NWR Opera and classical concert notes

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Po-yu Sung, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. Thom Blach and David Crossley like this.
  2. Yes that is a superb documentary
  3. What especially touching is how with all honesty, she told the story about losing a sibling and its impact on herself, her family, and her art.
  4. At the Barbican on Friday for the BBCSO conducted by Oramo. First half was the Elgar violin concerto, played by Nicola Benedetti. That was good and it was followed after the interval by the Dvorak 7th, which was superb. An excellent evening and my ticket in the circle was just £15 including booking fee.
    Alex Jagger likes this.
  5. In case anyone was planning a trip to the South of France this summer…

    The Monaco Philharmonic (a very good orchestra, under the direction of Kazuki Yamada) run a series of summer concerts in the courtyard of the palace. It can be a fun evening. You have to get dressed up (and it can get warm), are not allowed to take photographs, and there is always the risk of rain (they move to the auditorium, with most of the day’s notice), but the flipside to that is getting to go into the Palace, seeing their serenenesses, and hearing a truly world class orchestra (this year with several exceptional guest conductors, all who have worked with the OPMC in the past) in a fairly intimate setting, for a moderately good price (from €20 [obscured view] - €100 [next to the prince presumably], probably either the €40 or €65 tickets best value)

    I have just booked some tickets for the Dvorak/Mozart double bill on Sunday 21st July. (Spacek is a very good violinist, and Czech music played by a Czech has to be the optimum), and the Beethoven Piano Concerto and 8th on July 28th. The rest I am away for.

    But I did notice that the seats are already filling up (it is not a big space), so I thought I would mention it here, just in case.

    Full programme on the OPMC website http://www.opmc.mc/recherche/?search=palais+princier

  6. All of these John Bridcut documentaries have been very fine - on Britten,Elgar and Vaughan Williams for example .

    This is the first I think on a living artist but it was beautifully and sensitively done - not only how her career was covered , her relationship with her devoted husband now disabled by a stroke but also her close friendships .

    Her remembrance of Sr John Barbirolli was very touching - the many recordings they made together have enriched my listening life no end - not only the Ruckert Lieder ,also the Sea Pictures and Dream of Gerontius and perhaps most of all her singing with him of Berlioz's Nuits d 'Ete .

    Barbirolli paid her an enormous compliment . He worked a great deal with the immensely famous alto Kathleen Ferrier - with whom some but by no means all of Baker's repertoire overlapped ( the latter having been very much a mezzo-soprano especially later in her career)

    He told his biographer Michael Kennedy " Janet is by far the greater artist" .
    Po-yu Sung likes this.
  7. Britten, Billy Budd
    ROH 7th May 2019
    A sold-out event. British still love Britten!
    I think now in 2019, we can comfortably say Billy Budd is a gay theme opera? In my humble opinion there is no such a thing of 'over-interpretating the homosexual elements'. If there are debates about the original novel, there should be no doubt for this opera, libretto written by EM Forster and music composed by B Britten.
    Nature or nurture, there are possession, envy, faith, betrayal, duty, regret and of course, love among these men on a warship. Deborah Warner's directing reveals it as it is, rightfully so. Whilst you can probably say it's a tiny bit kitsch... sometimes it did give an impression of Chippendales or Magic Mike. People on twitter all talked about Duncan Rock (playing Donald), yes, he's so hunky that even ROH dancers (topless too) looked small besides him. You can't help but think that the first priority of recruiting cast in this production is if the singer can be topless. (To be fair, Duncan Rock sang well. He actually got a Mozart bariton voice, different from his figure suggested) Even our cancer-defeating tenor Toby Spence (as captain) had a nudity scene in this production. Saying that, the tension between major roles were still preserved, not disturbed by all the sweaty bodies flying around. In some other production, captain was pictured as a father figure, in contrast to Billy Budd's son figure, like Abraham and Issac. It is apparently not the case in this production when captain looks so young, therefore the self-promoting of Billy Budd before the accusation scene can only be seen as a passionate confession to someone he admires, and the deep pain of captain Vere can only be from destroying someone he also secretly wanted. Jacqus Imbrailo's Billy Budd is not Keenlyside's masculine and dominant one, but he has the naive-ness which reminded audiences Siegfried. So yes, in that sense this man who loves totally innocently has to die, for the redemption of the 'sin' on this ship. His voice was not very powerful, but his final monologue was very touching despite vocally imperfect.

    In the whole opera some person's hearing aids near me made high pitch noise, which was rather disturbing. Unfortunately he or she didn't fix it in the interval so the problem extended. If the person wouldn't know themselves (which I doubt), why people next to them didn't remind them? More terrible thing is that, right at the final monologue of Billy Budd, someone's Nokia phone rang loudly. It kept ringing. It stopped and rang again, and again. Seemly the person tried to pretend the phone is not theirs so didn't do anything. Forget to turn off the phone is already stupid, fail to turn it off immediately when it rings is criminal.
    Despite all these terrible noise, the couple (man and woman) next to me were both weeping like what at the time... I guess this opera, singers and production really touch a soft spot in audiences. I congratulate ROH for that.
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  8. Proms bookings open tomorrow. Any must see performances for this summer's programme?
  9. Ha! Ground Control to Monty Don...
  10. I am interested in Martha Argerich and all Bruckner....
  11. I can only echo what James says, one of the best (classical) music/opera docs I’ve seen, but I am a massive fan of Dame Janet. I hope no one misses it, assuming it is still on the iPlayer.
  12. By the way, what did anyone get for Glyndebourne? We are doing Rinaldo and Magic Flute, which feels a bit conservative, but K likes it that way.

    I just got an email about what’s on in 2020 and I’m ever so slightly disappointed (they seem less adventurous these past couple of years). Mostly stuff I’ve seen too many times, except for Poulenc, which I have never seen and hopefully K will agree to.

    Poulenc - Carmelites
    Handel - Alcina
    Mozart - Die Entfürung
    Stravinsky - Rake (Hockney)
    Beethoven - Fidelio
    Donizetti - L’Elixir
  13. I'm off to the ROH tonight for Billy Budd. It was sold out but I bagged a return this morning.
    Po-yu Sung likes this.
  14. Is that production of Rake's Progress the one from the late 70s? It was the first thing I ever saw at Covent Garden, in a 'Midland Bank Proms' performance in 1980 or 1981.
  15. Enjoy! Wish you good luck without other people's phone ringing....
  16. Just had an e-mail arrive from Public Service Broadcasting who will perform at The Proms on Thursday 25 July. Tempted to crash my diary, though I have seen the Race for Space tour.
  17. It’s the one with the Hockney sets with all the hatched in black and white and odd perspective. I like it but it’s a little dated. Like the famous MSND, I’ve seen it three times, which much as I like it, is enough when I’ve never seen Lohengrin and had to flippin’ travel to Austria to see King Arthur. Come on Glyndebourne.
  18. Pleased to report that Billy Budd last night was tremendous!

    And no problems with phones ringing.
  19. I'd love to see the John Wilson Orchestra - great musicians and music!
  20. Managed to get tickets for this, taking a couple who have never heard or seen PSB so will be interesting.:)
    Mark Carrington likes this.

  21. We are seeing The Magic Flute and Rusalka this season. Very tempted by the Rake next season as we enjoyed it immensely that last time we saw it. Might try the Beethoven as well, not seen that.
  22. ROH announced its new season:
    Royal Opera House 2019/20 Season announced — News — Royal Opera House

    We have other two Britten's master pieces coming: Death in Venice and The Turn of the Screw. Janáček's Jenůfa also interesting.
    Juan Diego Florez... does he really suit Werther? Kunde is a good Otello, I would go see him again.
    For German opera lovers... Fidelio and Tristan can't be missed. And of course, Stemme + Mattila's Elektra. Not sure Fabiano is as good as previous ROH Don Carlo but other singers look great.
    I think I will consider join ROH's friend again.....
  23. Sounds as though the next season at the ROH will be tremendous. Jenufa is one of my favourites and one of the greatest works of the 20th century. Elektra should be wonderful with Stemme and Otello is not to be missed, with Ermonela Jaho as Desdemona. And a new production of Fidelio!
    Po-yu Sung and Andrew Blunsden like this.
  24. Last chance to see the Dame Janet Baker film it expires on iPlayer at 10.30 pm tonight.
    David Crossley likes this.
  25. But why is it that there was is always a clash of repertoire here? Both Glyndebourne and ROH with new productions of Fidelio announced at same time.

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