Wednesday, 6 January 2016

In case you missed it - December on Planet Hugill - Christmas in Leipzig, Asylum in Peckham


Dionysios Sourbis as Silvio (seen hard at work in Mamma Lucia's bakery) in the Royal Opera's production of Cavalleria Rusticana (c)ROH, photographer Catherine Ashmore
Dionysios Sourbis as Silvio (seen hard at work in Mamma Lucia's bakery) in the Royal Opera's production of Cavalleria Rusticana (c)ROH, photographer Catherine Ashmore
Welcome to December on Planet Hugill, a month which included some unusual concerts as well as the usual run up to Christmas. But we started with some Italian realism in Damiano Michieletto's new production of Cav and Pag at Covent Garden.

Wigmore Hall

At the Wigmore Hall there were songs and arias inspired by Goethe from Dorottya Lang and Helmut Deutsch at a Rosenblatt recital, Nico Muhly and Britten's Canticles from Allan Clayton and Iestyn Davies, sheer magic from Elina Garanca and Roger Vignoles, and Jordi Savall and Hesperion XXI took us on a European musical tour.

In various places

Bastard Assignments, were Fresh and Clean at the Asylum in Peckham, and there was the Marriage of England and Spain, from Alistair Dixon and Chapelle du Roi at St John's Smith Square. Solomon's Knot gave us Bach's Christmas Oratorio at Spitalfields Winter Festival, whilst The Sixteen celebrated the Virgin Mother and Child at Cadogan Hall. There was Taverner and Tavener from Fretwork and Iestyn Davies at Kings Place, and Christmas in Leipzig from Solomon's Knot at St John's Smith Square.

From our correspondent

Ruth heard the Cries of London at the opening of the Spitalfields Winter Festival and experienced Hans Zender's re-working of Schubert's Winterreise also at the Spitalfields Winter Festival, and heard Waltraud Meier and Joseph Breinl at the Wigmore Hall.

Interviews and Features

I chatted about creative entrepreneurship with Lizzie Holmes of Debut Opera, and heard from Sam Brown, director of The Barber of Seville at WNO, how there is something satisfying about making people laugh. Feature articles included my look at Gluck's Orpheus, A marriage of French spectacle and Italian lyricism and poetry, and a look at the origins of the haute-contre voice.

CD's we've listened to

Elizabeth Watts in arias from rarely performed operas by Alessandro Scarlatti
Brahms and Bruckner from Nigel Short and Tenebrae
Stanford choral music from Winchester College
Graingeresque piano music by Robert Nathaniel Dett
An heroic undertaking, Weinberg's The Idiot from Mannheim
Saxophone Songs for the coming day by David Maslanka from the Syzygy quartet
Alchemy, renaissance music transformed for brass ensemble
Tango embrace, guitarist Yijia Zhang and friends in Piazzolla
Electric dawn, music for saxophone and electronics from Alistair Penman
Deep End, from the Swingles with the voice of Ward Swingle
Beyond Nine Lessons and Carols, our survey of recent Christmas discs

Further afield

For the Culture Trip website, I wrote an article on The Royal Swedish Opera: 200 years of history and our recent trip to Venice generated Lost in Venice: Discovering the byways of La Serenissima.
Recently gave a pre-concert talk, at Conway Hall before a concert by the Wihan Quartet and I will be giving my short Introduction to Opera talk to Ealing U3A this month as well as starting my longer five-lecture Introduction to Opera course for The Course later this month at the University Women's Club.

Credits

Our photo this month is Dionysios Sourbis as Silvio (seen hard at work in Mamma Lucia's bakery) in the Royal Opera's production of Cavalleria Rusticana (c)ROH, photographer Catherine Ashmore

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