Olivier Award-winner Phelim McDermott’s new production of Aida launches ENO’s 2017/18 seaso

 Opens on Thursday 28 September at 7.30pm at the London Coliseum for 16 performances

Following the success of Akhnaten in 2016, director Phelim McDermott and theatre company Improbable return to ENO with a new production of Verdi’s Aida.

In addition to the forces of Improbable, acclaimed female-led contemporary circus company Mimbre and renowned puppeteer Basil Twist round off an artistic team at the forefront of theatrical innovation.

Phelim McDermott comments:

‘I’ve never directed something like Aida before, but everyone knows the opera – it is the archetypal operatic love story. It’s a story worthy of the thing that only opera can do, which is to create theatre, music and drama at the same time. For us it’s like a sister production to Akhnaten – you can see that it’s born from the same kind of impulses. I would say, don’t expect to see Ancient Egypt on stage. Do expect to see a wonderful, intimate, moving story.’

Sharing the title role of the tragic Ethiopian princess who must choose between her homeland and her love will be two sopranos whose previous performances as Aida have received wide praise. Latonia Moore will sing the role from the 28 September to the 27 October and Morenike Fadayomi will take over from the 31 October to the 2 December.

Welsh tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones makes his second appearance for ENO this year as the captain of the guard and lover of Aida, Radamès.

Mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung makes her company debut as Amneris, Aida’s rival in love.  Also making her company debut, Dana Beth Miller takes over the role from her from the 31 October to the 2 December.

Rising South African bass-baritone Musa Ngqungwana makes his UK operatic debut as the defeated Ethiopian ruler Amonasro. Bass Matthew Best returns to ENO to sing the King.

British bass Brindley Sherratt returns to ENO as Ramfis and the cast is completed by ENO Harewood Artists Eleanor Dennis and David Webb as the High Priestess and Messenger respectively.

Leading the ENO Orchestra in the pit will be Canadian conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson, who makes a very welcome return after her  debut in 2014 with Richard Jones’s Olivier Award-winning The Girl of the Golden West.

The Movement Director is US puppeteer, silk artist and designer Basil Twist, one of the most influential and admired practitioners in his field: ‘no theatre artist in New York is showing more poetic force or technical skill than the puppeteer Basil Twist’ (The New Yorker).

ENO will collaborate with the Victoria & Albert Museum and Royal Opera House around their exhibition Opera: Passion, Power and Politics (30 September 2017 – 25 February 2018). As part of ENO’s involvement in the exhibition, ENO Baylis (our learning and participation programme) will develop a site-specific free public performance involving over 100 diverse community participants and professional artists inspired by ENO’s new production of Aida. This performance follows the success of our Millions of Years project in 2016, where a performance inspired by Akhnaten culminated in the Great Court of the British Museum, watched by over 3,000 people.

Aida opens on Thursday 28 September at 7.30pm at the London Coliseum for 16 performances: 03, 06, 09, 11 19 21 27, 31 October, 10, 17, 27, 29 November at 7.30pm, 14 October and 4 November at 6.30pm, and 2 December at 3pm.

360-DEGREE CAPTURE OPENS UP PEOPLE’S OPERA TO THE WORLD

With the premiere of Roxanna Panufnik’s People’s Opera Silver Birch taking place this weekend, Garsington Opera is pleased to announce a ground-breaking digital partnership with BBC Arts Digital and Pinewood Studios which will see sections of the performance captured by 360-degree cameras and ambisonic microphones in a project entitled Person 181.

With 180 community participants performing in Silver Birch, alongside professional singers and orchestra, this partnership project opens up the experience of participating in a live performance to the online viewer: the 181st participant.

For the first time ever, full access will be granted to backstage areas, warm up sessions with the cast and, ultimately, the live performance.

Garsington Opera is excited to be working in partnership with BBC Arts Digital and Pinewood Studios on this amazing project. Person 181 will extend the reach of Roxanna Panufnik’s People’s Opera to the world, using cutting-edge technology and innovative digital story-telling. We hope that the project will reach those who are unable to take part in creative projects, giving them a first-person experience of the amazing journey each of the community participants has been on to perform in Silver Birch” commented Johnny Langridge, Director of Development & Communications.

Silver Birch world premiere performances take place at Garsington Opera on 28, 29 & 30 July 2017. Person 181 will be available online via BBC Arts Digital free of charge from the autumn this year.

Garsington Opera’s thrilling new commission, Silver Birch, will feature over 180 participants from the local community aged 8-80, including students from primary and secondary schools, members of the local military community, student Foley artists under the guidance of Pinewood Studios and members of Wycombe Women’s Aid. Appearing alongside top professional singers and orchestral players, they will perform as dancers, singers, actors and instrumentalists. Garsington Opera’s Artistic Director Douglas Boyd will conduct. This draws to a close Garsington Opera’s 2017 season which has enjoyed record attendances and was 98% sold out.

Brighton Early Music Festival 2017

BRIGHTON EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL: ROOTS – 27TH OCTOBER – 12TH NOVEMBER 2017

“If it’s Early Music you’re looking for, then get yourself down to Brighton”   Classic FM
 
Brighton Early Music Festival launched its programme for 2017 on Tuesday 25th July at Angel House – a beautiful Regency venue on Brighton’s seafront.  2017 explores the origins of some of classical music’s best-loved forms, and is the Festival’s biggest ever offering with over 30 events taking place this autumn.  Festival Co-Artistic Director Deborah Roberts says “this year’s programme is a fascinating journey through the early development of the musical forms we know and love today.  The oratorio, sonata, string quartet and opera didn’t spring into being fully formed, but grew organically out of earlier models, and of course there’s also the chance to explore the rich tapestry of folk music which humans have enjoyed for centuries.”
 
The 2017 festival has the title ROOTS with flagship events including two new opera productions – Monteverdi’s Orfeo and Rameau’s Pygmalion which ‘bookend’ the early period of operatic development.  Orfeo will be staged at The Old Market in Hove, in a new production by Thomas Guthrie featuring a cast of specially auditioned young singers headed by tenor Rory Carver as Orfeo, while Pygmalion is a new staging by Karolina Sofulak in collaboration with baroque group Ensemble Molière.
The Festival is well known for its championing of young artists through its scheme for emerging ensembles, Early Music Live! This year, many of the groups performing at the Festival have previously taken part in the Early Music Live! scheme, including the Consone String Quartet (28th Oct); Ensemble Molière (28th & 29th Oct); The Askew Sisters (2nd Nov); Ensemble Hesperi(4th Nov); Musica Poetica (pictured, 4th Nov); Ensemble Tempus Fugit (5th Nov); Chelys Consort of Viols (10th Nov) and theLittle Baroque Company (11th Nov).  BBC Radio 3 will record the performances by the Consone Quartet and Ensemble Hesperi this year for broadcast on The Early Music Show.  This year’s Early Music Live! participants, including York Early Music International Young Artists Competition prizewinners Rumorum, will present their programmes in a special showcase on 4thNovember.
 
Folk enthusiasts can enjoy performances by Old Blind Dogs with singer Siobhan Miller (collaborating with L’Avventura London, 27th Oct), and The Askew Sisters (2nd Nov), and families are also catered for with OAE TOTS concerts for pre-schoolers (pre-festival, 7th Oct) and Tales in Music: The Pigeon & The Albatross with the Little Baroque Company (11th Nov).
 
Tickets for all festival events (£5-£28) go on sale to Friends of the Festival on Monday 21st August, and on general sale on Monday 4th September at bremf.org.uk or 01273 709709.
 

ENO re-enters Arts Council England’s National Portfolio

Today (Tuesday 27 June) Arts Council England (ACE) has confirmed that English National Opera (ENO) has re-entered ACE’s National Portfolio at its current funding level of £12.38million.

Dr Harry Brunjes, Chairman of ENO, commented

‘ENO is very pleased to share that we have been readmitted to Arts Council England’s National Portfolio. This decision reflects the hard work and sacrifice made by every single person across the organisation, including the senior team, led by Cressida Pollock. Their commitment has allowed us to build a sustainable business model, and one that I am confident will allow ENO to grow and prosper. A thriving, busy, competitive opera scene in the UK is vital if opera is going to continue to develop and flourish.

‘We are pleased that Arts Council England have recognised that ENO delivers public value not only through the productions that it puts on stage, but also through its education work, talent development, and artistic partnerships with other organisations and venues.

‘With a full artistic and executive team in place and many years of fantastic opera ahead of us, I am very confident and excited about the future.’

Cressida Pollock, ENO’s Chief Executive, said:

‘We are delighted to have been readmitted into ACE’s National Portfolio. This follows the huge amount of work that has gone into stabilising ENO and developing a sustainable platform from which we are able to grow. Only three years ago we were facing a very real risk of closure and it is hugely significant to see the work of the whole company celebrated through this show of confidence from ACE.

‘We employ over 350 people on stage and offstage, including our award-winning Chorus, Orchestra and technical teams. We appreciate the huge importance of our teams working and performing together regularly, with the security offered by a permanent position and this will ensure that we will remain the world leader in the development of British operatic talent.

‘We will invest more resource into ENO Baylis, our learning and participation programme, which enables people of all ages and backgrounds to engage with opera. We will keep our ticket prices affordable, with more than 500 tickets available for every single ENO performance for £20 or less alongside free tickets to dress rehearsals for young people and community groups.

‘By the 19/20 season we will have grown the number of London Coliseum operas we perform by 25% from the 2016/17 level – from 8 to 10. This is just one part of our wider mission, which is to deliver more opera of the very highest quality to as wide an audience as possible.’

Daniel Kramer, ENO‘s Artistic Director, said:

‘This wonderful news is a tribute to the hard work of our Company over the past two years. It is thanks to the dedication and commitment of every single one of my colleagues that we have been able to secure our future. We will now be able to develop more diverse and inclusive work, to support more British talent, to continue to work with the world’s most exciting artists, and to expand the definition and reach of opera to audiences across our nation.’

Bizet’s Carmen in a new chamber adaptation

Dulwich Opera Company present a brand new production of Bizet’s Carmen

Dulwich Opera Company are bringing Bizet’s classic tale of love and revenge to the St Albans, Winchester, and Herne Hill this summer. This young and vibrant company have devised a brand new chamber adaptation of Bizet’s classic, which will be the company’s first touring production.

The performance will feature a cast of young professional singers making role debuts, and will besung in French with English surtitles, with international conductor, Jeremy Silver, directing the music from the piano.

The company is delighted to reunite the creative team behind their highly acclaimed production ofCosì fan tutte, which is headed by international opera director, Ptolemy Christie, and designer, Leah Sams. Between them, they bring a great deal of experience to the production, having worked for many of the major opera and theatre companies here in the UK and abroad.

Premièred in 1875, Bizet’s Carmen remains one of the most loved and performed of all operas around the world, and includes the famous Habanera, Toreador song, and Flower Song. Based on the novella by Prosper Mérimée, the opera tells the story of the fiery gypsy girl’s tragic love affair with the obsessive soldier, Don José.

Carmen – Phillipa Thomas
Don José – James Hutchings
Micaëla – Loretta Hopkins
Escamillo – David Fletcher
Frasquita – Claudia Haussmann
Mercedes – Urszula Bock
Zuniga – Caspar James
Le Remendado – Jeremy Vinogradov
Le Dancaïre – Caspar James

The Pilgrims’ School Chamber Choir
(Winchester performance only)

Tuesday 27th June – St Saviour’s Church, St Albans

Thursday 29th June – St Paul’s Church, Winchester

Tuesday 4th July – Herne Hill School, London

Tickets are available in advance from www.dulwichoperacompany.org.uk/box-office – £21 / £19 Concesssions / £10 Under 16’s when accompanied by an adult.

Brighton Festival Chorus

Summer Concert: Sunrise
 
Brighton Festival Chorus
Brighton Festival Youth Choir
Chamber Domaine
James Morgan: conductor

Saturday 8th July 2017 at 7.30pm
Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, University of Sussex
Tickets:  £18.50 or £12 concession for students and under 16s
Attenborough Centre Box Office: 01273 678822
www.attenboroughcentre.com

Brighton Festival Chorus (bfc) is looking forward to its 50th anniversary season with a summer concert at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts. bfc has been rehearsing at the University of Sussex since 1968 when Laszlo Heltay, the University’s Director of Music, formed the Chorus. Heltay auditioned many of its founding members in the Attenborough Centre building, and so a return to this venue is a timely way to reflect on the birth of the Chorus.

The concert presents music for voices and strings. Chamber Domaine will play Elgar’s Serenade for Strings, one is his earliest and favourite works, and Barber’s well known Adagio for Strings, featured in many television shows and feature films.

Brighton Festival Youth Choir will perform Richard Rodney Bennett’s Letters to Lindbergh, featuring poems by Martin Hall that quote whimsically from letters supposedly received by Charles Lindbergh during his non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927. His correspondents include Scott of the Antarctic, the rusting hulk of the Titanic, and Walt Disney cartoon dog Pluto!

bfc will join Chamber Domaine for a performance of Vaughan Williams’ An Oxford Elegy. This piece was written between 1947 and 1949 using portions of two poems by Matthew Arnold: The Scholar Gipsy and Thyrsis. The work has a pastoral character, and is a loving and ruminative evocation of Arnold’s time and place.

The concert concludes with bfc singing Ola Gjeilo’s Sunrise Mass, first performed in 2008. Explaining Sunrise Mass, Ola Gjeilo said that he “wanted the musical development of the work to evolve from the most transparent and spacey, to something completely earthy and grounded; from nebulous and pristine to more emotional and dramatic, and eventually warm and solid – as a metaphor for human development from child to adult, or as a spiritual journey”.

The bfc Summer Concert promises to be a fitting start to the fundraising drive for its 50th anniversary season, embracing both traditional choral repertoire and more contemporary composition, inspired and influenced by both classical and popular culture.

 

 

 

English National Opera’s award-winning Orchestra and Chorus present The Dream of Gerontius, conducted by Simone Young

Saturday 1 July at 7.30pm and Sunday 2 July at 3pm at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall

English National Opera is proud to present a unique and visually striking version of one of Britain’s most-loved pieces of music. Two performances of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius will take place as part of Southbank Centre’s Chorus festival.

With richly evocative design by the award-winning Lucy Carter, three of the UK’s most acclaimed singers will present an emotionally-charged rendition of John Henry Newman’s poem. Soloists Gwyn Hughes Jones, Patricia Bardon and Matthew Rose join ENO’s Olivier Award-winning Chorus and Orchestra, the BBC Singers, and Australian conductor Simone Young, who leads the ENO Chorus and Orchestra for the first time.

Elgar’s choral masterpiece The Dream of Gerontius tells the story of the passage of the soul of a dying man as he passes into the next world. One of the most popular choral pieces nationwide, this performance gives the rare opportunity to see it staged with design to match the sweeping power of the music.

Lucy Carter has been praised for her work in lighting design across theatre, ballet and opera, notably winning the 2015 Knight of Illumination Award for her work on the Royal Ballet’s Woolf Works. She received wide acclaim for her ‘beautifully nuanced’ (Time Out) lighting for 2016’s Oil at the Almeida Theatre and now brings her vision to Elgar’s oratorio. She comments:

‘The concept for the visual world of this performance is to create an immersive experience that heightens the emotional textures of the music with a light energy, creating visceral lighting environments that the audience feel and hear as well as see. It draws on religious imagery and symbolism connected to the themes of Elgar’s epic oratorio, and uses the idea of light as an elemental, evocative and ultimately cleansing force.’

The title role is taken by Welsh tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones. A singer frequently seen on the ENO stage, he was recently described as ‘everything you could want’ (The Times) for his Cavaradossi in 2016’s Tosca. His other performances for ENO include Walther in 2015’s Mastersingers of Nuremberg (a role he reprised earlier this year for the Royal Opera House) and Don Alvaro in 2015’s The Force of Destiny.

Irish mezzo-soprano Patricia Bardon sings the Angel. The youngest-ever prize-winner of the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, she was much admired for her ‘magnificently sung’ (What’s On Stage) Arsace in 2017’s Partenope at ENO as well as her 2014 performances in The Gospel According to the Other Mary.

Bass Matthew Rose sings the dual role of Priest/Angel of Agony. Most recently seen with ENO as King Mark in Tristan and Isolde in an ‘impeccably sung’ (The Daily Telegraph) performance, he has sung this role on multiple occasions, including earlier this year at the Musikverein in Vienna.

Conducting the ENO Chorus and Orchestra will be Simone Young, former Intendant of the Hamburg State Opera and General Music Director of the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra, and before that Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of Opera Australia. Multi-award winning, including the Goethe Medal and the Brahms Prize, she is known as ‘one of the world’s most in-demand conductors’ (Sydney Morning Herald). This marks her first time performing with the ENO Orchestra and Chorus.

THE FORESTS OF AULANKO

From the creators of SEA FEVER comes:
THE FORESTS OF AULANKO

A classical concert with a twist, featuring
SIBELIUS SYMPHONY NO. 5

The Birley Centre, Eastbourne   |   7.30pm   |   June 28th 2017
Tickets £12, including a surprise cocktail

“Moving in the extreme”
– The Independent

“Made you feel like you were at the centre of an arctic gale with frost on your chin!” 
– The Guardian

The Forests of Aulanko is a concert. Just not as you know it.

In the PRE-CONCERT SHOW journey to the forests of Aulanko, home of Jean Sibelius, with music written specially for the adventure by 2012 BBC Young Composer of the Year, Alex Woolf. In the LIVE PROGRAMME NOTE, fly over the Finnish landscapes that inspired Sibelius, with tales about the composer and his world.

After a COCKTAIL inspired by the music, it’s the MAIN EVENT: a performance of Sibelius’s most iconic work, his 5th Symphony. It tells of the triumph of life over death, captures the perfection of the natural world, and contains one of the greatest melodies ever written – an arc of swans flying home to nest, captured in sound.

The Arensky Chamber Orchestra is Britain’s orchestra of revolutionaries. Extraordinary classical musicians dedicated to electrifying performance and mind-opening presentation.

Funded by the Arts Council and led by Eastbourne native William Kunhardt, the ACO are dedicated to building a second, permanent home on the South Coast. Imagine a year-round programme of daring, genre-bending, orchestral music in your town. If that sounds good, make sure you join us. The revolution needs your help.

Book online at www.wegottickets.com/eastbournecollege
Call: 01323 452255 | email: boxoffice@eastbourne-college.co.uk

DISCOVER MORE AT BLOG.THEACO.CO.UK

GARSINGTON OPERA ANNOUNCES 2018 SEASON

In 2018 Garsington Opera will present the world premiere of The Skating Rink by leading British composer David Sawer with a libretto by award-winning playwright Rory Mullarkey.  This new commission is based on the short novel by Chilean author Roberto Bolaño; Stewart Laing will direct and Garry Walker (The Cunning Little Vixen, 2014) conducts.

The Philharmonia Orchestra joins for Verdi’s Falstaff with Henry Waddington making his debut in the title role.  Richard Farnes will conduct and Bruno Ravella (Intermezzo, 2015) directs.

Garsington Opera’s first collaboration with Santa Fe Opera features Strauss’s Capriccio with Miah Persson as the Countess.  Tim Albery (Idomeneo, 2016) directs with Douglas Boyd, Artistic Director of Garsington Opera, conducting.

A new production of The Magic Flute opens the seven week season on 31 May with Christian Curnyn conducting and Netia Jones directing, both making their Garsington Opera debuts.

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra announces its 2017-18 Concert Season at Symphony Hall, Birmingham

  • Mirga Gražinyt?-Tyla to conduct an ambitious series of 26 concerts, working with the whole CBSO family, curating an internationally-significant Debussy Festival in March 2018, and conducting his opera Pelléas et Mélisande
  • Clarinettist, composer and conductor Jörg Widmann is Artist in Residence for the season
  • A strengthened commitment to new music with six premieres, including the world premiere of Gerald Barry’s Organ Concerto conducted by Thomas Adès
  • The CBSO Chorus performs Haydn’s The Creation, Fauré’s Requiem and works by Lili Boulanger with Mirga Gražinyt?-Tyla
  • BBC Young Musician 2016 Sheku Kanneh-Mason makes his CBSO debut conducted by Mirga Gražinyt?-Tyla
  • Debut artists include Yeol Eum Son, Ning Feng, Rafal Blechacz, Xavier de Maistre, Jérémie Rhorer, Constantinos Carydis, Joana Mallwitz and Leo McFall.  
  • Friday Night Classics concerts include the music of David Bowie, Abba, Star Wars, and the Best of Bollywood
  • The CBSO continues to offer accessible world class music for all, with an additional 1700 tickets available under £25, and tickets for young audiences from just £6

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) is delighted to announce its 2017-18 Concert Season at Symphony Hall, Birmingham. ‘One of Europe’s best orchestras’ (The Economist, 2016), the CBSO is a cultural flagship organisation for the Midlands and every year shares its world-class music-making with over 200,000 concertgoers in Birmingham, around the UK and worldwide. Led by Osborn Music Director Mirga Gražinyt?-Tyla(‘conducting’s next superstar’ The Telegraph) the CBSO’s 2017-18 season shares the talents and ambition of the entire CBSO family of ensembles with the widest possible audience.

Full season details can be found at www.cbso.co.uk