of the Bucharest Opera Festival and an introduction by musicologist and curator of the Festival, Oltea Șerban Pârâu. The Bucharest Opera Festival significantly contributes to positioning Bucharest among the major cities hosting international festivals, becoming an excellent promoter of cultural tourism. The Bucharest Opera Festival aims to strengthen a platform for showcasing the most valuable opera and ballet companies from Romania and beyond.

Soprano Marta Sandu studied at the National University of Music Bucharest.  She furthered her studies in London at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, under the guidance of soprano Nelly Miricioiu, who remains her mentor. She also attended masterclasses with soprano Luciana Serra, a vocal technique professor at the Accademia Teatro alla Scala in Milan and was invited to perform a series of concerts in Italy. Additionally, she was invited by soprano Marina Krilovici to the Kefalonia Music Festival in Greece, where she attended a masterclass and gave a concert as part of the festival. As a finalist and laureate of the "Marcello Giordani" (Taormina) and "Hariclea Darclée" (Brăila) competitions, Marta Sandu frequently performs concerts both in Romania and abroad. On the stage of the Bucharest National Opera House, she sang Elsa in "Lohengrin", Violetta Valéry in "La Traviata", Nedda in "I Pagliacci", Marguerite in "Faust", , Zoe in "A Lost Letter," Susanna in "The Marriage of Figaro", Musetta in "La Bohème" among others. For her role of Pamina in W.A. Mozart's "Die Zauberflöte," Marta was awarded the Soprano of the Year Prize at the VIP Awards Gala. She featured in the world premiere recording of George Enescu's complete lieder collection, coordinated by soprano Mariana Nicolescu and toured to promote this project in Prague, Rome, Paris, Japan and the United States. 

Tenor Daniel Magdal is the Artistic Director of the National Opera of Bucharest. He graduated from the "George Enescu" Academy of Arts in Iași, studying under the guidance of Maestro Octavian Naghiu-Alba. After graduation, he became a soloist of the National Opera of Iași, making his debut in roles such as Almaviva "Il Barbiere di Siviglia", Ernesto "Don Pasquale", Nemorino "L’Elisir d’Amore", and others. In the early 1990s, he moved to Germany and performed at Deutsche Oper Berlin, Semperoper Dresden, Staatsoper Saarbrücken, Staatsoper Hannover, Theater Klagenfurt, Theater Innsbruck, Oper Essen, Staatsoper Prague, Oper Maribor, Sofia National Opera, and many others. In 2004, he debuted at the Bucharest National Opera House in the role of Radames in the opera "Aida." This marked the beginning of a fruitful collaboration culminating in his appointment as a soloist at the Bucharest Opera and its Artistic Director. Throughout his career he sang leading roles in operas such as  "Aida," "La Traviata," "Il Trovatore,"  "Don Carlo," "Otello", "La Boheme," "Tosca," "Madama Butterfly," "Le Villi," "Il Tabarro," "Turandot,"  "Lohengrin," "Die Walküre", "Carmen", "Mefistofele", "Samson et Dalila", "Cavalleria Rusticana"  He has also performed vocal-symphonic concerts and recitals in New York, Berlin, and Bucharest.

Alexandru Mihai Burcă is a pianist at the National Operetta and Musical Theatre "Ion Dacian" (TNO) and an associate professor at the University of Music Bucharest. A laureate of numerous international competitions, he has performed concerts in Morocco, France, Spain, Germany, Moldova, Portugal, Norway, Sweden, the UK, Italy, Canada, Ireland, and Greece, representing Romania in successful projects that promote Romanian values and culture. In Romania, he performed as a soloist or alongside renowned musicians and artists at the Romanian Athenaeum, within the George Enescu Festival, on Romanian Television, Romanian Radio Broadcasting Society, Bacău and Brăila Philharmonic Orchestras - his hometown.  As a pianist, composer and music director, he has collaborated with the National Theatre in Bucharest in "The Machinery," directed by Alexander Hausvater and with the Metropolis Theatre in the production "The Secret of Doctor Honigberger". He is the music director of "Next to Normal" at TNO and "The Full Monty" at Wonder Theatre Bucharest.  Recently he has completed composing the score for the ballet "Ileana the Brave," a production staged at TNO under the direction of Corina Dumitrescu.

The Bucharest Opera Festival significantly contributes to positioning Bucharest among the major cities hosting international festivals, becoming an excellent promoter of cultural tourism. The Bucharest Opera Festival aims at strengthening a platform for showcasing the most valuable opera and ballet companies from Romania and beyond, on an international scale, encouraging cultural exchanges and promoting their musical and cultural projects. Audiences are eagerly awaited at the end of each artistic season, with a grand display that will include opera, operetta, ballet, and musical performances scheduled over consecutive evenings, featuring orchestras, mixed choirs, ballet companies, dozens of top soloists and conductors, offering a unique artistic feast. The two editions of the festival have brought to the renowned Bucharest stage significant titles from the repertoire of opera, ballet, operetta, and musicals featured in the programs of Romania's most important lyric theatres - the Romanian National Opera Iași, the Romanian National Opera Timișoara, the Hungarian Opera in Cluj-Napoca, the National Opera and Ballet Theatre "Oleg Danovski" in Constanța, the National Operetta and Musical Theatre "Ion Dacian" and the Brasov Opera. Last year, they were joined by the State Opera in Budapest and the National Opera and Ballet Theatre in Belgrade.

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