|The ballet Giselle will be repeated by HBSO in the Saigon Opera House on October 19 and 20 - Photo: Courtesy of HBSO
The Merry Widow will be premiered on August 17 in a production by the director David Hermann, responsible for The Magic Flute, Die Fledermaus and Der Freischutz, with costumes again by Quynh Paris. It will form part of the annual Autumn Melodies festival.
Rite of Spring will be on August 23, and repeated on September 14. Giselle will be performed on October 19 and 20.
In addition, The Diary of a Cricket will be presented twice in 2019, both times for two performances. These will be on June 22 and 23, and November 16 and 17.
And then there will be a visit to Saigon by the Gustaf Sjokvist Chamber Choir from Sweden, conducted by Florian Benfer. This will take place on March 2.
The revivals of Café Saigon and Cinderella will take place on January 19 and April 13 and 14 respectively. The contemporary dance show, Vet Loang, will be performed on May 18.
As for instrumental music, some of the highlights include Shostakovich’s Symphony Number 12 (“The Year 1917”) on April 27, conducted by David Gomez Ramirez, Dvorak’s New World Symphony and Leroy Anderson’s Piano Concerto in C on March 9, and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto Number 4, followed by his Symphony Number 2, on May 26, with the HCMC Ballet, Symphony Orchestra and Opera (HBSO)’s music director Tran Vuong Thach conducting.
Later in the year a major event will include performances of Elgar’s much loved Enigma Variations, plus Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto with celebrity violinist Chuong Vu. The conductor will be Clif Evans, and there will be several other celebrity guests participating (June 1).
This will be followed by popular violinist Stephane Tran Ngo playing Suzanne Giraud’s violin concerto “The Dauphin” (July 13), and Saigon conductor Tran Nhat Minh conducting Shostakovich’s Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and String Orchestra, plus Borodin’s Symphony Number 2, on July 27.
Beethoven features prominently in August with his Triple Concerto and Symphony Number 4 (August 3), and his magisterial Piano Concerto Number 5 (soloist Dang Thai Son), plus his titanic Symphony Number 7, on August 25.
And towards the end of the year there will be Tchaikovsky’s barn-storming Violin Concerto, with Vinh Pham as soloist.
All in all, this is a varied program, combining well-known works and lesser known ones, plus local artists and invited guests, all in the HBSO’s best tradition.
All the concerts will take place in the Saigon Opera House beginning at 8 pm, with ticket prices usually ranging from VND650,000 to VND80,000 for students.