All events Concert

Mahler: Song of Lamentation


Esa-Pekka Salonen,


Esa-Pekka Salonen – conductor
Rebeca Olvera – soprano
Alwyn Mellor – soprano
Rebecca Nelsen – soprano
Wallis Giunta – mezzo soprano
Ed Lyon – tenor
Roderick Williams – baritone
Philharmonia Voices


Mozart Der Schauspieldirektor

— Interval —

Mahler Das klagende Lied (original version 1880)

Extraordinary operatic masterworks by Mozart and Mahler close our season in an evening of high stakes and drama conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Filled with Mozart’s effortless wit and ear for melody, Der Schauspieldirektor follows the comical story of an impresario struggling to contain the wilful temperament of two new sopranos he tries to hire for his theatre company. Perfectly formed arias underpin this send-up of opera personalities, culminating in ‘Ich bin die erste Sängerin’, in which the two sopranos sing higher and higher in an attempt to outdo each other and win higher pay. But is all not lost – a compromise is reached, large salaries are agreed for both, and the entire cast come together to caution others against their narcissism.

A far greater prize awaits the two brothers in Mahler’s tragic fairy-tale cantata: they hunt for a flower that will win them the queen’s hand in marriage. But treachery is afoot – one kills the other and wins the throne. Will he receive his comeuppance? The answer lies in Mahler’s masterful music.

Scored for an orchestra of 110 musicians, this passionate masterpiece of Wagnerian proportions is the closest Mahler ever came to writing an opera. Over 50 minutes, orchestra and singers build in intensity and power, until finally the queen faints and the wedding guests flee, as around them the royal castle collapses to the ground.

Need to know

Prices & Discounts

£12 – £58 (premium)

Subscription discounts available; under-18s and concessions discounts available; £8 tickets for students via Student Pulse one month before the concert (limited availability)

Running Time

2 hours, including 20 minute interval

Recommended age

From 7+


Surtitles will be displayed


Please note the choir stalls are not on sale

Box office

Philharmonia Box Office: 0800 652 6717

Change of artist

Soprano Olena Tokar was originally due to perform in this concert. The role of Mme Herz in Der Schauspieldirektor will now be performed by Alwyn Mellor, and Rebeca Olvera will be the soprano soloist in Das klagende Lied.


Royal Festival Hall

Royal Festival Hall

Southbank Centre
Belvedere Road

View on Google Maps

Before the concert

London season illustration

Part of 2019/20 London Season

Esa-Pekka Salonen on stage conducting at the Proms

Part of Philharmonia at 75 Series

Mahler series illustration

Part of Mahler: Songs of Life Series