Saturday, 2 March 2013

Last month on Planet Hugill - murdered babies, favourites and drama queens


What you might have missed. February on Planet Hugill started with Peter Konwtischny's striking new production of La Traviata at ENO, Joyce DiDonato was equally dramatic, complete with a Vivienne Westwood dress, in her Drama Queens concert at the Barbican. To get us in the mood we explored different setting of the Medea story, before seeing Charpentier's Medea at ENO with Sarah Connolly in the title role. Still a la Francaise, we travelled to Paris to see the new French language production of Donizetti's La Favouritewith Alice Coote in the title role. I interviewed composer George Benjamin to talk about his new operaWritten on Skin.
Mark Padmore and Gary Matthewman performed Schubert's Schwanengesang with the experiment of using surtitles, Alex Esposito appeared at Wigmore Hall with Rosenblatt Recitals, I Fagiolini did not disappoint at their Cadogan Hall recital, Robert Holl and Birgid Steinberger performed Schumann'sMyrthen at Middle Temple.

La Serenissima gave us a preview of their new disc, A Tale of Two Seasons. The Salomon Orchestra celebrated their 50th anniversary with a fine concert conducted by Adrian Brown.
I went to a fascinating conference, Getting It Right 2013, about the relationship between contemporary composers and the orchestra and saw the new exhibition The Bride and the Bachelors: Duchamp with Cage, Cunningham, Rauschenberg and Johns at the Barbican.
Our Guest contributor Hilary saw Rachel Podger playing Bach at Kings Place.
CD reviews included Anna Leese and Stephen de Pledge in Italian songs, Nicky Spence and Malcolm Martineau in an imaginative selection of Shakespeare settings, Roxanna Panufnik's new CD Love Abide debuted, and there was the Rite of Spring from Toulouse. Amanda Roocroft and Joseph Middleton celebrated Valentine's Day with a recital which takes a love affair from happy start to painful finish. The new Vivat label launched with an amazing CD of Stanford and Parry sacred music for choir and orchestra. Ben Johnson too time off from singing Alfredo at the London Coliseum to release a disc of Britten's canticles. More Britten with the release of the Sixteen's 3 disc set of Britten's choral music.
And I reviewed a new book on Montemezzi's Nave for OperaToday.com, an unknown opera by an obscure composer but a fascinating story.
Our banner image this month shows Alice Coote and Ludovic Tezier in Donizetti's La Favourite at the Theatre des Champs Elysees in Paris. The blog is now available at http://www.planethugill.com/. Click on any of the above links to be taken to the relevant story on-line.

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