Music Festival | A Night at the Opera, Donizetti opens FIMM

Grischa Asagaroff

This evening marks the start of the 32nd Macao International Music Festival (FIMM). With the theme “Enjoy – The Moment in music”, we are invited to seize each moment and feel the joy and fulfillment that music provides. The festival features 16 programs and 22 performances in total, which range from a light, comedic opera to powerful Chinese music, from Romantic concerts to lively Latin melodies.

The festival kicks off with the opera “L’Elisir D’Amore” (“The Elixir of Love”) by Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848), one of the great masters of Italian opera in the first half of the 19th century. Commemorating the 170th anniversary of his death, Donizetti is known for being a leading composer of the bel canto, leaving his influence on this opera style to this day. He is also known for his comic operas that were of a light and comic in nature, usually with a happy ending.

L’Elisir D’Amore (1832), one of Donizetti most successful compositions, tells the story of Nemorino, a young and poor villager, who wishes to buy the Elixir of Love so that Adina, a beautiful and rich landowner, will fall in love with him.

The second act of this piece contains popular tenor aria “Una furtiva lagrima”, sung by Nemorino as he rejoices when he finds out that the love potion he has bought has worked and Adina returns his feelings.

Known for its simplicity and characters, who aim to mimic real people and their feelings, this piece is a simple and comedic opera. Four main types of people are presented: the poor villager  who has a noble heart (Nemorino), a beautiful lady who claims to want a new lover every day but turns out to fall in love (Adina), a proud and pompous military bully (Belcore) and a traveling salesman who claims to be a medicine expert but only wishes to make quick and easy money (Dulcamara).

L’Elisir D’Amore (1832)

Christian Thielemann and Staatskapelle Dresden

Macao Orchestra

Put on stage by the Zurich Opera House, this two-act opera will be performed this evening and on Sunday at 20:00 at the Macao Cultural Center’s Grand Auditorium, under the direction of highly-praised German stage director Grischa Asagaroff.

Acclaimed soprano Serena Gamberoni will portray Adina, and Plácido Domingo’s pupil Arturo Chacón-Cruz will play the role of Nemorino. These two will join voices to show us the magical power of love through the magnificent melodies of this great Italian composer.


This year’s festival runs from today until October 28 and in addition to the Grand Opening (where tickets cost MOP300 to MOP600), the festival will include other highlights, such as a concert of the four complete symphonies by Romantic composer Robert Schumann played by the Staatskapell Dresden, a German orchestra founded in 1548. This performance, chosen as the festival’s closing concert, will be conducted by Christian Thielemann, the orchestra’s principal conductor.

Lily Hoi Lei Lei

Raymond Wong

The Macao Orchestra and the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra will join forces and present Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 in C Minor. This is considered by many to be the composer’s magnum opus – his greatest achievement – as it is the longest symphony that Bruckner composed and due to its ability of touching people’s feelings and inspirations.

Furthermore, local musicians such as Hoi Lei Lei and Raymond Vong, the 1998 and 2004 Macao Young Musicians Competition in Percussion winners, will be showcased at the Bravo Macau! concert. In addition to that, there will be plenty of musicians and orchestras with a variety of backgrounds and styles who will perform at this year’s Macao International Music Festival. MDT Preview

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