Thursday, 11 December 2014

November on Planet Hugill - clutch of rarities including Les Martyrs and Oberon

James Laing as Nerone and Sandra Piques Eddy as Poppea in Opera North's production of Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea; photo credit: Tristram Kenton.
James Laing as Nerone and Sandra Piques Eddy as Poppea in Opera North's production of Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea; photo credit: Tristram Kenton.

Welcome to November on Planet Hugill.

 

Opera in Leeds

Our opera visiting started with an exciting trio of operas in Leeds where we saw Opera North performing Monteverdi's Coronation of Poppea, Smetana's The Bardered Bride and Verdi's La Traviata.

Operatic rarities

Donizetti's Les Martyrs made a welcome appearance in London thanks to Opera Rara. And almost another rarity nowadays, Mozart's Idomeneo came back to Covent Garden after 25 years.
Another real rarity, Weber's Oberon was staged by the ever enterprising New Sussex Opera.

Pairings in Chelsea and at the Wigmore Hall

William Vann and the Choir of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea paired Mozart's Requiem with Bach's Magnificat. Two singers from the Canaries, Jorge de Leon and Belen Elvira performed for Rosenblatt Recitals at the Wigmore Hall.

The Sixteen

We caught The Sixteen and Harry Christophers in Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 at London's Cadogan Hall, and in early baroque polyphonic music at the Temple Church. And I listened to their new recording of Handel's Jephtha, with James Gilchrist.

Brighton and Wimbledon

Our visits to BREMF continued with Powerplay: Scenes and Dreams at the Paris Opera, and music by Handel and Purcell.
We caught the Myrthen Ensemble's Anthems for Doomed Youth at the Wimbledon International Music Festival. Also in Wimbledon, I heard the young students from the Yehudi Menuhin School in a fine lunchtime recital and Wolfgang Holzmair gave his own distinctive take on Schubert's Die Winterreise.

Further afield

We explored music of a very different kind when we heard the British-Indian virtuoso sarod player Soumik Datta performing.

Hilary's Travels

Our contributor Hilary helped celebrate the new Master of the Queen's Musick by candlelight at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. She heard Ilona Domnich and Nigel Foster in Late Romantics at the London Song Festival and caught Thomas Guthrie's staging of Purcell's The Fairy Queen at Middle Temple Hall.
Hilary spent a day in Greenwich exploring the Royal Greenwich International Early Music Festival. And she heard Shadwell Opera in Speak, a fundraiser with a difference.

Howard Blake

My article on Howard Blake and his music appeared in Classical Music magazine previewing the Academy of St Martin in the Fields all Howard Blake concert, which we attended later in the month.

CD's we listened to

Stile Antico explored music written for the Hapsburgs, and counter-tenor Raffaele Pe explored music associated with The Medici Castrato, the castrato who sang in the premiere of Monteverdi's L'Orfeo.
Rare German 17th century opera cropped up with Boxberg's Sardanapalus, whilst Lully's Amadis rather reminded me of an operatic version of Game of Thrones.
Lawrence Zazzo and La Nuova Musica performed Handel and his operatic contemporaries Ariosti and Bononcini. Rene Jacobs highly theatrical recording of Handel's Rinaldo was revived, and there was a new recording of Faramondo from Lawrence Cummings and the Gottingen Festival.
Counter-tenor Franco Fagioli explored arias written by Nicola Porpora. Cellist Catherine Jones recorded sonatas by Boccherini and Cirri.
Mendelssohn's Elijah in a reissue from Philippe Herreweghe, and Robin Tritschler and Malcolm Martineau produced a disc of First World War songs with a difference.
Trumpeter Simon Desbruslais recorded four contemporary trumpet concertos with the Orchestra of the Swan.
Hilary listened to violinist Anne Akiko Meyers playing Barber, Corigliano and Bates.

December premieres

December sees a pair of premieres of my own music in London, from Alistair Dixon and Chapelle du Roi (on 6 December) and London Concord Singers with cellist Corinne Morris (on 18 December at St Botolph without Bishopsgate), as well as Peter Leech and Harmonia Sacra performing one of my Advent motets in Bristol. We also set up a new on-line sale for the printed music at tutti.co.uk, and my full catalogue is now back on-line for browsing.

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