You can start the New Year in great fashion with OAE’s performance of The Creation under Adam Fischer (9 January), and Joseph Calleja will be appearing with the Philharmonia under Andrew Greenwood on 11 January in a programme of popular operatic favourites plus a tribute to Mario Lanza! With the LPO’s 19 January concert we see the start of the Southbank’s The Rest is Noise Festival. Themed for Alex Ross’s book, the festival is a year long survey of 20th century classical music. On the one hand you think that the subject matter and the length (a whole year) make the festival rather too diffuse and that the Southbank should be doing this anyway. But there are some terrific events and if having a festival helps people concentrate their minds and produce something extra, then what the hell. Of course, this season also marks the LPO’s 80th anniversary and their contribution to The Rest is Noise and the remainder of the Southbank Season is very tempting indeed.
Then Sir Mark Elder conducts the LPO on 23 January for the start of what is something of a Mark Elder fest, with two LPO appearances and one with his own orchestra. 23 January's programme is Webern, Schoenberg and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Ekaterina Gubanova and Paul Groves. Then Elder is back with the LPO on 26 Januray for Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius with Paul Groves and Sarah Connolly. The London Philharmonic Choir are joined by the choir of
Before then on 30 January, Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the Philharmonic in Lutoslawski (Musique Funebre, Piano Concerto) and Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe.
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bach Choir are back on 5 February with Durufle’s Requiem, a performance rather larger in scale than I prefer but interestingly coupled with Poulenc’s Gloria. David Hill conducts with soloists Sarah Fox, Kitty Whately and Benedict Nelson. They are also including some of Canteloube’s Songs of the Auvergne but there is no word as to which soloist is doing them, I hope its Kitty Whately who is currently something of a favourite.
Still in February the London Sinfonietta will be performing Stravinsky’s Renard (10 February), the Philharmonia give Britten’s Spring Symphony an airing (17 February) with Susan Gritton, Christine Rice and Allan Clayton under Edward Gardner. Marin Alsop is at the helm with the LPO on 20 February for a rare outing for
Varese’s Ameriques, plus Milhaud’s La Creation du Monde and Dvorak’s 9th
Symphony, preceded by spirituals from the London Adventist Chorale. Certainly
an interesting mix.
March opens with one of those events which will be either wonderful or awful. Weill’s The Threepenny Opera performed by the LPO, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski with Mark Padmore, John Tomlinson, Felicity Palmer, Allison Bell, Nicholas Folwell and Meow Meow (this latter being a post-modern cabaret diva!). A narrator is credited so presumably we won’t be having acres of embarrassing dialogue. (2 March)
Goldsmiths Choral Union are giving Handel’s Israel in Egypt on 13 March, the Bach Choir give their annual Bach Passion performance on 17 March, under David Hill with James Gilchrist as the Evangelist.
Chelsea Opera Group returns on 17 March with a real rarity, Wagner’s first opera Die Feen. (No, I’ve never heard it live either). Another rarity on 18 March, the Orchestra of St. Paul’s perform Berlioz’s early Messe solennelle whose score was only recently discovered. The singers include Philippa Murray, John Upperton and Ian Caddy.
More mainstream fare on 6 April as Hans Graf conducts the LPO in Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms and Orff’s Carmina Burana with soloists Sally Matthews, Andrew Kennedy and Rodion Pogossov. Good to see that they are using a tenor soloist (rather than a counter-tenor) and will be interesting to hear Kennedy getting spit roasted.
On 20 April, the Philharmonia bite back under Daniele Gatti with Verdi’s Requiem and then with a concert with Jonas Kauffman the following day; we are promised a selection of his favourite arias and music. Hmm.
April concludes with Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust, Charles Dutoit conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with Ruxandra Donose, Paul Groves and Willard White, another must I think.
May at the South Bank starts with the Ryan Wrigglesworth’s pairing of Vaughan Williams’s Fourth Symphony with Tippett’s A Child of Our Time with the LPO. More Vaughan Williams as The London Symphony pops up again when Andrew Davis conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra on 9 May.
Susan Bullock, Giselle Allen and James Rutherford sings excerpts from Tannhauser and act three of Die Walkure with Andrew Davis conducting the Philharmonia on 22 May. As an antidote, on the day after, the Royal College of Music’s Symphony Orchestra plays Messiaen’s stupendous Turangalila Symphony under Thierry Fischer.
On 1 June the Philharmonia go to the cinema with, of course, Carl Davis conducting his own score for the Thief of Bagdhad with the silent film (from 1924) being screened.
For their final offering of the season on 2 June, Chelsea Opera Group manage to find a Verdi opera that no-one has ever heard of, Alzira, with Majella Cullagh. Its based on Voltaire and set in 16th century
9 June gives a chance to hear the remarkable group, Spira Mirabilis play Strauss’s Metamorphosen. Bryn Terfel pops up again on 11 June, this time with the Philharmonia singing his favourite arias.
More details from the South Bank centre's website.