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Jonas Kaufmann’s “Nessun dorma”

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Tenor Jonas Kaufmann, accompanied by the Vienna Philharmonic, sings Calàf’s aria from the final act of Puccini’s opera “Turandot.”

♪♪ -Next, on 'Great Performances'... Let's join the Vienna Philharmonic for an evening in celebration of love.

On the podium tonight is Valery Gergiev.

Singing love songs is operatic heartthrob Jonas Kaufmann.

-♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ -Music comes alive amidst Schoenbrunn's splendid Baroque gardens and no concert in Vienna would be complete without a waltz by Strauss.

The 'Summer Night Concert 2020' starts right now.

In the midst of the pandemic, music becomes a necessary medicine to soothe the soul.

We can all stand a dose of romance in these times.

The crowd here in the gardens at Austria's Imperial Summer Palace of Schoenbrunn has been limited to a select few.

Though small in number, they extend a heartfelt welcome to conductor Valery Gergiev and the Vienna Philharmonic.

♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Applause ] The romantic music of 'Der Rosenkavalier' ushers in our evening's theme of love.

In Strauss' opera, there's an instant attraction between the youthful knight and his young love.

All the works tonight, whether from the film, ballet, opera, or operetta world, echo this sentiment, in one way or another.

Next, Wagner imagines the ecstatic connection that lasts beyond death, with his 'Liebestod' music from 'Tristan and Isolde.'

And, speaking of love affairs, maestro Valery Gergiev and the Vienna Philharmonic have enjoyed an unending collaboration since 1997.

Why, this year, the Russian conductor is at the podium for the fourth time, at the 'Summer Night Concert.'

This evening, the stage is strategically placed before the garden façade of the Imperial Summer Palace to take full advantage of the natural amphitheater which rises from the formal gardens, past the glorious Neptune Fountain, to the Gloriette crowning the hill.

♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Applause ] The barcarole 'Beautiful night, O night of love,' is one of the many hits from Offenbach's 'The Tales of Hoffmann.'

In the opera, this Venetian gondola song sets the scene in which the poet Hoffmann falls in love with the courtesan Giulietta.

♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Applause ] Next, the Vienna Philharmonic and conductor Valery Gergiev welcome to the stage one of the most acclaimed tenors of our day -- Jonas Kaufmann.

He'll sing an aria from Jules Massenet's opera 'Werther.'

Based on Goethe's novel, it depicts the protagonist's unsuccessful and, ultimately, suicidal, love for his friend's fiancée and, later, wife.

[ Applause ] In the work's most famous number, Charlotte, the object of Werther's desire, in an attempt to divert him from thoughts of self-destruction, draws his attention to a poem whose words fit his mood of growing despair -- 'Ah! -- 'Why awaken me, oh, breath of spring?'

♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Applause ] Jonas Kaufmann's intensive characterization of Werther took opera fans throughout the world by storm.

The tenor has said he loves portraying shattered characters, immersing himself in their world and endeavoring to make their thoughts and emotions strikingly believable.

Now, marital infidelities abound in the fairy kingdom.

In Shakespeare's comedy 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,' Puck's sprinkling of love potion in Oberon and Titania's forest glade threatens to turn young lovers into asses.

Felix Mendelssohn wrote a flitting scherzo to match the scene.

♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Applause ] Valery Gergiev began his career at the Kirov Theatre, as an assistant to the principal conductor.

His own conducting debut came in 1978, with Prokofiev's opera 'War and Peace.'

Ten years later, he was appointed music director of the newly renamed Mariinsky Theatre and, in 1996, he became its artistic and general director, leading its orchestra, opera, and ballet companies.

Once again, Jonas Kaufmann joins Valery Gergiev and the Vienna Philharmonic onstage for an aria, this one, from Vienna's Silver Age of Operetta, Emmerich Kálmán's 'Countess Mariza.'

In this lament, Count Tassilo, who is stranded in Hungary, longs to return to Vienna -- to the Danube, the waltz, and the beautiful women.

♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Applause ] The original manuscript of Boris Pasternak's 'Doctor Zhivago' was smuggled out of the Soviet Union in 1957 and awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958.

Tonight, Maurice Jarre's suite from the immortal 1965 film will be a premiere in the philharmonic's repertoire.

With this composition, Jarre won an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy in 1966.

His hauntingly memorable 'Lara's Theme' became one of that decade's most popular tunes.

♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Applause ] Continuing in this Russian vein, Valery Gergiev has chosen a piece which was premiered by the Kirov Ballet in 1956, Khachaturian's ballet 'Spartacus.'

This soaring adagio occurs at the moment when the Thracian king Spartacus and his wife, Phrygia, celebrate their newfound freedom from Roman captivity.

♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Applause ] The audience applauds the orchestra and Valery Gergiev at the podium of the Vienna Philharmonic's 'Summer Night Concert.'

There is perhaps no other musical ensemble more closely associated with the history and tradition of European classical music than the Vienna Philharmonic.

And what an enchanting evening it's been, here at Schoenbrunn, despite having only a fraction of the audience present to enjoy the philharmonic, rather than the 100,000 who normally attend.

Still, a few hundred lucky members of the public did manage to acquire tickets through a lottery.

They are eagerly awaiting the last official piece on the program.

In it, an unknown prince, Calaf, falls in love at first sight with a beautiful, but cold, princess.

Any man who wishes to wed her must first answer three riddles.

If he fails, he will be beheaded.

[ Applause ] In the aria, Calaf expresses his triumphal assurance that he will win the princess' hand.

Jonas Kaufmann sings the famous, and most popular, of all opera arias -- 'Nessun dorma!,' from Giacomo Puccini's 'Turandot.'

♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Cheering and applause ] -- 'I will win!'

And win, we must.

Jonas Kaufmann has sung Calaf's famous aria, 'Nessun dorma!,' from Puccini's opera 'Turandot' tonight in defiance of the awful pandemic.

And we be triumphant.

That was the official end of this very special 'Summer Night Concert 2020.'

But we still have two encores ahead of us.

The composer of our first encore was saved from oblivion by the popularity of a single song -- the haunting 'Vienna, City of My Dreams.'

By day a government clerk, he moonlighted most of his life as a composer of sentimental Wienerlieder.

These nostalgic songs in the period before and after the First World War celebrated the comfortable old ways of the 19th-century imperial capital.

Now, Jonas Kaufmann reminds us that 'Vienna, you, alone, will always be the city of my dreams.'

[ Applause ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Applause ] Traditionally, the orchestra bids farewell to the audience with Johann Strauss' or 'Viennese Spirit' waltz because, you see, the theme of tonight's concert, love, also applies to their beloved hometown, Vienna.

In the course of the past 177 years, the Vienna Philharmonic has experienced and influenced the course of musical history around the world.

Even to this day, prominent soloists and conductors refer to the unique Viennese sound as the outstanding quality that sets it apart from all other orchestras.

So, now, once again, with 'Wiener Blut,' the Viennese spirit of love for their beautiful city and the surrounding countryside is apparent.

♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Applause ] -To find out more about this and other 'Great Performances' programs, visit... ...find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

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