Friday 6 September 2013

In case you missed it - August on Planet Hugill: Awards, Opera alfresco and new opera

August on Planet Hugill started with three 20th century British greats. There an enterprising production of William Walton's The Bear along with two specially commissioned one act operas. We saw thrilling revival of Britten's Billy Budd at Glyndebourne, and Tippett's Midsummer Marriage at the Proms.
August in London means opera festivals. We made two visits to Tete at Tete: The Opera Festival catching two different programmes. And Stephen McNeff's mono-drama Vivienne made a short visit to the Forge in Camden.
he other festival was Grimeborn, at the Arcola Theatre in Dalson. Our first visit was to see the Ryedale Festival production of The Magic Flute, followed by Mike Christie's new opera The Miller's Wife, a riveting new Handel pasticcio Handel Furioso, a small scale production of Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande and finally another new opera, Brian Hosefros's Russian language Strekoza i Muravej.
Hilary, our guest reviewer, went to Peckham to see a double bill of operas by Kate Whitley and Gerald Barry, Roma and La Plus Forte, and made her own visit to Tete a Tete: The Opera Festival.
Open air concerts returned to Kenwood, and we saw Ana Maria Martinez in concert. And John Eliot Gardiner conducted Bach at the Proms.
The August music festival ran at St. Lawrence Jewry and we saw lunchtime recitals by Hollie Marie Bingham, Eduard Mas Bacardit and Catherine Norton, and by Njabulo Thabiso Madlala and William Vann. And we caught Katherine Broderick, Marcus Farnsworth and Simon Lepper in recital at the North Norfolk Music Festival. Tenor Ben Johnson performed Handel and Britten at St. Martin in the Fields.
We met up with Dionysios Kyropoulos to talk about Historically Informed Stagecraft, and looked at the fascinating history of travestie performance in opera.
CD's reviewed included Philip Handy and Robert Markham's The Romantic Cello, in two volumes, Peter Grimes recorded live at Aldeburgh, virtuoso fairy tales for accordion, Charpentier motets for the house of Guise, music for unaccompanied cello by film composers, new music for saxophone and piano with the McKenzie Sawers duo, Viktor Bijelovic's solo piano disc Empassioned, Stile Antico's celebration of the Carnegie UK Trust's Tudor Church Music, Dai Fujikura's Flare, and Edward Cowie's Gesangbuch.

And of course our blog was listed in the September issue of Saga Magazine's 50 Best Bloggers over 50.

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