David Stern is frequent guest with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and director of the Shanghai Baroque Festival, which had its first edition in December 2014 in the new Shanghai Symphony Halls. It is an annual festival showcasing prominent international artists and ensembles performing on period and modern instruments.
Stern conducted performances of Haendel's Giulio Gesare and Purcell's Dido and Aeneas for the festival's opening, the first time this repertoire was heard on baroque instruments in Shanghai. As featured guest artist, mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux sang the role of Caesar joined by Opera Fuoco's studio soloists, period-instrument orchestra, and a chorus of young artists from the Shanghai conservatory.
In December 2015, soprano Raffaela Milanese joined forces with Opera Fuoco in the title role of Handel’s opera Alcina and soprano Alice Coote sang a recital program in the Shanghai Symphony chamber hall. A third concert saw a collaboration between Opera Fuoco and Shanghai Symphony players in a program of Bach and Handel orchestral suites.
The 2016 Shanghai Baroque Festival opens with an evening of Purcell and Bach, entitled "One Charming Night." A pasticcio of Purcell's Fairy Queen and Bach's dramma per musica "Geschwinde ihr wirbelnden Winde," it features Andreas Scholl and the young soloists of Opera Fuoco's opera studio. The festival will also feature a recital with Andreas Scholl and a masterclass and encounter concert of Monteverdi arias and ensemble pieces with the festival chorus soloists.