THE TIGER LILLIES (UK)|MADAME PIAF| MIDSUMMER VILNIUS|PALACE OF THE GRAND DUKES OF LITHUANIA|2017.07.26

The Tiger Lillies are back with a new album inspired by Edith Piaf's extraordinary life. 

Madame Piaf, Songs from the Gutter

A set of new songs inspired by the life and music of Edith Piaf. 

"Edith Piaf is the central character of these songs," says Martyn Jaques, "walking the dark disreputable streets of Paris. It does not tell you a story, it is history. Ordinary people understood, and that's why they loved her. It is this popular Piaf that this show wants to revive."  

"I've met girls like Edith Piaf. They're usually described as having borderline personality disorder. They're alcoholics, drug addicts and often prostitutes. Funny that she is today a symbol of French national pride, an icon. It's interesting that when asked about her mother, also a singer (and "part-time" prostitute), Piaf said she could have made it but was simply unlucky. So I suppose that makes Piaf a lucky alcoholic drug and man addict. But who cares - France didn't, nor do I. She was great, electric. She came from the gutter but is one of the best singers ever."

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CHARLES CASTRONOVO (USA)| OPERA UNDER THE STARS| MIDSUMMER VILNIUS|PALACE OF THE GRAND DUKES OF LITHUANIA|2017.07.27

Acclaimed internationally as one of the finest lyric tenors of his generation, Castronovo has also sung at most of the world’s leading opera houses such as the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Vienna State Opera, Berlin State Opera, Paris Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Munich, Theatre Royale de la Monnaie, Brussels, and many others including at the Salzburg and Aix en Provence Festivals. His repertoire spans from the great Mozart tenor roles in Don GiovanniCosi Fan Tutte and Die Zauberfloete, to Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor,  Nemorino in L’Elisir D’Amore and Alfredo in La Traviata. In recent seasons Castronovo has also won wide acclaim for his performances as the title role in Faust, Romeo in Romeo et Juliette, the Duke inRigoletto, Rodolfo in La Boheme and Tom Rakewell in The Rakes Progress. He starred in the title role of Daniel Catan’s Il Postino opposite Placido Domingo in the work’s world premiere in Los Angeles, as well as Paris and Santiago.

Charles Castronovo began his 12/13 season with his debut in Amsterdam in a concert performance of Les Pecheurs de Perles at the Concertgebeouw, after which he returned to the Opera de Paris as Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress. Castronovo subsequently appeared at the Metropolitan Opera as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni. He sang Gennaro in Lucrezia Borgia for the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, role that he will also sing at the Theatre Royale de la Monnaie and then will sing La Traviata for the Staatsoper Berlin. Castronovo will appear at the Royal Opera Covent Garden in two productions during the current season: as Tamino in Die Zauberfloete and in his first performances of Ruggero in La Rondineopposite Angela Gheorghiu. Future plans also include his first Des Grieux in Manon in Toulouse, Faust opposite Anna Netrebko in Baden Baden, a new production of Maria Stuarda at the Royal Opera Covent Garden opposite Joyce di Donato. He will appear in several works in Munich; among them Die Zauberfloete, L’Elisir D’Amore,  La Boheme, at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in a new production of La Rondine, and as Lensky in Eugene Onegin and Nemorino in Vienna. Castronovo is also scheduled for his debut at the Gran Teatro del Liceo in Barcelona as Alfredo.

Born in New York and raised in California, Castronovo began his career as a resident at the Los Angeles Opera. He was invited to join the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artists Development Program and in the autumn of 1999 made his debut at the Metropolitan as Beppe in the opening night performance of I Pagliacci.  In the first years of his career Castronovo built his repertoire with debuts as Tamino in Die Zauberfloete  and Fenton in Falstaff in Pittsburgh, as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Ernesto in Don Pasquale in Boston, and as Ferrando in Cosi Fan Tutte in Portland ,where he also sang his first performances of Nemorino in L’Elisir D’Amore.  His debut as Alfredo in La Traviata took place with the Minnesota Opera. as Belmonte in Die Entfuehrung aus dem Serail with the Colorado Opera, and as Elvino in LaSonnambula for the Michigan Opera Theater. Castronovo made his European stage debut at the 2000 Savonlinna Festival in Don Giovanni. He subsequently debuted in Germany at the Berlin State Opera in the same work under Daniel Barenboim, in France as Fenton at the Theatre du Capitole in Toulouse, and in Great Britain at the London Proms of 2002 in Ravel's L'Heure Espagnole. In the 2003/2004 season he made his debuts at the San Francisco Opera, Paris Opera and Vienna State Opera as Tamino; in September of 2004 at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden in September of 2004 as Ferrando. This was followed by his Italian stage debut as Alfredo at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa. Other significant debuts included Alfredo at the Hamburg State Opera and at the Megaron in Athens, Fenton at the Theatre Royale Monnaie in Brussels . Ferrando at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. A regular guest at all these theaters, Castronovo has since been heard as Alfredo in Vienna, London, Berlin and Aix en Provence, as Nemorino in Paris, Vienna, Nice and Berlin, as Belmonte in Munich and Rome, as Tamino in San Francisco, as Don Ottavio in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Munich. He made his debut at the Salzburg Festival as Belmonte in Entfuerung.

In the summer of 2005 Castronovo sang his first Nadir in Les pêcheurs de perles at the San Francisco Opera, and has also also sung Nadir in Washington and San Diego. Several other new roles entered his repertoire in recent seasons; the title role in La Clemenza di Tito at the Bayerische Rundfunk in Munich, Rodolfo in La Boheme for the Michigan Opera, the Duke in Rigoletto in Bordeaux, and Faust in Pittsburgh. In the summer of 2008 he sang his first Tom Rakewell in a new production of The Rake’s Progress at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; his debut as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor in followed in 2009 in Brussels. In 2011 he sang his first Gennaro in Lucrezia Borgia opposite Edita Gruberova in Munich, as well as first Romeo in Romeo et Juliette for the Dallas Opera. Castronovo also added the title role in Berlioz’s Damnation de Faust to his repertoire in Nice. In June of 2012 he sang his first Nerone in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea at the Teatro Real in Madrid. Among his other engagements in the past season were La Traviata in Aix en Provence and Vienna opposite Nathalie Dessay, Romeo in Romeo et Juliette at the Los Angeles Opera in November of 2011, and Cosifan Tutte the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He made his long awaited debut at the Chicago Lyric Opera as Tamino in December of 2011.

Castronovo has also participated in revivals of more rarely performed works. He starred as Mylio in the revival of Lalo’s Le Roi D’Ys at Toulouse, opened the 2010/2011 season at the Paris Opera as Vincent in Mireille and debuted at the Festival de Montpellier in July of 2012 in Massenet’s Therese.  He also recorded Mercadante’s Virginia for Opera Rara and sang Rossini’s Ermione in Santa Fe. A frequent soloist on the concert stage, he has appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic as well as in concerts in China, Japan, Russia, Sweden and Denmark.

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FEIST (CA)|TRAKAI CASTLE| 2017.08.07

One of the more unusual success stories in 2000s' pop music, the singer-songwriter born Leslie Feist has gone from performing with a sock puppet and calling herself Bitch Lap-Lap to becoming the toast of the NPR set with two albums of cooled-down grown-up pop under her birth surname. As a singer, Feist — who was born in Calgary and moved to Toronto as an adult, with stints in Paris and Berlin — possesses a slurry, flexible voice that at times recalls Rickie Lee Jones.

Feist first attracted notice as a teenage punk singer for a group called Placebo (no relation to the British rock band); she then became a guitarist for an outfit named By Divine Right after blowing her voice out. In 1999, while still playing with that Canadian rock band, Feist recorded her first solo album, Monarch (Lay Your Jewelled Head Down to little notice. (The disc would become a collectors' item in the wake of her later success.)

Soon after, Feist began working with her roommate, Peaches, the raunchy electro-punk singer (Peaches' eccentric live show is where the sock puppet came into play). The two appeared on 7 Hurtz's cover of Prince's "Sexy Dancer" on the Rex label's 2001 compilation If I Was Prince. Through Peaches, Feist met the producer Gonzales; around this time she also joined the sprawling Toronto band Broken Social Scene, and started guesting live and on the group's albums.

Gonzales and Feist began working together on lower-key, more reflective songs, including cover versions of the Bee Gees' "Love You Inside Out" and Ron Sexsmith's "Secret Heart." This material appeared as Let It Die, first issued in 2004 and a year later in the U.S., where it garnered the singer a devout cult following on the strength of single "Mushaboom." Die wasn't a blockbuster, but it has sold steadily since its release, especially in the wake of its follow-up, The Reminder (Number 16, 2007). That album's lead single, "1234" (Number Eight, 2007), became a hit thanks to exposure in an iPod TV ad and an imaginative video directed by Patrick Daughters featuring a cast of colorfully clad dancers. In 2008, Feist was nominated for four Grammy Awards and won five Juno Awards, including honors for Artist of the Year and Album of the Year.

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