April on Planet Hugill opened with a blast of colour as we saw Novaya Opera performing Borodin's Prince Igor at the London Coliseum, and went to the new Sam Wanamaker Theatre at the Globe for the Royal Opera's magical production of Cavalli's L'Ormindo.
Visits to Venues Various
At the South Bank, Jacques Cohen and his Isis Ensemble premiered his Love Journeys. At Conway Hall, Julian and Jiaxin Lloyd-Webber launched the new Rhinegold Live concert series just weeks before Julian announced his enforced retirement. At the Barnes Festival, Christopher Foster and Audrey Hyland gave their programme A Soldier's Tale.
We heard Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra in extravagant form at the Barbican in Messiaen, Chopin and Scriabin.
At the Cadogan Hall, Kirill Karabits, the BBC Singers and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra gave the modern premiere of CPE Bach's St John Passion, then on Easter Saturday at King's College, Cambridge we heard the chapel choir and the Academy of Ancient Music in Handel's Israel in Egypt conducted by Stephen Cleobury.
A new venue visited was the Menuhin Hall, at the Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey where we heard Melvyn Tam and Friends in recital. Closer to home in Fairfield Halls, Croydon we were Singing the Oceans Alive.
At St John's Smith Square we heard choirs from as far afield as Spain, Italy and Estonia compete in round two and the final of the London International A Cappella Choir Competition
At the Wigmore Hall Italian tenor Antonio Poli accompanied by Jan Philip Schulze gave a Rosenblatt Recital, star duo Roberta Invernizzi and Sonia Prina joined the English Concert for Pergolesi's Stabat Mater and Swedish mezzo-soprano dazzled in Arias for Farinelli with Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques.
From our contributors
Hilary visited ENO's new venue, AmbikaP3, for Thomas Ades' Powder Her Face, she caught the London Philharmonic Orchestra's premiere of Gorecki's final symphony and heard Andrew Griffiths and Londinium reflecting on Tenebrae.
Natalie Burch wrote a guest post on Reverie's concert at St Dunstan in the West.
Cd's included Cantabile in Songs of Love and War, Dai Fujikura's new album Ampere, Care College in music for Passiontide, Thomas Larcher's new disc showcasing his song cycle for Mark Padmore and Poulenc's Sept lecons de Tenebres and Stabat Mater.
I enjoyed the European Baroque Orchestra's Handel disc and they are currently appealing for funds for their Summer tour. Voces8 released their Purcell collection and there was more Purcell, this time a lovely young cast in Daniel Purcell's The Judgement of Paris.
Other opera recordings included the Philharmonia's live recording of Duke Bluebeard's Castle with Sir John Tomlinson, Opera Rara's new recording of Donizetti's one-act comedy about wife-beating Rita, Rinaldo Alessandrini and Concerto Italiano in one of the first operas Caccini's L'Euridice, John Mark Ainsley as Bajazet in Handel's Tamerlano, plus Juan Diego Florez in French opera arias L'Amour.
Competitions and Credits
Our April competition was to win a copy of Rosalind Plowright's new CD La Belle same sans Merci.
Our header photo this month is Amanda Roocroft as the Duchess in English National Opera's production of Thomas Ades's Powder her Face; photo credit Richard Hubert Smith.