B’Rock and René Jacobs have often shown themselves to be a wonderful tandem. In this programme they evoke the so-called ‘Academy concert’ in which Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart browsed freely in his own work. Nevertheless, this anthology of opera and symphony parts is not without obligations. In Mozart’s oeuvre, vocal and instrumental music are not separate worlds. Both in his operas and in his symphonies, he was a born theatre-maker.

This concert marks the start of a promising collaboration between Opera Ballet Vlaanderen and B’Rock Orchestra. As specialists in historically authentic performance practice, the B’Rock musicians act as our guide in matters of early music. Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Mea Culpa, with music by Heinrich Schütz, is the first scenic project in which the ensemble is collaborating at our opera house. But first there is Mozart.

In The Marriage of Figaro (1786) and The Magic Flute (1791) we hear arias and duets with Susanna, Papageno and other Mozart heroes in the leading role. Their interventions seamlessly alternate with parts of a newly composed symphony that creates a surprising tension throughout the programme. What begins in the melancholic G minor of Symphony no. 40 culminates in the joyful C major of the ‘Jupiter symphony’ no. 41. With one foot on either side of the French Revolution, this programme leaves us in no doubt about the world in which it originated.

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