On Saturday 24 April the great lyric soprano Amanda Roocroft spent an afternoon with three of the 2021 Opera Holland Park Young Artists, giving masterclasses on music by Mozart and Strauss. Filmed by Simon Wall, and accompanied by the YA répétiteur Thomas Ang, Amanda worked with soprano Isabelle Peters and bass baritone Alex Jones on arias from Der Rosenkavalier and The Marriage of Figaro.
The film offers captivating insights into the complex business of combining vocal technique, musicality, physicality, imagination and stagecraft to create a compelling character in song. As Amanda brings empathy, wit and a wealth of experience to a rapid learning process, Thomas demonstrates the subtlety and strength required of a répétiteur. Available to watch online from Friday 14 May, this is a delightful behind-the-scenes document of life as an Opera Holland Park Young Artist in the tenth year of the training scheme.
Details of a new series of concerts have just been released featuring the piano in different styles and settings.
Friday 28th May 7pm
Rye Creative Centre
Claire Martin OBE and Nikki Iles
Monday 21st June 7pm
Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason MBE
and pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason
Saturday 17th or 18th July dependant on weather
12.30pm – 1.30pm and 6pm – 7pm
Lucy Parham and Tim McInnerny
Saturday 11th or Sunday 12th September dependant on weather 2pm
2019 HIPCC Prizewinner Yuanfan Yang
Saturday 25th September 5.30pm
Friday 8th October 7pm
White Rock Theatre
Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition Launch Concert with Maxim Kinasov and The EU Chamber Orchestra
Saturday 4th December 7pm
HIP Christmas Concert in Rye
with Sholto Kynoch and Schubert and Co Singers
An Evening of Opera and Song
Next production: Offenbach’s The Princess of Trébizonde
After such a joyful production of Offenbach’s La Belle Hélène in 2019/20, we could not resist the temptation to follow it with another of his hilarious (but much lesser known) masterpieces. Postponed because of Covid, it is rescheduled for mid November to early December. It has all the wonderfully zany ingredients typical of Offenbach’s work: set in a travelling circus, the action begins as a daughter of the acrobat dusts a waxwork of Princess Trébizonde and accidentally breaks off its nose. She then has no choice but to instal herself in its position and to impersonate the statue. A visiting prince turns up and, naturally, falls in love with what he thinks is the waxwork…
Toby Purser conducts St Paul’s Sinfonia. Director Tony Baker, who has directed several NSO productions in the past, has created a new version in English.
We are finalising tour dates and venues. Keep up to date at
Britten Pears Arts is thrilled to return to live music-making with audiences indoors at Snape Maltings from Friday 21 May, subject to the rollout of the government’s ‘roadmap’.
From 21 May to early September there will be a busy Summer at Snape programme, with concerts and events at Snape Maltings throughout the period. In May, June and July, Britten Pears Arts will again be offering short concerts on Friday, Saturday and Sunday – usually with two performances a day – and bringing together musicians who would have performed at last year’s Aldeburgh Festival and Snape Proms, in addition to other star performers. In August Snape Maltings Concert Hall will host daily performances in the spirit of the Snape Proms from outstanding artists and ensembles from the worlds of classical music, folk and jazz.
The opening weekend from 21 – 23 May will feature the BBC Symphony Orchestra with pianist and conductor Ryan Wigglesworth, a recital from Dame Sarah Connolly and pianist Joseph Middleton and pianist Nicholas McCarthy showcases repertoire for the left hand. There will then be a weekend of folk music from 28 – 30 May with Alden & Patterson and The Shackleton Trio, The Young ‘Uns, Honey & the Bear and Maz O’Connor joining singers from Britten Pears Young Artists with pianist Roger Vignoles to perform folk songs and their Britten arrangements. On bank holiday Monday (31 May) Michael Tilson Thomas will conduct the London Symphony Orchestra with solo pianist Yuja Wang.
In June, performances and repertoire will include activity which should have been presented last June during the Aldeburgh Festival, together with projects new to 2021. These will include several significant first performances of repertoire commissioned by Britten Pears Arts including music by Tansy Davies, Colin Matthews and Mark Anthony Turnage. There will be world premieres of music by John Tavener, John Woolrich and Stephen Hough and first performances of music theatre productions featuring Nadine Benjamin and Juliet Fraser.
A series of world premieres will feature new arrangements of the music of Benjamin Britten: Colin Matthews’ string orchestra versions of Double Concerto and Charm of Lullabies, Robin Holloway’s orchestration of the song cycle Winter Words in July with the tenor Nicky Spence, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Edward Gardner and a new chamber version by Joseph Phibbs of Our Hunting Fathers to be sung by the soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn and the Hebrides Ensemble in August.
The centenary of the horn player Dennis Brain will be marked by performances of Britten’s Serenade for tenor, horn and strings and Canticle III: Still falls the rain, both of which were written for Brain. There will also be a performance of Britten’s In Memoriam Dennis Brain and music for horn by featured composer Tansy Davies (“Yoik”) and Peter Maxwell Davies (“Fanfare-Salute to Dennis Brain) performed by Ben Goldscheider.
Other performers will include Allan Clayton and Andrew Staples (tenors), Britten Sinfonia, Aurora Orchestra, Nicholas Daniel (oboe), Feargal Mostyn-Williams and Andrew Watts (counter tenors), Roderick Williams (baritone), Olivia Jaguers (harp), James Baillieu and Alisdair Hogarth (pianos).
Roger Wright, Chief Executive of Britten Pears Arts, commented, “Having helped to lead the way last year with our determination to keep on presenting live performance and supporting musicians, it will be an enormous pleasure and privilege to welcome performers and audiences back to our venues. As part of our distinctive mix of programming, we are proud to be presenting so many world premieres, as well as hosting established and up and coming musicians. We will remain flexible and ready to respond to changing circumstances, whilst keeping audiences, musicians and our colleagues safe. Our wide-ranging summer programme is part of our ongoing commitment to the creative community and to our audiences, as we continue to celebrate music’s unique power to transform lives and bring communities together.”
Full listings and tickets available online at www.snapemaltings.co.uk
CBSO to stage eighteen socially-distanced concerts at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall between May and July
The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) is to return to Symphony Hall Birmingham as restrictions are lifted to allow live performances for the first time this year, with concerts for socially-distanced audiences to take place each Wednesday from 19 May – 7 July.
A new acoustic screen has been installed at the rear of the Symphony Hall stage, allowing a larger number of musicians to play together while maintaining social distancing than has previously been possible; this means CBSO audiences will see possibly the largest orchestra performing regularly anywhere in the UK at this time.
Highlights of the concerts announced today include two programmes with Music Director Mirga Gražinyt?-Tyla, featuring the world premiere of Thomas Adès’ The Exterminating Angel Symphony (16 June) and a programme of Weinberg and Mahler with mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill (23 June); Edward Gardner conducting Stephen Hough in Saint-Saëns’ energetic Piano Concerto No. 4 (19 May) and Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No.1 with Alina Ibragimova (7 July); the UK premiere of Julian Anderson’s major new cello concerto Litanies with Alban Gerhardt conducted by Kazuki Yamada (30 June); a concert showcasing one of the twentieth century’s biggest masterpieces, Shostakovich’s Symphony No.5, conducted by Nicholas Collon (26 May); Beethoven’s sparkling Piano Concerto No.2 with soloist Paul Lewis and conductor Chloé van Soeterstède (2 June); a programme of English music with tenor Ian Bostridge conducted by Michael Seal (9 June); and a special Friday Night Classics programme of Summer Classics with conductor Michael Seal and violinist Jonathan Martindale (Friday 2 July).
Stephen Maddock, Chief Executive of the CBSO, said: ‘We are so thrilled to be able to welcome audiences back to our home at Symphony Hall and to be able to share the joy of live orchestral music with them once more. Today we’re announcing our programme for eight weekly pairs of concerts from May onwards and we feel sure that the people of Birmingham and the Midlands will want to rush back to enjoy the glorious sound of full-scale orchestral music after more than a year in which we have all been denied this opportunity.’
For full concert listings visit the CBSO website
The 30th series of the popular lunchtime concerts at Holy Trinity Church, Robertson Street, Hastings re-start on Wednesday 2nd June.
FREE ADMISSION with retiring collection
Wednesdays, June to August 1.10 p.m
and a special finale to celebrate 30 series
Saturday 4th September, 2.30 p.m.
The Sussex Concert Orchestra Conducted by Ken Roberts
Full details of the varied programme of performances by local performers can be found at
Having already inspired hundreds of children and young people to participate in music activities during lockdown through their Virtual Music Centre, Brighton Dome’s music education service have launched a new series of online music courses, accessible for all ages and abilities.
Brighton & Hove Music & Arts and East Sussex Music will be delivering three course styles to suit different skill levels. First is personal one-to-one tutoring sessions, with teaching available on 16 different instruments from keyboard, guitar, trumpet or saxophone to violin, offering expert guidance every step of the way.
The second style of course on offer is a 10-week masterclass which specialises in song writing and production. Learning and participating as part of a group, this is a great opportunity to interact with other students and is a lower cost entry route to help learners get started. All that’s needed to take part in either one of these courses is an internet connection and a camera; upon completion, participants will earn themselves a digital badge, which could make an excellent addition to a musician’s CV.
The third type of course on offer are self-paced video courses available via instant video download; ideal for people with busy lifestyles, this course is designed to help people learn ukulele, drums or guitar at their own pace. The package is delivered in ten easy-to-digest sessions, alongside a support pack, to provide users with the perfect foundations to help them start on their journey towards instrument mastery.
All of these courses are available to residents in the UK, whether a beginner, intermediate or advanced performer.
As the largest music service in East Sussex, Brighton & Hove Music & Arts have over 20 years’ experience teaching thousands of students, their music teachers are some of the best in their field, and have finessed a fantastic approach to learning an instrument online.
Peter Chivers, Head of Brighton & Hove Music & Arts, said:
‘’Music has the potential to transform lives. Whether it is through the enjoyment of mastering instrumental and vocal skills, the excitement of developing creative ideas, the experience of seeing and hearing world class musicians or the thrill of actually performing, getting involved in music can be a truly fulfilling and lifelong experience.’’
To find out more information on pricing, course dates and more, visit the Brighton & Hove Music & Arts website bhma.org.uk or call 01273 261 565.
Ahead of the 150th anniversary of Ralph Vaughan Williams’s birth in 2022, Opera Holland Park is releasing a performance of The House of Life. Leading British tenor David Butt Philip and the acclaimed pianist and accompanist James Baillieu were filmed for Opera Holland Park by Simon Wall at Leighton House Museum.
Contemporaneous with Vaughan Williams’s bracing Robert Louis Stevenson cycle, Songs of Travel, the song cycle The House of Life is an uninhibited and intimate celebration of mutual love. It draws together six of the most delicate, devoted and delirious sonnets by poet and artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti: Love Sight, Silent Noon, Love’s Minstrels, Heart’s Haven, Death in Love and Love’s Last Gift.
James Clutton, Chief Executive and Director of Opera, says:
“David has graced the stage at Opera Holland Park many times, always with that dazzling voice and that golden talent. We had long been discussing ideas for possible recitals but when David suggested The House of Life, I wanted it to be the first in a new series of OHP recitals. It was a pleasure and a privilege to be there at the filming and hear the soaring music of Vaughan Williams, the alluring words of Rossetti and the partnership between David and James Baillieu, and to enjoy the experience of being transported away from 2021 to another time and place – a perfect place at that.”
The House of Life will be streamed via the company’s YouTube and Facebook channels at 7pm on Tuesday 13 April, with a suggested donation of £5. It will be available to watch on demand until 30 April.
Opera Holland Park would like to thank The Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust for making this project possible.
It is good to be able to report this financial support from the Cultural Recovery Fund.
Ian Roberts, Managing Director of Hastings International Piano says “We are delighted that Hastings International Piano has been awarded a significant grant from the Government’s ‘Cultural Recovery Fund’ .
“We are determined to continue to produce our much-needed programme of learning and engagement and our world-class audience experiences in the town and I am grateful to my team, our trustees and our many friends and patrons who have continued to loyally support us during the pandemic. Hasting International Piano is also extremely grateful to Arts Council England, DCMS, Kowitz Family Foundation, MP Sally-Ann Hart and Hastings Borough Council for their ongoing support of our organisation”.
Hastings International Piano will present a new programme of concerts and educational events throughout 2021 and the next edition of the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition will take place in 2022. Hastings International Piano Festival will return in 2023.
For further information please visit https://www.hastingsinternationalpiano.org