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Bizet’s Spain Summer 2024

A call to adventure and imagination, this program evokes the sensual soul of Bizet’s Spain, as embodied by Carmen, and its more ethereal side in Rodrigo’s fabled Concierto de Aranjuez, performed by Miloš, one of today’s most celebrated classical guitarists. Mel Bonis, a contemporary of Ravel, pays homage to mythological heroines with her sensitive, yet orientalist depiction of Salomé.


Rafael Payare, conductor

Miloš, Guitar

Emily Sierra, mezzo-soprano


Gioacchino Rossini, L’italiana in Algeri: “Overture”  (9 min)

Maurice Ravel, Cinq mélodies populaires grecques (8 min)

George Bizet, Carmen, excerpts (19 min)

Mel Bonis, Salomé, op. 100 (4 min)

Joaquín Rodrigo, Concierto de Aranjuez (21 min)

Without intermission

Total duration65minutes

Rafael Payare

Music Director

Rafael Payare’s prodigious musicianship, technical brilliance and charismatic presence on the podium have made him one of the world’s most sought-after conductors. A graduate of the celebrated El Sistema music education program in Venezuela, Mr. Payare began his formal conducting studies in 2004 with José Antonio Abreu. Since winning the prestigious Malko International Competition for Young Conductors in Denmark in 2012, Maestro Payare’s career has advanced rapidly. Since 2015, he has served as Principal Conductor of the Castleton Festival, founded by his mentor the late Lorin Maazel. He was Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Ulster Orchestra from 2014 to 2019 and in 2019, took up the position of Music Director of the San Diego Symphony. In recent years, Rafael Payare has conducted many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, including those of New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Zurich, Berlin, Vienna, London, Munich, Chicago and Paris. He has also made important opera debuts at the Glyndebourne Festival, Stockholm’s Royal Swedish Opera, the Royal Danish Opera, and most recently at London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. In the 2022-2023 season, Payare became the ninth Music Director in the history of the OSM.

To consult:
Long biography



One of the world’s most celebrated guitarists, MILOŠ began his career in 2011 with the release of his debut album Mediterraneo on Deutsche Grammophon.

Now exclusive to SONY Classical, MILOŠ’s new album, Baroque, presents a selection of works transcribed and arranged for the guitar, both solo and in collaboration with Jonathan Cohen and his ensemble, Arcangelo.

MILOŠ has appeared as a soloist with some of the world’s greatest orchestras: London and LA Philharmonics, Atlanta Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Orquesta Nacional de España, Santa Cecilia Rome and NHK Tokyo.

Other highlights include debuts with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Korean National Symphony; return performances with the Atlanta and Detroit Symphonies, Orchestre Métropolitain, Hallé Orchestra, Graz and London Philharmonics; tours across the UK, US and Australia, as well as recitals in Munich, London, Hong Kong and the Verbier, Caramoor, Gstaad and Schleswig Holstein-Music Festivals.

Born in Montenegro in 1983, MILOŠ resides in London. He performs on a 2017 Greg Smallman guitar.





Emily Sierra


Emily Sierra, lauded for her “marked lyricism,…rare quality of timbre, [and] …suave voice”, is a Cuban-American mezzo-soprano currently singing in the Ensemble of the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. Sierra began her European career in the Opera Studio of the Bayerische Staatsoper, after having been awarded the Opera Foundation Scholarship for the 2021/22 season. Roles in the 2023/24 season include: Idamante (Idomeneo), Tisbe (La Cenerentola), Clotilde (Norma), La Ciesca (Gianni Schicchi), Dritte Magd (Elektra), and Fyodor (Boris Godunov). She also makes her main stage US debut as Stéphano (Roméo et Juliette) at Dallas Opera.

Having had a hugely successful first year, Sierra notably performed Dryade (Ariadne auf Naxos), Nanni (L’infedeltà delusa), Hécube (Les Troyens), Kate Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly), and Annina (La Traviata). In the 2022/23 season, Sierra completed her second year of the Opera Studio at the Bayerische Staatsoper, performing roles through the year including Hänsel (Hänsel und Gretel), Second Maid (Elektra), Un musico (Manon Lescaut), Soeur Mathilde (Dialogues des Carmelites), and Chambermaid of the Bolkonskis (Best New Production 2023 War and Peace).

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