Wednesday 8 July 2015

June on Planet Hugill - Israel in Egpyt, Death in Venice and Fiddler on the Roof

Celestin Boutin and Nina Goldman Death in Venice, Garsington Opera photo Clive Barda
Celestin Boutin and Nina Goldman
Death in Venice, Garsington Opera
photo Clive Barda
Welcome to June on Planet Hugill, where we hit the festival season with Opera Holland Park, Garsington Opera at Wormsley, Grange Park Opera and Spitalfields Music Festival, not to forget the London English Song Festival, and the Voices of London Festival.

Opera Holland Park

Opera Holland Park had a triumphant opening of the season with Puccini's Il Trittico, and they went on to give the first London professional staging of Jonathan Dove's Flight, and their first ever staging of Verdi's Aida at Holland Park.


Garsington Opera at Wormsley opened with a rather disappointing country house wedding Cosi fan tutte redeemed by a strong musical performance. Paul Curran's production of Britten's Death in Venice showed a stunning personal vision.

Grange Park Opera

Bryn Terfel's starred as Tevye in the musical Fiddler on the Roof (performed with no amplification), there was a finely balanced new production of La Boheme, and an imaginative re-casting of Saint-Saens' Samson et Dalila.

Opera elsewhere

We saw Christopher Maltman in Don Giovanni at Covent Garden and the double bill of Hans Werner Henze operas at the Guildhall School.

Concerts here and there

At Spitalfields Music Festival we saw Handel's Israel in Egypt with La Nuova Musica, and heard the purity and beauty of Music for Compline with Stile Antico. At Temple Music, RVW's On Wenlock Edge was not quite as planned. In Croydon, the Sixteen performed their Flight of Angels. At the London English Song Festival, Nicky Spence brought things to a vibrant conclusion, whilst the Voices of London Festival had a successful launch. At Lied in London Gary Matthewman and Johnny Herford were exploring using surtitles.

Wigmore Hall

We heard Mark Padmore and Roger Vignoles in Britten and Schubert, the Cardinall's Musick in Robert Fayrfax and Le Concert Spirituel in Vivaldi and Campra.

Hilary's travels

Hilary went Hunting:Gathering with the Duke Quartet, and saw Tchaikovsky's Queen of Spades at the London Coliseum.


Friedrich Haider, musical director of Slovak National Opera, talked of falling in love with Wolf-Ferrari. Pianist and curator Christina McMaster chatted about her move towards an immersive experience. Paul Curran talked about directing Death in Venice at Garsington. Baritone and cellist Matthew Sharp talked about his varied career and exciting plans (in two parts).

CD's we have listened to

We rediscovered Gasparini's Il Bajazet which influenced Handel's Tamerlano, and Maximilian Sternberg's Passion Week, the last major Russian Orthodox work to be written in Soviet Russia.
Rare RVW cropped on on Tamsin Waley Cohen's disc with the Orchestra of the Swan, and the Britten Sinfonia's disc of oboe concertos by RVW and James MacMillan.
Mexican tenor Jesus Leon gave us his bel canto recital, whilst Jacques Cohen gave us transcriptions for string orchestra. Kristan Jarvi's made a Baltic Sea Voyage with his Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic. Harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani performed baroque and 20thcentury classics..

Opus gloriosum finitum est

After 10 years, 70 motets and 45 hours of music, Tempus per Annum, my sequence of motets for the church's year is now finished and has been made available for free download at CPDL.
Our header image this month is Celestin Boutin and Nina Goldman in Death in Venice at Garsington Opera, photo credit Clive Barda.
Please click on any of the links to take you to the relevant review or article on Planet Hugill.

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