Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Benda and Linley: Bampton Classical Opera celebrates Shakespeare 400

Bampton - Shakespeare
Bampton Classical Opera is contributing to the Shakespeare 400 celebrations with a concert at St John's Smith Square on 15 November 2016. For who can wield like Shakespeare’s skilful hand? sees Cantandum and the Bampton Classical Players joined by Clare Lloyd Griffiths (soprano), Caroline Kennedy (mezzo-soprano), Thomas Herford (tenor) and Nicholas Merryweather (baritone), conducted by Gilly French, in a programme of music by Georg Benda and Thomas Linley.

A Lyric Ode on the Fairies, Aerial Beings and Witches of Shakespeare is one of the Thomas Linley the Younger's (1756-1778) best known works. Known as the English Mozart, Linley met the Austrian composer when the two were 14, but Linley died at the age of 22. Bohemian composer Georg Benda (1722-1795) was another of Mozart's distinguished contemporaries. Bampton will be performing extracts from Benda's opera Romeo and Juliet, a work which Bampton performed in 2007. The work was premiered in 1776 and is probably the first operatic setting of the subject. Like many versions of Shakespeare in the 18th century (both operatic and in the spoken theatre), the story has a happy ending!

Full details from the St John's Smith Square website.

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