8/31/2020, 7:30 p.m., Smetana Hall of the Municipal House, Prague
Zuzana Marková, Simona Šaturová – sopranos
Pavel Černoch, Petr Nekoranec – tenors
Boris Prýgl – bass-baritone
Prague Symphony Orchestra
Giacomo Sagripanti – conductor
Evening’s host: David Lomelí
Twenty years is an anniversary asking for a birthday cake. In the case of a concert agency, it will ideally take the form of a grand birthday concert. And for an agency of such exceptional status as Nachtigall Artists, it can only be a gala concert featuring prominent opera stars. For indeed, it has been thanks primarily to Nachtigall Artists that Prague audiences have been offered abundant chances to attend many unforgettable concerts presenting a plethora of internationally acclaimed opera singers, including the likes of Anna Netrebko, Cecilia Bartoli, Erwin Schrott, Joseph Calleja, Juan Diego Flórez, Bryn Terfel and many others – as well as Zuzana Marková and Simona Šaturová, or young talented artists represented by the agency, Petr Nekoranec and Boris Prýgl. The domain of the two aforementioned sopranos is Italian opera of the bel canto period. Zuzana Marková first asserted herself on the international scene in 2014, since when she has continued to accumulate triumphs most notably in Italian and French opera houses. Simona Šaturová has earned critical accolades in Austria as a “Mozartian miracle”, apart from which she is a sought-after interpreter of Italian operas, and permanent guest of several major companies including Brussels’ Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie. Petr Nekoranec and Boris Prýgl rank among the most distinctive representatives of the young generation of Czech singers. Petr has been a soloist of the Opera Stuttgart since September 2018, and Boris has held the same position at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich since September 2019. Likewise on the list of the occasion’s well-wishers will be tenor Pavel Černoch, a singer who has since his 2009 debut at the Bavarian State Opera guest appeared regularly at Milan’s La Scala, the Vienna State Opera, London’s Royal Opera House Covent Garden or the Opéra national de Paris.
The evening’s very special participant will be the Mexican tenor, David Lomelí, who will be shouldering the dual part of hosting the occasion and contributing to the programme as a singer. The reason why we have decided to give prominence here to this particular artist is simple: namely, David Lomelí was the first of the major talents introduced to Czech audiences in Nachtigall Artists’ World Opera Stars series; on 17 March, 2010, he appeared in a concert at the State Opera Prague. His amazingly promising career was subsequently cut short by serious illness. Today David is a widely respected voice specialist applying his expert knowledge in the posts of casting manager of Dallas Opera and casting director designate of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. Importantly, it was David Lomelí who inspired Nachtigall Artists’ founder and director, Mrs Alena Kunertová, to launch the agency’s remarkable project involving young artists. About this, Mrs Kunertová recollects: “When I heard David for the first time, back in 2007, I became convinced it was high time for me to begin to introduce to Czech audiences also young up-and-coming star singers whose steeply rising trajectories were propelling them towards the top echelons of international fame. That decision has since proved right, bringing us the enjoyment of so many wonderful evenings with young artists. This initial step was followed up by the establishment of the Society for the Support of Young Talents. Finally, an anecdote relating to David: It has lately become commonplace in the backstage of the Metropolitan Opera to hear the query, ‘You’re going for a concert in Prague? To Mamma Alena???’... That, to be sure, is a moniker I was given by none other than David Lomelí!”
This anniversary gala will most appropriately mark not just the two decades of the agency’s existence, but also the birthday of the woman without whom Nachtigall Artists would not have come into being to give impetus to what has by now become a long and eventful history of concert productions. On 31 August, we will wish many happy returns to Mrs Alena Kunertová!