Monday 6 February 2017

Looking Ahead: Aldeburgh Festival

Britten, Pears & friends on Thorpeness Meare - photo Aldeburgh Festival/Ford Jenkins
Britten, Pears & friends on Thorpeness Meare
photo Aldeburgh Festival/Ford Jenkins
This year's Aldeburgh Festival runs from 9 to 25 June 2017 and celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Snape Maltings concert hall. The festival features a new production of Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream with Iestyn Davies as Oberon, and the first ever performances of Britten's Billy Budd at Snape Maltings as Opera North brings its production of the opera to the festival. Featured composers this year are Bill Fontana, Olga Neuwirth and Jörg Widmann.

The 1967 Aldeburgh Festival celebrated the newly opened Snape Maltings concert hall with a production of Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, premiered seven years earlier. This year the festival opens with Netia Jones new production at Snape Maltings on 9 June 2017, conducted by Ryan Wigglesworth with Iestyn Davies and Sophie Bevan as Oberon and Tytania, and Matthew Rose as Bottom. The festival closes with a pair of performances of Britten's Billy Budd, amazingly the opera has never been performed at Snape. Opera North will be bringing a semi-staged version of its recent production, with Alan Oke as Captain Vere, Roderick Williams as Billy Budd and Brindley Sherratt as Claggart, conducted by Gary Walker.

The celebrations at Snape Maltings also continue with performances of five of Britten's works which were premiered in the hall, String quartet no. 3, The Golden Vanity, The Building of the House, Third Suite for Cello and Sacred and Profane. This latter is performed by the choir Vox Luminis which is in residence at the festival.

Featured composers include pioneering sound artist Bill Fontana who will be creating a new sound installation at Snape Maltings. The London Sinfonietta will be giving a pair of concerts featuring Olga Neuwirth's music including the UK premiere of Requiem, Andrew Watts and Ian Burnside include the UK premiere of Neuwirth's 'tintarella di luna' in a recital which includes songs by Colin Matthews, Tippett, Neville Bower, Joseph Cutler, Tansy Davies, Michael Finnissy, Torsten Rasch and Raymond Yiu. Trio Fruhstuck will give the UK premiere of Olga Neuwirth's quasare/pulsare alongside Charlotte Bray's That Crazed Smile.

Piotr Anderszewski gives the UK premiere of Jörg Widmann's Three Shadow Dances for clarinet whilst the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, conductor Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla gives the premiere of Widmann's viola concerto with Antoine Tamesitt

Matthew Rose and the Albion Quartet will be performing Barber's Dover Beach alongside new pieces by Kate Whitley and Dominic Wills. A remarkable concert by oboist Nicholas Daniel will include a performance on Thorpeness Meare, with music by Helen Grime, Huw Watkins, Mark Simpson, Joanna Lee, Huan Ro and Sean Shepherd. Birmingham Contemporary Music Group perform Harrison Birtistle, Jo Kondo and Oliver Knussen alongside Stravinsky.

Also in residence will be the sitar player Nishat Khan and his performances will include a collaboration with one of Europe's finest male voice choirs, the Saint Ephraim Choir.

Full details from the Snape Maltings website.

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