Well, it happened yesterday. At last, a sold-out concert of Symphonisches Orchester Zürich took place in Tonhalle, a famous concert hall with 1600 seats. I have to say it was quite interesting to work with the conductor Cristoforo Spagnuolo and I wish sometimes in life I was as patient as he was during the rehearsals.
Anyway, it was not just another usual concert because we were happy to share the stage with the famous Swiss flamenco dancer Nina Corti. She had a special place built in the center of the stage. So there are just a few words I's like to say about the concert.
"Nächte in spanischen Gärten" means "Nights in the Gardens of Spain" (for those like me who didn't know) so we began the concert with the famous Emmanuel Chabrier's Rhapsody for the orchestra "España" following by Massenet's Sarabande Espagnole. But I guess the next "Carmen" part made the public sure that the show had just begun. After "Les Toreadors" the orchestra rushed into "Prelude" just before Nina Corti's first appearance on stage. She came out as Carmen and dancing all the way through the following Aragonaise, Seguidilla, Habanera... from time to time accompanying herself with the castagnettes. Every time Nina makes a turn, the musicians can see her sometimes subtle but a satisfied smile. The first part of the concert culminates in the furious Danse Bohème when the public fully taken by the action on stage where the dancer and the orchestra almost became one simply burst out with the applauses after the last chord.
After the pause the public sees a grand piano right where just 15 minutes ago Nina Corti was dancing. The second part of the concert is beginning with de Falla's "Noches en los jardines de España" (this title actually became a headline of the concert) for piano and orchestra, behind the piano - Stefan Wirth. Right after the performance the piano is moved aside and most of the lights are turned off. Only the centre of the stage is clearly illuminated. Nina Corti again is coming up on stage in order to "do the fandango" from Amadeo Vives' Doña Francisquita. The already complex pattern Nina is tapping with her feet is becoming more and more variated while being supplemented with sudden and often unpredictable syncopations. It reaches the edge during the "cadenza"-like sequence when there only Nina and piano (Stefan) are working together. Afterwards we perform Preludio from "La Revoltosa" and to finish off the concert Nina Corti comes to dance Ravel's Bolero, which in a way becomes a great summary of the whole concert.
I'm glad to share these rehearsal and backstage pictures with you.
And I'd like to personally say thanks to Nina, Cristoforo an Stefan. It was a real pleasure working with them!