Friday, 16 August 2013

Britten100 goes global

Scene from Billy Budd at San Francisco Opera, 2004 (c) Darryl Bush/ San Francisco Chronicle
The celebrations for Britten's centenary have turned into a global event with concerts and opera performances all over the world. Some are sponsored by the Britten Pears Foundation and the British Council, but many are simply organisations own responses to the composer with a number of different Britten festivals being presented. There are currently over 150 performances of the War Requiem scheduled world-wide, with over 100 of A Midsummer Night's Dream, over 80 of Peter Grimes and 40 of Billy Budd.

In Moscow there a festival planned by the Britten Pears Foundation and the British Council including the Russian premiere of Death in Venice conducted by Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, though quite what effect the work will have given Russia's new clampdown on homosexuality is anyone's guess. Also in the festival Sir Mark Elder conducting the Russian National Orchestra and Ian Bostridge in The Canticles.

LA Opera's celebrations encompass seven operas, plus chamber music, recitals and talks presented in venues all over California. War Requiem is being performed at Walt Disney Hall conducted by James Conlon. The Tanglewood Festival is presenting Curlew River with the Mark Morris Dance Group whilst Les Illuminations pops up in Aspen. A Midsummer Night's Dream makes its appearance at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, though you can't help feeling that the theatre is a rather too big for the piece. Whilst the Brooklyn Academy of Music is presenting Glyndebourne's production of Billy Budd. Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra are performing the War Requiem. And the Canadian Opera Company are performing Peter Grimes. 

Billy Budd will get its premieres in Chile, at Santiago, and in Sweden, at Gothenburg Opera. Billy Budd is also being performed at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin. Elsewhere in Germany celebrations include A Midsummer Night's Dream from the Komische Oper, Berlin and four Britten operas as part of Deutsche Opera am Rhein's Britten Festival. The NDR Jugendsinfonieorchester perform Turn of the Screw in Hamburg with Miah Persson and the Cologne Philharmonie will perform Peter Grimes at the Gstaad Festival. Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducts the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester in Peter Grimes in Leipzig.

Antonio Pappano and the Accademia di Santa Cecilia will perform the War Requiem at the Salzburg Festival, whilst at the Vienna State Opera there is a new production of Peter Grimes. The War Requiem will be presented at the Metz Arsenal, and Opera de Lyon will be featuring new productions of Peter GrimesTurn of the Screw and Curlew River.

In Japan both the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra and the Osaka Symphony Orchestra will perform the War Requiem. The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra performs War Requiem in Shanghai and Beijing, and Peter Grimes in Beijing. In Australia Albert Herring is being staged by Opera Australia at the Sydney Opera House, Les Illuminations is being staged by the Sydney Dance Company.

Further information from the Britten100 website.

Elsewhere on this blog:

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