The second Midsummer Mozartiade is set to take place from Sunday 2nd to Sunday 9th of July in and around Brussels’s Place des Martyrs as a celebration of Mozart’s musical masterpieces. This year, the festival stages a new producton of the opera Don Giovanni that is accessible for all audiences, a concert series that presents emerging artists alongside more seasoned performers, and a programme of free events that includes open-air concerts and cultural conferences.
Midsummer Mozartiade has chosen as its mission to celebrate Mozart’s music, top 18th-century heritage sites in Brussels and exceptionally talented young singers and musicians. In a follow-up to last year’s highly successful first edition showcasing Le Nozze di Figaro and the Parc de Bruxelles, this year’s programme turns the spotlight on another masterful opera, Don Giovanni, and another heritage site created during Mozart’s lifetime, the Place des Martyrs.
The Théâtre des Martyrs provides the venue for four performances of Don Giovanni with a highly talented cast of up-and-coming singers, accompanied by the Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, under the direction of David Miller and in a staging by Eric Gobin. This new production invites confirmed music lovers and curious newcomers alike to discover this operatic tour de force in which we can each recognize our own passions and our own reflections.
The Théâtre des Martyrs also welcomes four concerts announced as a voyage across the Mozartian universe: ‘Signed Amadeus M.’, featuring chamber pieces performed by the Quatuor Girard and other soloists of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel; ‘Levers de rideau’, with highlights from operas by Mozart and Gluck sung by emerging artists Juliette Allen, Gianna Cañete Gallo and Raphaële Nsunda Nluti and accompanied by Sabrina Avantario at the pianoforte; ‘Love & Eroticism’, lieder and pieces for pianoforte for by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, performed by top-flight artists Anke Herrmann and Lucas Blondeel; and ‘Rondo alla Turca’, an evening of variations on Mozart’s ‘Turkish March’ played on traditonal Arabic instruments by the Iraqi ensemble Les Mésopotamiens.
The Place des Martyrs itself will be the stage for five free open-air concerts in a festive and family-friendly atmosphere. The ensemble Venti Nuovi returns this year with two programmes of works for wind instruments entitled ‘Mozart in the Square’, whilst the 11 brass virtuosi that form the Ensemble de Cuivres de Belgique invest the public square with a something-for-everyone programme entitled ‘From Mozart to Piazzolla’.
To compliment the festival’s musical offering, historian Christophe Loir (Free University of Brussels) and musicologist Marie Cornaz (Royal Library of Belgium) will be leading free conferences throughout the week at the bookstore Quartiers Latins. In addition, discovery days are to be organized for the students of several Belgian secondary schools during the final rehearsals of Don Giovanni.
In this spirit, the festival’s second edition will once again encompass four core elements: music, heritage, education and conviviality. Finally, in an effort to make its events accessible to all, the producer’s Amadeus per tutti programme will offer free opera and concert tickets to disadvantaged persons through its continued collaboration with the community centres of the City of Brussels.