Monday, 27 January 2014

Barbican 2014-15 season

Barbican Centre
The Barbican's 2014-15 season has been announced and it is full of gems, with residencies from Joyce DiDonato, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. Operas being performed include Handel's Alcina and Hercules, Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea, a Rameau double bill, a rare Vivaldi opera, Boris Godunov, Smetana's Dalibor and premieres from Unsuk Chin and Rodion Shchedrin.

Baroque music is very much in evidence during the season, with some eagerly awaited Handel and Monteverdi performances along with other rarer repertoire. The Academy of Ancient Music and Richard Egar follow up on last year's fine Orfeo with L'Incoronazione di Poppea with a cast including Annna Caterina Antonacci, Sarah Connolly, Marina de Liso, Iestyn Davies and Matthew Rose (4 October 2014) Vivaldi's opera L'Oracolo in Messenia will be given a rare outing by Europa Galante conducted by Fabio Biondi with a cast including Vivica Genaux. Rameau's 250th anniversary will be celebrated with Les Arts Florissants and William Christie doing staged performances of Rameau's ballets Daphnis et Egle and La Naissance d'Osiris. The English Concert and Harry Bicket will be performing a pair of Handel's dramatic works, each with very strong cast: Alcina with Joyce DiDonato in the title role, Alice Coote as Ruggiero (10 October 2014) and Hercules (4 March 2015) with Alice Coote as Dejanira, Lucy Crowe as Iole, James Gilchrist as Hylus and Matthew Rose as Hercules..


Les Arts Florissants under Paul Agnew will be singing all of Monteverdi's monumental Eighth Book of Madrigals on 24 May 2015. They will be performing them in a pair of semi-staged concerts with a discussion in between. I Fagiolini and director John La Bouchardiere are producing a follow up to The Full Monteverdi. Betrayal: A Polyphonic Crime Drama fuses voices with contemporary dance to look at the intense and  startling music of Carlo Gesualdo. The event will be performed in Shoreditch's Village Underground (13-15 May 2015).

Joyce DiDonato reappears in contemporary guise, performing Jake Heggie's Camille Claudel: Into The Fire with the composer at the piano. Heggie's song cycle about the French artist who was also Rodin's lover. (14 April 2015). DiDonato will also be giving a recital of arias by Bellini, Donizetti and Rossini with the Orchestra de l'Opera de Lyon (25 September 2014).

Valery Gergiev brings the Mariinsky Opera to the Barbican with performances of Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov (3 November 2014) and the UK premiere of Rodion Shchedrin's satirical opera The Left Hander (4 November 2014) which was premiered in St Petersburg in 2013.

Other contemporary opera includes Unsuk Chin's Alice in Wonderland with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, in a multi-media staging by Netia Jones (a co-production with the Los Angeles Philharmonic) (8 March 2015). Sir Simon Rattle is conducting the London Symphony Orchestra in the UK premiere of a new children's opera by Jonathan Dove, The Monster in the Maze (5 July).

The BBC Symphony Orchestra is  performing Smetana's Dalibor (2 Mary 2015) and Bartok's Duke Bluebeard's Castle (13 March 2015).  Brett Dean is the new Artist in Association with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Amongst his works to be performed is the UK premiere of The Last Days of Socrates with Sir John Tomlinson

During March/April 2015 the Barbican is celebrating the 90th birthday of Pierre Boulez including a BBC Symphony Orchestra Total Immersion: Pierre Boulez at 80 (21 March 2015), and other performances of Boulez works throughout the period. And in autumn 2014 they celebrate what would have been Sir John Tavener's 70th birthday with the Britten Sinfonia presenting the world premiere of his last major concert work Flood of Beauty plus his oboe concerto Kaleidoscopes with oboist Nicholas Daniel (28 September 2014) and the BBC Symphony Orchestra devoting their Total Immersion: John Tavener Remembered to him (5 October 2014)

Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra are focussing on Russian music and performances will include Balakirev's Tamara, Thema Russe and Islamey.

The Britten Sinfonia has a strong vocal thread running through their performances with Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan performing in two contrasting concerts, Sarah Connolly singing Copland's Eight Poems of Emily Dickinson and Lucy Crowe joining the Choir of Kings College in Bach Magnificat. Britten Sinfonia Voices join the orchestra for the London premiere of James MacMillan's St Luke Passion. The orchestra is also marking John Woolrich's 60th birthday.

International visitors include residencies from Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker (10,11,12 February 2015) and from Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic (April 2015).

Further information from the Barbican website. Elsewhere on this blog:

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