Czech Philharmonic • Giovanni Antonini

What better way is there to end a subscription series full of symphonies and concertos? Giovanni Antonini has put together a stylistically pure programme resembling an opera gala with numbers by Mozart and Rossini, and has invited British soprano Louise Alder, who performs in the most prestigious opera houses.

Subscription series B | Duration of the programme 1 hour 30 minutes


Gioacchino Rossini
The Barber of Seville, overture to the opera (8')

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
“Voi avete un cor fedele”, concert aria for soprano and orchestra, K 217 (7')

Joseph Haydn
L'isola disabitata, overture to the opera, Hob. XXVIII/9 (7')

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
“Ei parte” and “Per pietà”, recitative and rondo from the opera Così fan tutte, K 588 (9')

— Intermission —

Franz Schubert
Symphony in B minor, D 759 “Unfinished”, Allegro moderato (12')

Gioacchino Rossini
“Assisa ai piè di un salice”, aria from the opera Otello (9')

Franz Schubert
Overture in C major, Op. 170 “In the Italian Style” (7')

Gioacchino Rossini
“Tanti affetti in tal momento”, aria from the opera La donna del lago (8')


Louise Alder soprano

Giovanni Antonini conductor

Czech Philharmonic

Photo illustrating the event Czech Philharmonic • Giovanni Antonini

Rudolfinum — Dvořák Hall

Dress rehearsal
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Louise Alder  soprano

Louise Alder studied at the Royal College of Music International Opera School where she was the inaugural Kiri Te Kanawa Scholar.

Her engagements in the 2023/24 season include Susanna in a new production of Le nozze di Figaro and Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte) for the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich and Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare) for the Glyndebourne Festival. Concert engagements include Haydn's The Creation (London Philharmonic Orchestra/Edward Gardner), Mozart Concert Arias (Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Riccaro Minasi), Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem (Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia/Philippe Jordan) and Mahler's Symphony No. 4 (Bayerisches Statsorchester/Vladimir Jurowski).

Previous highlights have included Susanna for the Wiener Staatsoper, the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich and the Opernhaus Zürich; Gretel Hänsel und Gretel and Marzelline Fidelio for the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich; Anne Trulove The Rake’s Progress for the Glyndebourne Festival; Zerlina Don Giovanni for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Teatro Real in Madrid; Sophie Der Rosenkavalier for the Wiener Staatsoper and the Glyndebourne Festival and Cleopatra for the Theater an der Wien and Oper Frankfurt.

Her recital appearances include the BBC Proms, Graz Musikverein and the Oper Frankfurt with Gary Matthewman, Wigmore Hall with both Joseph Middleton and James Baillieu, the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg with Daniel Heide and the Oxford Lieder Festival and Fundación Privada Victoria de los Ángeles in Barcelona with Sholto Kynoch.

Giovanni Antonini  conductor, recorder

Giovanni Antonini

A native of Milan, Giovanni Antonini has long been acclaimed worldwide for his innovative and polished approach to performing the Baroque and Classical repertoire while fully respecting the precepts of historically informed interpretation. However, the path of early music had not been his first choice of study. He had originally applied to the conservatoire as a violinist, and it was only because he did not succeed at his audition that he ultimately began studying the recorder, and he became a master of the instrument. It was thanks to his study of the flute at the Civica Scuola di Musica that Antonini fully discovered the world of Baroque music. In addition, as he himself recalls, it was a great advantage that as a flautist specialising in historical interpretation, he did not have many artistic models to rely on and simply imitate (after all, in the 1980s the field was still in its infancy), so he had to seek out his own interpretive approaches. He found further support in his studies at the Centre de Musique Ancienne in Geneva, but the urge never abandoned him to penetrate truly deeply into the music and to create his own language, which is now so appreciated for its uniqueness.

In 1985 he founded his own Baroque ensemble Il Giardino Armonico, with which he still appears all around the world in the dual role of soloist (whether on the recorder or the Baroque transverse flute) and conductor. Overall, perhaps the most ambitious project he threw himself into a few years back with the Basel Chamber Orchestra was to record the complete symphonies of Haydn, and to finish by the year 2032, the 300th anniversary of the composer’s birth. The project Haydn2032, of which Antonini is the artistic director, is daring not only for its scope (Haydn wrote 108 Symphonies, so it is necessary to release 2 CDs with three or four symphonies every year!), but also because of the interpretive difficulties of Haydn’s music. “Haydn is very difficult to perform well because many of the interpretive paths can sound boring. But Haydn is not boring, it’s just the matter of finding the key to the correct interpretation,” explains Antonini. So far, 14 CDs have appeared (most recently this September), so the Haydn symphonic repertoire he has already recorded, rehearsed, or prepared has also influenced the programming of Antonini’s concerts in recent years.

We will also be hearing Haydn at today’s concert, which is, among other things, a continuation of cooperation from this past February, when he performed the music of Telemann and Mozart with the Czech Philharmonic and the Czech Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Of course, Antonini does not overlook other greats masters of the 16th through the 18th centuries, whose works he has recorded with Il Gardino Armonico (including the Vivaldi concerto on today’s programme) or performed in concert with such major orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw Orchestra, and the London Symphony Orchestra and with renowned soloists like Cecilia Bartoli, Giuliano Carmignola, Isabelle Faust, and Katia and Marielle Labèque. He also devotes himself to opera; in recent years, for example, we have been able to see him at Milan’s La Scala (Giulio Cesare), the Zurich Opera House (Idomeneo), and the Theater an der Wien (Rappresentatione di Anima, et di Corpo). He is also the artistic director of the Polish music festival Wratislavia Cantans and the principal guest conductor of the Basel Chamber Orchestra.


Gioacchino Rossini
Lazebník sevillský, předehra k opeře

„Kdyby nebylo Rossiniho, byli bychom všichni chudší o mnoho veselých chvilek, mnohý by nepřestál melancholii mládí nebo zármutek stáří, v plyšem čalouněných operních domech by vymřel jasný, lehký smích,“ píše se v jedné z mnohých knih o opeře. Citát trefně vyjadřuje, jak na nás působí hudba rodáka z italského přímořského města Pesaro – perlivou brilancí smyčců a humorem člověka, který svá díla chrlil jedno za druhým. Rossini napsal celkem 39 oper, největší úspěchy zaznamenaly Lazebník sevillskýOthello (1816), Straka zlodějka (1817), Semiramis (1823), po usazení v Paříži Vilém Tell (1829). Ve 37 letech Rossini nečekaně ukončil kariéru operního skladatele, poté tvořil už jen sporadicky a kvůli depresím se na dalších 40 let uchýlil do ústraní.

Libreto k Lazebníkovi sevillskému vzniklo podle Beaumarchaisovy komedie. Děj je plný inkognit a převleků, všechny potíže v milostných zápletkách řeší kadeřník Figaro. Slavná předehra k této opeře je paradoxně vypůjčená z jiného díla – původně ji Rossini zkomponoval o rok dříve k opeře Alžběta, královna anglická.