Opera concert: A journey through Europe

Turbulent weather fails to deter music lovers from thronging German embassy.


The concert featured French vocalist Sévag Tachdjian and Japanese pianist Yukiko Tidten-Yoshikawa. PHOTO: HUMA CHOUDHARY/EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: An opera concert titled “A musical journey through Europe” was held at the German embassy auditorium on Monday evening.

The concert, hosted by German Ambassador Dr Cyrill Nunn, featured performances by Sévag Tachdjian and Yukiko Tidten-Yoshikawa.

The ambassador complimented the audience for braving the inclement weather, saying he had an advantage of living only a few metres away from the auditorium.

Introducing the musicians, he said both are internationally active and had played in many operas. “I hope you enjoy the music from different parts of Europe,” he added.

“The musical journey through Europe is a wonderful opportunity to show the range of poetical inspiration from where this music comes,” said Tachdjian, who is a French bass-baritone and vocalist of Armenian descent. He was accompanied Yukiko Tidten-Yoshikawa, who has been internationally-active as a concert pianist in Japan and Europe.

The duo started off with gypsy songs by the Czech composer Antonin Leopold Dvorak, whose melodies feature aspects of folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia.

Ravel’s five popular Greek melodies had a flamboyant, sing-song quality to them.

This was followed by slow-moving yet invigorating tunes of Gustav Mahler, which Tachdjian remarked as almost metaphysical, elaborating that it was an expression of man in front of the universe. Mahler was a late-Romantic composer and one of the leading conductors of his generation.

“Every journey has an end and we will end this trip in Italy,” said Tachdjian before performing Tosli’s Italian Romances that speak about love, nature and beauty. The final piece in the quartet, “Good-bye” was dramatic and mesmerising and the only one with an English translation.

Juxtaposed with Yoshikawa’s skilled renditions at the piano, Tachdjian’s performance held attention for both its variation and range. They left the audience spellbound, offering a richly-diverse musical experience.

“It is absolutely fabulous that we had the opportunity to listen to any form of opera in Pakistan and generally, I don’t like Mahler, but even that was an experience,” said Saira Khan, an audience member at the event.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 4th, 2015.

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