Within their unique series featuring an extraordinary symbiosis of Western and Caribbean music, Klazz Brothers & Cuba Percussion, now dedicate themselves to the fascinating history of opera. Their programme “Opera meets Cuba” reveals a mould-breaking perspective towards the operatic world, blending in perfect interplay well-known melodies of operas with Cuban/Latin jazz. The five excellent artists merge classics of the operatic literature with salsa, cha-cha-cha, bolero, merengue and other Latin genres. Hence, the results are grooving Latin adaptations of famous overtures and arias of the last 400 years from Handel to Gershwin. For example, the baroque aria “Lass mich mit Tränen” from Handel’s “Oreste” is transformed into a Caribbean-buoyant son with 5/4-beat; Verdi’s overture from “The Force of Destiny” is transformed into a thrilling cha-cha-cha; and Verdi’s popular aria “La donna è mobile” from “Rigoletto” is transformed into a refreshing mambo. Next to it resounds Richard Wagner’s “Tannhäuser”-overture in the form of a modern jazz ballad along with “It Ain’t Necessarily So” from George Gershwins “Porgy and Bess” presented in bossa nova style.
“Opera meets Cuba”, released with Sony Music in 2007, is already the sixth album of the highly successful quintet Klazz Brothers & Cuba Percussion and after some forays into orchestral music and collaborations with vocal soloists, this time the ensemble concentrates on its acoustic instruments. The sole exceptions are two musical recitals: Maria Callas’ version of “O mio babbino caro” from Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi” and “Farandole” from Bizet’s “L’Arlésienne” suite no. 2. Both are performed by the “Berlin Symphonic Radio Orchestra” under the conduction of Ferenc Fricsay. In this way, Klazz Brothers & Cuba Percussion pay homage to two rare recordings from the mono era of the 1950s.