Thursday 27 December 2012

Spring in the colleges

Christopher Maltman
in Juan
London's music colleges are presenting fascinating array of works this spring, with opera ranging from Mozart and Handel to Tchaikovsky and Britten, and events commemorating Britten, Schubert and Poulenc. There is even the premiere of a film.

The Royal College of Music are screening Kaspar Holten's film Juan, based Mozart's Don Giovanni with Christopher Maltman in the title role. It will be followed by a Q&A with the director. (A less worthy reason for seeing it might be for the glimpse of Maltman naked in the shower!) Iain Burnside's Journeying Boys takes Benjamin Britten's Les Illuminations as its starting point and mixes music and words looking at the life of Rimbaud. We are promised that this might be rather spicy too! Other concerts celebrate the 100th anniversary of The Rite of Spring (with performances in orchestral version and the composer's two-piano version) and the 50th anniversary of Poulenc's death

The RCM's annual collaboration with the London Handel Festival appears in March 2013 in the shape of Imeneo, Handel's penultimate opera. A fascinating work in which Handel subverts the opera seria expectations in a classic love triangle. Further information from the Royal College of Music's website

Over at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, on the dramatic side Patsy Rodenburg is directing a production of Twelfth Night, and there is Brecht's early (1919) comedy A Respectable Wedding (in a translation by Rory Bremner). The Laramie Project is a play which came out of the infamous 1998 murder of gay student Matthew Sheppard, in Laramie, Wyoming. The play uses reportage and original reactions to the murder to portray how the town reacted; the play has often been used as a teaching tool to help combat homophobia.

Still dramatic one hopes, but on the musical side, there is a new production of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro with Dominic Wheeler conducting and Martin Lloyd-Evans directing. This will be Wheeler's first production as Head of Opera. And in June the Guildhall celebrates the centenary of Benjamin Britten's birth with a productionof Owen Wingrave, directed by Kelly Robinson the artistic director of the Banff Centre, Canada. In August 2013, the production receives its Canadian premiere with Guildhall singers.

And the Guildhall Annual Jazz Festival is in March. Further information on all these events from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama's website.

The Royal Academy Song Circle is giving a Schubertiade to mark the 216th anniversary of the composer's birth with a programme of songs written in 1815. And in February various groups will decamp to Kings Place to perform.

Opera at the Royal Academy sees Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin directed by John Ramster and conducted by the Head of Opera, Jane Glover. Further information from the Royal Academy of Music's website.

Elsewhere on this blog:

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