Sunday, 10 April 2016

In case you missed it - May on Planet Hugill: May Night, Streetwise Passion, Romeo & Juliet in the Round

Welcome to a busy and highly operatic March on Planet Hugill, with visits to Manchester for Streetwise Opera, and to Germany to hear a new completion of Bach's The Art of Fugue.
Things kicked off with a strong revival of Richard Jones' production of Il Trittico at Covent Garden. We were treated to two Handel operas, first Iestyn Davies starred in the title role of Orlando with Harry Bicket and the English Concert, then Handel met Game of Thrones in a superbly confident Ariodante from London Handel Festival and Royal College of Music.
Still at the colleges, the Royal Academy of Music gave us Rimsky Korsakov's rarely performed May Night in the industrial space that is Ambika P3. Covent Garden kept the Russian theme with the original version of Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov.
For Easter we were in Manchester and lucky enough to catch something simply remarkable, Penny Woolcock's promenade production at Campfield Market Hall, The Passion from Streetwise Opera and The Sixteen. Another vividly intense evening was Bellini's Romeo and Juliet in the round from Pop-Up Opera

English Touring Opera

ETO opened their Spring season with a welcome performance of Gluck's Iphigenie en Tauride. In another rarity, Pia de'Tolomei, Donizetti's opera was brought convincingly to life on stage in Hackney. A winning trio was rounded off with an enchanting and vividly characterised production of Mozart's Don Giovanni.

Wigmore Hall

There was spiced with some 17th century politics in Purcell's music for Charles II from The Sixteen, Maxim Rysanov and Ashley Wass in Schubert, Leonid Desyatnikov, Sergey Akhunov, Dobrinka Tabakova and unexpected delights from Ekaterina Siurina and Luis Gomes (a last minute stand-in for Charles Castronovo) at Rosenblatt Recitals.

Various Venues

Brasil Brasileiro, Song in the City went to Brazil, whilst the National Opera Studio presented Baroque to Broadway at Rhinegold Live. I travelled to Cologne to heard the German-Japanese pianist Kimiko Ishizaka perform Bach's Art of Fugue with her own completion.

From our correspondent

Ruth heard the Brook Street Band exploring Margherita Durastanti, Handel’s Italian Muse at St John's Smith Square, and heard Louis Spohr's rarely performed Last Judgement from an enterprising young ensemble at LSO St Lukes. Claire Rutter, Stephen Gadd, City of London Choir performed Mendelssohn, Strauss & Brahms at Barbican. At the Wigmore Hall, the Myrthen Ensemble sang Songs to the Moon. And Ruth experienced the silliness of English mores through Irish eyes in Gerald Barry's crazy version of The Importance of Being Earnest.


Not a shooting star, but a well rooted planet - my encounter with soprano Ilona Domnich
The transition from dark to light, I talk to director Olivia Fuchs about Mascagni's Iris
Singing is great for you, and doesn't hurt anybody, my encounter with composer Will Todd
You don't look at the music and understand it at once: pianist Kimiko Ishizaka on playing Bach

CDs we have listened to

Scattered Ashes - Josquin's Miserere and the Savonarolan Legacy
Joyful accounts of trio sonatas not published in Handel's lifetime from Brook Street Band
Israel in Ägypten - Mendelssohn's take on Handel
Handel's Imeneo in its Dublin incarnation
Schumann song cycles from Alice Coote and Christian Blackshaw on Wigmore Hall Live
Entrancing duets from Lucy Crowe and William Berger
Cello Music from Austria-Hungary - Beethoven, Artur Schnabel and Emmanuel Moor
Dvorak's concert overtures from PFK Prague Philharmonia & Jakob Hrůša
Christoph Denoth in Palomo's Nocturnos de Andalucia
Dance into concert music, Nimrod Borenstein's Suspended
Showcasing the talents of Albanian tenor Saimir Pirgu, Il mio canto
The Captive Nightingale: German romantic rarities from Elena Xanthoudakis
Captivating contemporary songs, Elena Langer's Landscape with Three People


Our header image this month is from the English Touring Opera's production of Gluck's Iphigenie en Tauride, photo by Richard Hubert Smith
Click on any of the links to take you to the relevant article on Planet Hugill.

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