Maks Emanuel Cenčić is considered to be one of the most fascinating and versatile singers of today. He gained his fame by singing baroque music – technically brilliant and yet at the same time emotionally interesting and in a modern manner. He performed in leading world Opera houses (from the Vienna State Opera to Carnegie Hall in New York) and worked with some of the greatest conductors that have specialised in baroque music. At the beginning of his career, he sang with the Vienna Boys Choir where he earned the title of a “wonder child“.
He decided to mark his 35th artistic anniversary with a festive concert performance of Orfeo ed Euridice by Christoph Willibald Gluck with Nikša Bareza as conductor on Thursday, September 21, 2017 at the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb where he commenced his professional journey singing in numerous child roles.
After the performance there will be an interview with Maks Emanuel Cenčić who was absent from the Croatian music stage for quite a long time led by the music editor Zlatko Madžar. There will also be an exhibition and video projections of his most successful opera creations.
The following evening, on September 22, 2017, there will be a re-run of this concert performance of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice with the same conductor but the role of Orfeo will be sung by the national principal of the Opera of the CNT in Zagreb Dubravka Šeparović Mušović.
Cenčić had been absent from Croatia for quite a long period of time and the announced concert at the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb for him is a deeply emotional experience: Today, after 35 years I return to the stage that for me used to be my entire world. Of course, when I was a child it was extremely exciting for me to perform in an opera theatre. But, this is not the only reason! Already as a four-year old boy, I came to the CNT in Zagreb and fell in love with music, the stage, theatre, Ballet, etc. For me, the entire artistic ensemble of the CNT was like a magic island to which I was coming every day to watch rehearsals and premieres as if intoxicated. Opera, theatre and ballet, but also the fascination with the technical parts, the transformation of artists and their costumes left on me a huge impression and shaped me in my youth. Therefore, my return to Zagreb in order to celebrate my 35th artistic anniversary for me has also a significant symbolic value. Together with the entire Opera ensemble, Orchestra, Choir and singers I wish to express my highest respect for artistic work and gratitude with my performance. Let the Croatian National Theatre always be a place of beauty and truth!
The Zagreb Opera with this concert performance of Orfeo ed Euridice by Christoph Willibald Gluck continues its critical-creative approach to works that are performed on its stage. This version of Orfeo ed Euridice will be the same version of the world opening night in 1762 at the Vienna Burgtheater with Gluck himself as the conductor. This version is significantly different from the later versions that underwent numerous adaptations by Gluck himself as well as by some other composers.
In the version that had been staged in Zagreb the title role of Orfeo was sung by an alto, a version which Gluck prepared 12 years after the world premiere for the Parisian opening night in 1774. In the Zagreb version Orfeo was sung by Božica Čajkovac Servan, Marijana Radev, Majda Radič, Badema Sokolović, Nada Puttar Gold and Ruža Pospiš Baldani. The score varies throughout the different versions, but what is most interesting is that music in various adaptations underwent diverse tempos and continuo compositions that were made by Gluck himself. Maestro Bareza with the assistance of Maksimilijan Cenčić, who is an excellent connoisseur of the original version of Gluck’s Orfeo composed for a countertenor, will offer our visitors for the first time, the original version that was created 250 years ago.