Tuesday, 17 March 2015

JC Bach's Amadis de Gaule

Amadis de Gaulle - UC Opera
JC Bach (the London Bach) seems to be having something of a moment. The first of a pair of his operas to be performed in London comes up next week as the wonderfully enterprising University College Opera perform JC Bach's Amadis de Gaule at the Bloomsbury Theatre starting on 23 March 2015. The opera is being performed in English, though it was written in French and first performed in Paris in 1779. The piece used libretto which had originally been set by Lully (and was later the basis for Handel's Amadigi di Gaula). JC Bach had the misfortune to premiere the work in the middle of the Parisian battle between supporters of Gluck and the serious French tragedie lyrique and supporters of Piccinni and Italian opera buffa. As JC Bach's opera was like the work of neither, it pleased no-one.

JC Bach was an important influence on the young Mozart (the two met when Mozart was in London where JC Bach was based for many years). And one of JC Bach's earlier operas, Adriano in Siria crops up at the Britten Theatre next month as part of Classical Opera's celebrations of Mozart's visit to London, 250 years ago.

University College Opera's performances of Amadis de Gaule run from 23 to 28 March 2015, and are directed by Jack Furness (from Shadwell Opera) and conducted by Charles Peebles. Tickets available from the Bloomsbury Theatre website.

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