Wednesday 10 June 2015

May on Planet Hugill - throat singing in Tallinn, Wolf-Ferrari in Bratislava

Wolf-Ferrari's The Jewels of the Madonna at Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava
Welcome to May on Planet Hugill, where we were off to Cardiff, Tallinn and Bratislava in addition to our usual London haunts.

Opera both near and far

Szymanowski's King Roger got a rare, and satisfying outing at Covent Garden. ETO launched Shackleton's Cat by Russell Hepplewhite, their new opera for young people. Justina Gringyte made a vibrant debut in the title role of Bizet's Carmen at ENO. And we saw Wolf-Ferrari's The Jewels of the Madonna in Bratislava, Slovakia.

At the Wigmore Hall

John Beard, Handel's favourite tenor was incarnated by Allan Clayton, with Classical Opera. The English Concert and Trevor Pinnock, with Lucy Crowe, Tim Mead and Alison Balsom, did a late night gig. Jessica Pratt provided bel canto delight at her Rosenblatt Recital.

Various Venues

Carolyn Sampson and Joseph Middleton launched their CD Fleurs at Rhinegold Live. The Other Eden saw Kitty Whately and Joseph Middleton at Champs Hill Music Room. Rachel Podger and Brecon Baroque at the Aspect Foundation. Tintinnabuli: The Tallis Scholars at the Cadogan Hall.

Estonia in Cardiff

Tallinn came to Cardiff with a pair of events, the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra at Hoddinnott Hall and an Estonian music showcase.

The London Festival of Baroque Music

Masaaki Suzuki and Bach Collegium Japan opened the festival with an all-Bach concert, then on day two we heard Canto del dame, and Carolyn Sampson in Music for Marie Fel, and on Sunday there was A Visit to the Pieta with Vivaldi's Women and the OAE.

Combining music and drama

Iain Burnside's Schubert exploration, Why does the Queen die? at the Guildhall School. Lucy Parham's Odyssey of Love: Liszt and his women.

Interviews and features

A dip into the archives, Aida at Covent Garden in 1949 reviewed in The Scotsman. Talking to counter-tenor Iestyn Morris about taking on the title role in Richard Ayres' Peter Pan. Music at Paxton celebrates 10 years, my interview with artistic director Helen Jamieson.

Hilary's travels

Our roving contributor Hilary saw ENO tackle 9/11 in Tansy Davies' Between Two Worlds, experienced Myth and Magic with Londinium and travelled East of Tallinn for the Orient Music Festival in Estonia, from Hakassian throat singing to Buddhist temple music.

CD's that we have listened to

Music of the Polish baroque from Eamonn Dougan and the Sixteen. John Eliot Gardiner's Bach Cantata Pilgrimage volume 8. Francesco Geminiani's Enchanted Forest, music for an English style pantomime in Paris. Schubert's Die schöne Müllerin from Mauro Peter & Helmut Deutsch on Wigmore Hall Live.
Donizetti's Les Martyrs revived and redeemed by Opera Rara. Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherezade from Istanbul. Mahler's Ninth Symphonyfrom Korea.
Post-minimalist modes from Michael Vincent Waller. Carolyn Sampson and Joseph Middleton's bouquet of flower songs in Fleurs. Ilona Domnich explores operatic heroines with Surrender: Voices of Persephone. Whilst Bryan Hymel's recital of the French dramatic tenor arias, Heroique was definitely our record of the month.
Voces8 explores the ethereal in Lux. Guitarist Christina Sandsengen's Shades and Contrasts. Cole Porter songbook from Sarah Fox and James Burton.
Is this a crossover disc? Matthew Long's Till the Stars Fall.

Musical Performances

Violinist Rupert Marshall-Luck premiered my new version of Faith, Hope and Charity for violin and organ in Weymouth. Whilst my setting of Ruth Padel's Learning to Make an Oud in Nazareth premieres with Alistair Dixon and Chapelle du Roi in July.


Our header image this month is Wolf-Ferrari's The Jewels of the Madonna at the Slovak National Theatre, in Bratislava.

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