I came to Munich on the day of the concert. After first getting to my hotel, and a nice hot shower, my first task was to find the venue. GASTEIG. And after looking here and there I also found out which building the hall itself was in. The hall was called Philharmonie. After getting something to eat, Stachus McDonalds I was back in time, more people was there, some in gala dress other more normally dressed.

I meet Yvonne,  my Swiss friend, and by a coincidence our tickets showed that we sitting next to each-other. Met more Cura fans later. The hall was not totally packed, it was some empty seats here and there. Then the orchestra members came in, not in a very orderly fashion, but they played beautifully, it is after all a professional opera orchestra.

The sound of a harp, and Cura is singing Deserto sulla terra from Trovatore, beginning from offstage, and coming in singing.
Giuseppe Verdi:
IL TROVATORE - Deserto sulla terra
Jose Cura, tenor Tullio Gagliardo, conducts
"Guten Abend" . He conducts a wonderful interpretation of the Overture of Nabucco.
NABUCCO - Ouverture
Jose Cura, conducts
The other conductor comes in, he gets a big hand from the audience.  And the wonderful aria that Corrado sings in the beginning of the opera Corsaro, is almost perfectly sung by Cura. The orchestra is very good in following Cura and Gagliardo
IL CORSARO - Ah si, ben dite...Tutto parea sorridere
Jose Cura, tenor Tullio Gagliardo, conducts
An ovation of applause, at the moment when the applause is lessening, one suddenly hears Cura's  voice "O figli, o figli miei". It seem to the utterly shattering for Cura to sing this immensely sad aria. A man grieving the loss of his children and his wife. My fatherly hand was not there to protect you, my children dying, crying after their father. José Cura must have really dug into the feeling, a family man himself. BRAVO Cura!
MACBETH - O figli...Ah, la paterna mano
Jose Cura, tenor Tullio Gagliardo, conducts
After a short while Cura came back alone to conduct the overture from La Forza del Destino, a fiendishly difficult piece to conduct. The twist and turns of the music, the different dynamics. But my impression is very good. Cura is a good conductor. Even if this orchestra naturally must have done this piece many times, without a good conductor, they would get lost here.
LA FORZA DEL DESTINO - Overture
Jose Cura, conducts
My favorite aria, conducted by Gagliardo, sung by Cura. A wonderful clarinettist sets the feeling/emotion on the right spot. The best La vita e inferno/O tu che in seno agli angeli, ever. Everybody was overwhelmed by this aria.
LA FORZA DEL DESTINO - La vita è inferno
Jose Cura, tenor Tullio Gagliardo, conducts
Tullio Gagliardo back onstage to conduct Intermezzo from Pagliacci, I could not understand why. I thought Cura would conduct all the instrumental pieces. But then I understand the intermezzo goes straight over to Vesti la giubba, which Cura really being Canio there. He starts on the floor, sitting on the stage. It is really wonderfully operatic
Ruggiero Leoncavallo:
I PAGLIACCI - Intermezzo / Vesti la giubba
Tullio Gagliardo, conducts Jose Cura, tenor

PAUSE

Again another wonderful clarinet-solo starts yet another wonderful aria sung by José Cura. Beautifully done. A masterpiece.
Giacomo Puccini:
TOSCA - E lucevan le stelle
Jose Cura, tenor Tullio Gagliardo, conducts
José Cura starts before we are finished applauding a perfect E Lucevan le stelle, and he launches into a passionate and desperate Addio, fiorito asil from Madama Butterfly. A very short aria, but Cura put all into it. What a concert!
MADAMA BUTTERFLY - Addio, fiorito asil
Jose Cura, tenor Tullio Gagliardo, conducts
What a surprise Le Villi in the program. Naturally I would have love Cura to sing the long aria from Le Villi. But to experience him conducting the Witch Dance from Le Villi was also great. A bit short, though. More, please!!!!
LE VILLI - La tregenda
Jose Cura, conducts
Puccini's music is never more modern than in Il Tabarro, and this is very verismo and dark. Cura actually managed to make this opera aria, dark and almost disharmonic into one of my favorites. Not when I listened to it in the Puccini CD, but here in Munich July 25th, 2003. BRAVO!!
IL TABARRO - Hai ben ragione
Jose Cura, tenor Tullio Gagliardo, conducts
Water bottle to the stage. "It is hot"... "Why do we have to be dressed like Penguins, we should be doing it in jeans and T-shirts"..."Let's give another one, Maestro!" And the he starts with a wonderful rendition of Non piangere, Liú!!!
TURANDOT - Non piangere, Liú
Jose Cura, tenor Tullio Gagliardo, conducts
And as the end of the official program, the Argentine aria from Aurora, the song of the Argentine flag. He never does a less than perfect rendition of the aria. After all, he is a proud Argentine. Naturally it is in Spanish.
Hector Panizza:
AURORA - Intermezzo epico
Jose Cura, tenor Tullio Gagliardo, conducts

BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Extras:
1. Puccini: MANON LESCAUT - Tra voi belle, brune, bionde
Jose Cura sings and conducts, the violinists use their violins as guitars. Cura tells that in Regensburg 2 days ago, the musicians were acting as students (Manon Lescaut, act 1), doing the middle section Ha Ha, laughing. "But this is such a serious place"

2. Brahms: Ungarische Tanz. Jose Cura, conducts I thought it was Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody or something. But in Verona after Carmen on July 29, Cura told me it was Brahms Hungarian Dances.

3. Puccini: TURANDOT - Nessun dorma
Jose Cura, tenor Tullio Gagliardo, conducts
Before Cura sang Nessun dorma he told us that "2 hours ago I got a telephone from Verona, they want me sung 2 more Turandot, so tomorrow I must sing Turandot in Verona... But, you know, I am tired" He did sang Turandot on July the 26th, the day after this concert. He was also due to sing the last on August the 2nd, but  at last the toll on Jose did get on him, so Cura got sick, and another tenor replaced him.

End of concert, but Jose Cura has to do some signing and being photographed for almost an hour, before he can go... It was 2300 when he left, and I and bunch of other Cura fans, sat a long time together in a restaurant not far from the Gasteig. So it was really late when I came back to my hotel. But since I was luckily persuaded by my wonderful Swiss friend to take a  taxi, I was there a bit over 1 in the night. I would have loved to see Turandot again with Cura, this time maybe the complete opera, with the complete love-duet. But I thought, I save money and my poor head... I'll rest tomorrow.

  Bravi tutti!

  Bravo, Jose Cura!
2003-07-25 Opera Concert, Gasteig Munich

Jose Cura, tenor & conductor

Tullio Gagliardo, conductor
This page was last updated: January 10, 2017