Gala: “Reis e Rainhas da Ópera”

Credits Chris Singer

JUNE 10th 2021 - 9.00pm


Diana Damrau, soprano
Nicolas Testé, bass
Pavel Baleff, maestro
Orquestra Metropolitana De Lisboa

DIANA DAMRAU, the ‘Divine diva’, as she was called by a documentary from German ZDF television broadcaster, makes her debut in Portugal in this year’s Sintra Festival. The phenomenal German coloratura soprano will share the stage of Olga Cadaval Cultural Centre with French bass NICOLAS TESTÉ in a program that draws on some of the most famous royals in Italian and French romantic opera. A highly anticipated, in all likelihood memorable event.


Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868)

‘Semiramide’ (Fev. 1823, La Fenice, Veneza)

- Abertura

- “Bel raggio lusingher”, cavatina de Semíramis, acto I, cena 1 (Diana Damrau)


Ambroise Thomas (1811-96)

‘Hamlet’ (Mar. 1868, Ópera de Paris)

“Je t’implore, ô mon frère”, ária de Cláudio, acto III, cena 2 (Nicolas Testé)


Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1920)

– ‘Une nuit à Lisbonne’ (Nov. 1880, Lisboa, Teatro S. Carlos), barcarola em mib M, op. 63, dedicada ao rei D. Luís


Parashkev T. Hadjiev (1912-92)

‘Maria Desislava’ (Mar. 1978, Ruse, Bulgária)

– preghiera “Veliki Bozhe, chui moiata molba”, ária de Maria Desislava (‘Grande Deus, escuta a minha súplica’) (Diana Damrau)


Charles Gounod (1818-93)

‘La reine de Saba’ (Fev. 1862, Ópera de Paris)

– “Oui, depuis quatre jours”&“Sous les pieds d’une femme”, recitativo e cavatina de Soliman, acto IV, cena 3 (Nicolas Testé)


Léo Delibes (1836-91)

‘Le roi s’amuse’ (música de cena para a peça de Victor Hugo; 1882, Comédie- -Française, Paris)

– ‘Gaillarde’, das ‘Six airs de danse dans le style ancien’, acto I.



Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848)

‘Maria Stuarda’ (Dez. 1835, Scala de Milão)

– “O mio buon Talbot!”, recitativo e dueto de Maria Stuart e Talbot, acto III, cena 5 (Diana Damrau e Nicolas Testé)




Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)

‘Don Carlos’ (Mar. 1867, Ópera de Paris)

– “Elle ne m’aime pas!”, ária de Filipe II, acto IV, cena 1  (Nicolas Testé)


Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848)

‘Anna Bolena’ (Dez. 1830, Scala Milão)

– “Come, innocente giovane”&“Non v’ha sguardo”, cavatina e cabaletta de Ana Bolena, acto I, cena 1 (Diana Damrau)


Piiotr Ilytch Tchaikovsky (1840-93)

Suite Orquestral n.º 1, em ré m, op. 43 (1878-79)

-  VI. Gavotte, em ré M (‘Allegro’)


‘Ievgeny Onegin’ (Mar. 1879, Peq. Teatro, Moscovo)

- ária do príncipe Gremin: “Lyubvi fse vozrasti pokorni” (‘É bom o amor não escolher idades’), acto III; cena 1 (Nicolas Testé)

Vincenzo Bellini (1801-35)

‘Norma’ (Dez. 1831, Scala de Milão)

- Abertura

-  preghiera “Casta diva”: ‘cantabile’ da cena e cavatina de Norma, acto I, cena 1 (Diana Damrau)


Diana Damrau, soprano

Credits Jiyang Chen

Broadly regarded as the leading coloratura soprano of the last two decades, German-born Diana Damrau is a regular fixture on the world’s greatest opera stages, like the Metropolitan Opera, the Vienna State Opera, London’s Royal Opera House, Milan’s La Scala, Opéra de Paris, Staatsoper Berlin and the Bavarian State Opera, and at international summer festivals like the Salzburg or the Munich festivals. Her presence at this year’s Sintra Festival signals her debut in Portugal.
Mrs. Damrau’s operatic repertoire encompasses some 50 different roles and ranges from Mozart and Italian early 19th century belcanto (e.g. Donizetti and Bellini) through the French romantic repertoire, from Meyerbeer to Massenet. In Verdi, she is a celebrated Violetta (Traviata), Gilda (Rigoletto) and Amalia (I masnadieri), and in the German repertoire she is particularly associated with Richard Strauss (‘Ariadne auf Naxos’, ‘Rosenkavalier’, ‘Arabella’, ‘Die ägyptische Helena’ and ‘Die schweigsame Frau’).
Besides a busy schedule at the opera stage, Mrs. Damrau has always nurtured her love for German ‘Lied’, a genre in which she brought back to light the tradition of harp accompaniment together with harpist Xavier de Maistre. In 2018, she went on a tour of Wolf’s ‘Italienisches Liederbuch’ together with Jonas Kaufmann and pianist Helmut Deutsch, with whom she enjoys a close artistic partnership.
On the concert stage, a recent highpoint was her performance with the Berlin Philharmonic at their New Year’s Eve concert 2019-20, in an all-Broadway program that she designed together with the orchestra’s chief conductor Kirill Petrenko.
Diana Damrau has been an exclusive artist of Warner Classics/Erato since 2007. Her discography, both on CD and DVD, includes more than two dozen titles. The release, last year, of her ‘Tudor Queens’ recording (with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia/Sir Antonio Pappano) was the inspiration behind the ‘Royal Affairs - Kings and Queens of Opera’ programme and tour, which now visits Portugal.
Diana Damrau is a ‘Kammersängerin’ of the Bavarian State Opera (since 2007), and a recipient of the Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art (2010) and of the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (since May 18, 2021).

Diana Damrau records exclusively for Erato/Warner Classics
General Management Concerts, Tours & Media of Diana Damrau; CCM Classic Concerts Management GmbH,

Nicolas Testé, bass

Credits Jiyang Chen

Over the last few years, Nicolas Testé has been asserting himself as one of today’s leading basses and he is a regular guest at some of the world’s leading opera houses and festivals, like the Met, Opéra de Paris, Scala, Deutsche Oper (Berlin), Bavarian State Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Glyndebourne, etc.
Born in 1970, Mr. Testé was a student of the Centre de Formation Lyrique (Opéra de Paris) from 1997. His repertoire ranges from Rameau and Gluck to Puccini and Debussy (he is a celebrated Arkel), including both the French and Italian romantic repertoire. Among his most recente appearances, one should mention his role debut as Sarastro (‘The Magic Flute’) in Paris, and his Talbot (‘Maria Stuarda’) in Zurich. He’s scheduled to sing the role of Colline in a new production of ‘Tosca’ at the Met in 2022.
His discography includes ‘Fiamma del belcanto’, alongside Diana Damrau, Piotr Beczala, among others, Donizetti’s ‘Lucia’ and two recordings with Sir John Eliot Gardiner (Bach Cantats and Gluck’s ‘Alceste’). On DVD, we can see him in productions of ‘I puritani’, ‘Les pêcheurs de perles’ (which earned him a Grammy nomination in 2017), ‘La Traviata’, both of Gluck’s ‘Iphigénies’, Rameau’s ‘Castor et Pollux’ and Berlioz’ ‘Les Troyens’.
The ‘Kings and Queens of Opera’ tour is the third he does together with Diana Damrau, after a series of opera galas across Asia (2017) and their 2018 ‘Verdissimo’ tour in Europe.

Pavel Baleff, maestro

Born near Plovdiv (Bulgaria) in 1970, Pavel Baleff studied in Sofia, later graduating from the Franz Liszt Hochschule Weimar. He then settled in Germany, where he has developed most of his career conducting operatic, ballet or symphonic repertoire. He has been Philharmonie Baden-Baden’s Principal Conductor since 2007, keeping a busy guest-conducting schedule side by side, which has lead him to appear with most of Germany’s symphony orchestras. In the opera house, he is a regular guest of many theatres across Germany and, abroad, he had engagements with Moscow’s Bolshoi, the Opéra Montpellier and at the Sofia Opera House. In the latter he conducted his first ‘Ring’ cycle, which earned him a ‘Conductor of the Year’ prize in his native Bulgaria in 2016. That same year, he made his debut at Vienna’s Staatsoper, conducting ‘L’elisir d’amore’. On the concert stage or in recordings, he has collaborated with major personalities in the opera world, such as Krassimira Stoyanova, Vesselina Kasarova, Edita Gruberova, Anna Netrebko, Piotr Beczala or Thomas Hampson. With Diana Damrau and Nicolas Testé, he started a regular collaboration in 2017, which includes individual concerts and tours.

Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa

Founded in 1992, the Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa is a reference in the Portuguese music scene.
Composed in a “classical” instrumental configuration, their basic formation is regularly modulated and extended, allowing the Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa to approach nearly the entire orchestral repertoire, from the late 17th century to contemporary times.
Among the artists who collaborate with the Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa stand out conductors such as Pablo Heras-Casado, Kristjan Järvi, Eivind Gullberg Jensen, Christopher Hogwood, Enrico Onofri, Leonardo García Alarcón, Hans-Christoph Rademann, Beat Furrer, Magnus Lindberg and soloists such as Monserrat Caballé, Kiri Te Kanawa, José Carreras, Felicity Lott, Maria João Pires, Natalia Gutman, Adrian Brendel, Sayaka Shoji and António Menezes, among many others.
Appointed in 2021, Pedro Neves performs the dual function of Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa.