Wednesday 3 July 2013

June on Planet Hugill - Nuns, Knights and Queens

June on Planet Hugill started with a bang, with Covent Garden's stunningly sung new production of Rossini's La Donna del Lago followed by the utterly absorbing new production of Wagner's Lohengrin from WNO in Cardiff.

I caught up with Opera Holland Park's James Clutton prior to the start of their new season, and I went along to see them open with 'Cav and Pag'. The Christine Collins Young Artists performance this year was Madama Butterfly. We met up with baritone Stephen Gadd, who sang both baritone roles in 'Cav and Pag'. We also caught the new production of Bizet's Les Pecheurs de Perles.
Grange Park Opera season opened with Bellini's I Puritani with Claire Rutter following up herMadama Butterfly by singing Elivra. Susan Gritton was the Tatyana in their revival of Eugene Oneginand their new production of Poulenc's Carmelites was truly memorable.
We saw a trio of Benjamin Britten's operas. Owen Wingrave at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Covent Garden's new production of Gloriana and ENO's revival of Death in Venice. And the City of London Festival opened with Britten's War Requiem in St Paul's Cathedral.
We explored Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos, before going along to hear the opera in the new production at Glyndebourne. And we made our first visit to Garsington for Hansel und Gretel.
At the London Song Festival we were treated to a concert of all of Verdi's songs performed by Elizabeth Llewellyn and Nicholas Ransley accompanied by Nigel Foster. And we heard the Holst Singers performing Faure's Requiem in the Temple Church.
Cd's reviewed included Alex Roth's songs for voice and guitar Sometime I sing performed by Mark Padmore, Viktoria Mullova playing Bach violin concertos, Olivier Latry celebrating 300 years of organ music at Notre Dame de Paris where the organ has recently been restored, James Barralet and Simon Callaghan playing Brahms for cello and piano, and the third volume in Sandra Mogensen's series of the piano music of Grieg. Stephen Farr's fine new recording of Bach's Clavier Ubung III is available for download only. Tenor Michael Spyres has released a very fine debut album, A Fool for Love, and William Christie's 1993 recording of Handel's Messiah has been re-issued.
For those confused by Wagner's Ring Cycle Richard Morris has produced a delightful little booksummarising the plot in verse, with illustrations by his daughter Hetty.
The Pink Singers celebrated their 30th anniversary with an exhibition looking at their history. And we caught up with some of the amazing events happening as part of the South Bank Centre's Nucleo last weekend.
Our guest reviewer Hilary enjoyed the UK premiere of Philip Glass's The Perfect American at the London Coliseum.

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