Festive coloratura, baroque splendour and belcanto bravura are the key ingredients in the 2019 New Year's concert that will trace a wide musical arc, from Georg Friedrich Händel to Mozart, Bellini and Donizetti to the noted film composer Nino Rota.

In the Concerto grosso, opus 6, HWV 318 by Georg Friedrich Händel and Mozart's Serenade in D, KV 239, known as the 'Serenata notturna', soloists from the Opera Vlaanderen Symphony Orchestra will have the opportunity to showcase their instrumental mastery. Vocally, as well, Händel and (the young) Mozart are well matched duelling partners, with, respectively, the aria Rejoice greatly from the Messiah and the virtuoso motet Exsultate, jubilate, originally written for Richard Strauss (1864-1949).

This concert's varied musical journey takes us further via legendary belcanto scores by Donizetti and Bellini to 20th century work that flirts with pastiche and retro styles. For example, for the film The Tocher (1936), Benjamin Britten adapted music by Gioachino Rossini in his suite Soirées musicales. Nino Rota wrote a scintillating symphonic score to Luchino Visconti's Il Gattopardo (1963), which pays tribute to Giuseppe Verdi and the heyday of Italian romanticism.

The dynamic Italian maestro Federico Guglielmo will lead this ebullient concert with aplomb. The vocal fireworks will be provided by the Italian soprano Francesca Aspromonte, a prominent performer of the baroque and classical repertoire. It promises to be a lively and toe-tapping launch for the year 2019!

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