The first Tosca
Did you know that back to January 14, 1900, the first singer of Puccini’s Tosca was the Romanian soprano Hariclea Darclée? The Hariclea Darclée Festival and International Voice Competition was started in 1995 and is held every two years in her native town Brăila, by the Danube, about 200 km away from Bucharest. Connected with this festival as its initiator is another world famous operatic soprano Mariana Nicolesco.
Romanian Athenaeum – the national landmark
This concert hall is a real music temple and has developed into a symbol and landmark of Bucharest and Romania. Designed and built in 1888 by the French architect Albert Galleron, nowadays is the home of the “George Enescu” Philharmonic and of the George Enescu annual international music festival.
The quality of the philharmonic concerts is very high and the prices of the tickets are between 4 and 15 euro.
George Enescu Festival
The Cantacuzino Palace – a Parisian dream
If in Bucharest, one needs to visit the George Enescu Memorial Museum hosted in the Cantacuzino Palace designed by architect Berindey in 1900 in a mix of French Academic style with Art Nouveau. Apart from the grandeur of the palace, the exhibition displays Enescu’s first violin that he received it at age 4.
The good old world still alive
The Romanian National Opera is another bastion of culture and home to top class lyric opera as well as ballet performances. It is a place to dream and be enchanted. Every time I come to Bucharest I am so much looking forward assisting to a show. The night out at the Romanian National Opera is charming also because there is a touch of the old world. People still wear their best clothes, women in evening dresses, shawls, fans, men in suits, white shirt and tie, discreet perfumes and at the end of the show long clapping times and flowers offered to the main artists.
But probably the greatest of the music divas is the world famous soprano Angela Gheorghiu. There is something fascinating about her. Her undoubtful music talent and crystal voice, Angela Gheorghiu maintains her genuine, human side, promoting the real values Romania and the Romanian nation offer as a true and honest ambassador of her native land.
The magician of pianos
Concert pianist Radu Lupu is a brand name and a must to listen in case you get a chance. Some say that he “transcends any technical or musical issues and creates a certain magic that he conjures up in the air in the concert hall. He manages to create a very intimate atmosphere”. That’s why it is very difficult to capture that sparkle by listening to him in a recording. The experience needs to be in a concert hall.
George Enescu annual international music festival: http://www.festivalenescu.ro/
Hariclea Darclée Festival: http://www.darclee.com/
George Enescu Philharmonic: http://fge.org.ro/en.html
Romanian National Opera: http://onb.operanb.ro
Angela Gheorghiu personal page: http://www.angelagheorghiu.com