Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Edward Elgar (1857-1934)


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His times: Elgar was born eight years before the Finn Jean Sibelius, a composer who like many others on the edges of Europe would become associated with musical ‘nationalism’.

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Richard Tognetti Speed Interview

Fri 14 Nov 2014


Richard Tognetti is leading our concert, Lord of the Strings, in London and on tour around the country. He’s a world renowned violinist, Artistic Director and leader of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, surfer, composer…

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The Three Town Tour and more

Fri 14 Nov 2014


And they’re off…

The OAE is going on tour. Not a tour of the glamourous concert halls of mainland Europe or those of our cousins across the pond, but of local, accessible venues such as pubs and leisure centres.

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Watercycle at Southbank Centre

Thu 13 Nov 2014

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On Sunday October 19, we set up shop in Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room for a mammoth day of concerts, all part of our education and outreach programme, Watercycle. Children and families were welcomed by OAE staff armed with stickers, crayons and water-themed colouring pages.

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Margaret Faultless


Maggie Faultless

The violinist Margaret Faultless is one of the OAE’s four leaders and regularly directs the orchestra.

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The OAE goes clubbing…

Wed 12 Nov 2014


This Saturday we’ll be doing something just a little different with our late night series The Night Shift, and popping up at the legendary Vauxhall club Duckie.

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Le Malade Imaginaire, 3 and 9 Nov – Audience Feedback

Mon 10 Nov 2014


Last week we presented two performances of Charpentier’s incidental music to Moliere’s Le Malade Imaginaire.

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Put your thinking caps on and name a concert for us…

Mon 10 Nov 2014


Wow, that came round fast. It only seems like yesterday that we were asking you to help us name a concert in our current season (Lord of the Strings, coming up on 25 Nov and on tour), and here we are doing it all over again – this time for our 2015-2016 season, which gets announced in January.

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Current Distractions

Fri 7 Nov 2014


Culture this week – when music starts getting it wrong/losing the plot.

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What the audience thought: Le Malade Imaginaire at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Fri 7 Nov 2014


We made our debut performance at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse on Monday, with Charpentier’s Le Malade imaginaire. Check out what the audience thought here. If you like what you hear, we’re performing again on Sunday 9th November more info/book tickets. 

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What the critics say: Les Martyrs

Fri 7 Nov 2014


So we’ve already shared what you, the audience, had to say about this week’s performance of Les Martyrs, but how did we fare with those paid for their opinions? Check out the review round-up below. 

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Donizetti’s Les Martyrs, 4 November- Audience feedback

Wed 5 Nov 2014

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We’re still buzzing from last night’s performance of Donizetti’s grand opera Les Martyrs, the latest instalment in our collaboration with Opera Rara. Conducted by Sir Mark Elder, it featured a superb cast including Michael Spyres, Joyce El-Khoury and David Kempster. Here’s what the public had to say:

[View the story “Donizetti Les Martyrs” on Storify]

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Operamaniac: Notes on Les Martyrs

Mon 3 Nov 2014


Daniel, OAE Finance Officer, aka Operamaniac, was lucky enough to sit in on some of the Les Martyrs recording sessions with Opera Rara and Sir Mark Elder last week. Here he ponders on the experience and what he learnt from it.

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OAE at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, an introduction

Mon 3 Nov 2014

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OAE Principal Theorbo/Lute, Liz Kenny introduces us to the concerts she devised for the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, which begins with Le Malade imaginaire (or The Hypochdriack). 

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Speed interview: Joyce El-Khoury

Sun 2 Nov 2014


Joyce El-Khoury plays Pauline in Les Martyrs at the Royal Festival Hall on 4 November, as well as the upcoming Opera Rara recording of the opera. We found out what makes her tick by means of our tried and tested speed interview.

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Michael Spyres: Speed Interview

Sat 1 Nov 2014

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Our performance of Donizetti’s powerful opera Les Martyrs is fast approaching, with American tenor Michael Spyres singing the part of Polyeucte. Here he answers our speed interview questions:

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Halloween playlist

Fri 31 Oct 2014


It’s Halloween, and we’ve cobbled together a ‘scary’ playlist from the OAE Office’s suggestions.

‘How scary can classical music be?’ you ask. Well, we received this suggestion via email from our finance department:

‘Bartok: Duke Bluebeard’s Castle (if you want just one scene I suggest the torture chamber, the pool of tears or the true horror of ‘the 7th door’!)’

Now listen to it, go forth, eat drink and be scary.

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Liz Kenny: Speed Interview

Fri 31 Oct 2014


Our co-principal theorbo Liz Kenny is the creative mastermind behind our upcoming concerts at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. A couple of years ago she sat through our speed interview. So by now she’s probably finished The Wire, but possibly not that Charpentier biography… 

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Five and a half interesting things about the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Thu 30 Oct 2014


So, we’re performing in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse next week. Let’s take it as read that you know the basics – it’s part of Shakespeare’s Globe, it’s a replica of a Jacobean theatre, it’s lit by candlelight etc. But there’s more…

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Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848)


His times: Italy succumbed less readily to the excesses and experiments of the Romantic movement than most of her European neighbours, and the result – in a country whose musical life was dominated by opera in the 19th century – was a conservative attitude to the stage in which works tended to be divided into the ‘comic’ and the ‘tragic’ while not stretching far beyond established formulas and aiming for little more than short-term success.

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