Monday, 28 January 2013

New season at the Barbican - Baroque Opera and Oratorios

The Barbican's classical music season for 2013/14 is openening for booking and is full of goodies. I will be covering the Britten, Berlioz and Birtwistle in further posts. I start with looking at their season of Baroque Opera and Oratorio, with music by Bach, Handel, Rameau and Monteverdi. No rarities this year, just some of the finest music that each composer wrote. Booking is already open for some Barbican members, for others it opens on Wednesday 30 January and for the general public on 4 February.


The season starts with Monteverdi's Orfeo (28 Sep 2013) with the Academy of Ancient Music (who are celebrating their 40th anniversary). Richard Egarr directs with John Mark Ainsley in the title role and Sophie Bevan as Euridice. The Academy of Ancient Music returns on 17 Dec 2013 with Handel's Messiah with Lydia Teuscher, Iestyn Davies,  Jeremy Ovenden and Andrew Foster-Williams conducted by Bernard Labadie.  Labadie is founder and music director of the Canadian ensembles, Les Violons du Roy and La Chapelle de Québec.

Handel's great final two oratorios are featured. With Jeptha performed on 14 Jan 2014 with James Gilchrist in the title role, and a cast including Robin Blaze, Sophie Bevan and Matthew Brook with the Sixteen conducted by Harry Christophers. Anyone who saw Gilchrist in the role at last year's Buxton Festival should know that we are in for a great treat. The Barbican website does not reveal who is going to be singing the crucial role of Jeptha's wife Storge.

Harry Bickett conducts the English Concert on 8 Feb 2014 in Theodora with very fine cast, Rosemary Joshua as Theodora, Sarah Connolly as Irene, Tim Mead as Didymus, Andrew Kennedy as Septimus and Neal Davies as Valens. Interestingly the choir with be the New York-based choir of Trinity Church, Wall Street, a small mixed voice ensemble directed by Julian Wachner which has been making a name for itself on disc

Christoph Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques return on 6 March 2014 for Rameau's opera ballet, Les Indes Galantes. Each of the opera's acts depicts a different love story in a different exotic location and dance is as important as singing, expect to be ravished.

The final offering in the opera and oratorio season is Bach's St John Passion performed on Good Friday, 18 April 2014 but the Britten Sinfonia directed from the violin by Jacqueline Shave, with Nicholas Mulroy as the Evangelist and a cast which includes Julia Doyle, Iestyn Davies, Jeremy Budd and Matthew Brook. This is a choral version, using the Britten Sinfonia Voices directed by Eamonn Dougan.

Further information from the Barbican Centre's website.

Elsewhere on this blog:

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