Wednesday, 21 November 2018

The Foyle Opera Rara Collection

Daniela Barcellona & Albina Shagimuratova rehearsing at Opera Rara's studio (photo Russell Duncan)
Daniela Barcellona & Albina Shagimuratova rehearsing
at Opera Rara's studio (photo Russell Duncan)
If you have ever been lucky enough to go to an event at Opera Rara's studio, one of the things strikes you is the huge array of books and scores. Originally collected by Patric Schmid and Don White who founded Opera Rara fifty years ago, the collection comprises a significant collection of first and early editions of 19th-century Italian opera. The collection has been found a new home and a long term future, thanks to a grant from The Foyle Foundation. The library is being transferred to the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where it will be known as The Foyle Opera Rara Collection.

The transfer is thanks to one of The Foyle Foundation's biggest ever grants in Wales, and the money will help Opera Rara invest in its five-year plan to continue bringing neglected operas back to life [see my recent interview with Opera Rara's chief executive Henry Little].

Coming up is Puccini's Les Willis (in its original one-act version) which is being given in concert at the Royal Festival Hall tonight (21 November 2018) with Sir Mark Elder conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Ermonela Jaho, Arsen Soghomonyan, and Brian Mulligan. Next year, the company is recording Donizetti's Il Paria and will be giving a concert performance at the Barbican on 8 June with the Britten Sinfonia conducted by Sir Mark Elder and starring Albina Shagimuratova, Celso Albelo and Davide Luciano. Also in 2019, the company's recording of Donizetti's L'Ange de Nisida will be released [see my review of the company's recent performance of the opera]

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