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Operamaniac – 5 Operas to see before you die

Thu 17 Apr 2014

red-curtain-3

We all have our favourite operas (if you are into opera, of course). And frequently an intense debate among opera fanatics can arise over who is the best composer. After two hundred years we still debate about Wagner and Verdi, two amazing composers that changed opera forever. With this in mind, I have recently been asked the following: “Daniel, if you had to nominate five (and only five) operas that everyone must see before they die, what would they be?”

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Speed Interview – Victoria Simmonds

Thu 28 Nov 2013

Offenbach

We chased down the wonderful Victoria Simmonds; aka Flamel in our up and coming concert performance of Offenbach’s Fantasio, to talk about some of the finer things in life (books, opera, Brad Pitt, that sort of thing…)

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Mozart – The Final Rush

Fri 22 Nov 2013

OAE Mozart

Time is running out to pre-order our brand new CD – Mozart’s Complete Horn Concertos, with our Principal Horn Roger Montgomery.  Purchase it before Monday to receive a special discounted rate!

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Pre-concert talk: Julian Rushton – 29 January 2013

Tue 11 Jun 2013

Jonathan-Rees-and-Gurpal

Professor Julian Rushton takes a detailed look at Mozart’s last three symphonies, in a pre-concert talk given before the concert ‘By Jupiter, that’s the last of Mozart!’ on 29 January 2013 at the Royal Festival Hall, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.

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Mozart, Le nozze di Figaro DVD

Mozart, Le nozze di Figaro DVD
Price: £14.99 Buy Now

Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro is the quintessential Glyndebourne opera – first performed in 1934 and in 1994 when the opera house re-opened.

‘This is a Figaro of rare grace, naturalness and charm’, said The Daily Telegraph, and for The Sunday Times it was a production that ‘affirms Mozart’s most beloved masterpiece as both of its time and perennially modern, Grandage oiling the comic mechanisms of Lorenzo Da Ponte’s libretto with a master technician’s hands.’

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Current Distractions

Thu 25 Apr 2013

AWB1

A Viola player using the latest technology to create a musical composition, an artist based in Singapore that can create life-like images with just paint and resin – there’s so much to see here and all so culturally nourishing.  Plus, if you can make it to the bottom, there’s a picture of Haydn in hair curlers.

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Speed Interview – Stuart Jackson

Wed 13 Mar 2013

Stuart-Jackson

On 22 March, our first concert as part of the Kings Place Bach Unwrapped series will explore Bach’s Cantatas and Brandenburg Concertos.  Among the performers will be critically acclaimed tenor; Stuart Jackson.

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By Jupiter, that’s the last of Mozart: reviews and reaction

Tue 5 Feb 2013

rattle-2013-thumb

We finally finished our European tour with Sir Simon Rattle with a flourish at the Royal Festival Hall last Tuesday.
Here’s what the press had to say, as well as what you thought of the night.

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A new Figaro

Wed 3 Oct 2012

© Ellie Cowan

At the end of September, OAE players visited St Laurence School in Bradford on Avon for our annual opera project with eight classes of Year 7′s who had just joined the school.

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Current Distractions

Thu 30 Aug 2012

hahn-bin blue

Welcome to the first of a new section based around what’s been catching our collective eye…

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Glyndebourne’s Le Nozze di Figaro – free and on demand

Fri 24 Aug 2012

Glyndebourne Figaro

As ever, this summer we’ve been down in Glyndebourne, this year performing in the pit for two operas, The Fairy Queen and Le Nozze di Figaro. We’re delighted to say that Glyndebourne have made available this completely free stream of Le Nozze di Figaro, conducted by Robin Ticciati, which you can enjoy here until 2 September. Happy viewing!

Don’t forget that you can purchase DVDs of the Glyndebourne productions of The Fairy Queen and Rinaldo in our online shop.

Act 1

Act 2

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Figaro in pictures

Tue 17 Jul 2012

Nozze_di_Figaro-Count (2)

We’re almost halfway through our run of The Marriage of Figaro at Glyndebourne and there’s been some great response to it so far. 

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Mozart Requiem CD

mozart_requiem_oae
Price: £9.99 Buy Now

A new recording of Mozart’s Requiem with the Choir of New College Oxford.

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VOTE for a concert title!

Fri 25 Nov 2011

Ballot box

You may remember that a while back we asked you for your suggestions for a concert title, for an event in our yet-to-be-announced 2012-2013 London Southbank Centre season. The concert was an all Mozart one featuring his last three symphonies, Numbers 39, 40 and 41, Jupiter. There were lots of great suggestions and we’ve picked out our favourite four for a public vote. So, take a look below and select your favourite. Voting closes on Tuesday morning.

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Name a concert for us!

Fri 28 Oct 2011

Horn Shadow

It’s time for what has now become a yearly tradition for us on the OAE blog, where we turn to you, our readers to help us name a concert in our season. Last time you came up with ‘Fingers, Felix and the Freeshooter’ (for a concert of Weber, Mozart and Mendelssohn that started our current season), and the previous year the winning title was ‘Papa Haydn and Sister Act’, for a concert featuring music by Haydn and the Labéque Sisters on piano.

 

So, you did us proud in past seasons and now, as we plan our 2012-2013 Season (yes, we work a LONG time ahead!), we are turning to you again for some help. The concert is below – can you think of a catchy title for it? Leave your ideas below as comments and we’ll pick our favourite. For those of you new to this, each of our London concerts has a title, intended to give potential ticket-buyers a flavour of the evening. They can be straightforward, witty or even irreverent.

 

Suggestions must be in by next Friday 4 November. And in case you’re really keen, the season goes on sale in February next year.

 

Get thinking!

 

The concert:

 

Mozart Symphony No.39
Mozart Symphony No.40
Mozart Symphony No.41, Jupiter

 

(i.e. Mozart’s last three symphonies)

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Mozart: An Italian Journey CD

Mozart "An Italian Journey" CD
Price: £9.99 Buy Now

Mozart
Il desio di vendetta Lucio Silla
Sposa Cara La finta semplice
Quercia annosa Il sogno di Scipione
Dentro il mio petto La finta giardiniera
Se vicendo Il rè pastore
Il padre Adorato Idomeneo
Sol può dir Il rè pastore
Vedrommi intorno Idomeneo
Misero! o sogno, K431
Il mio tesoro Don Giovanni
Fuor del Mar Idomeneo
Un’aura amorosa Cosi fan tutte
In qual fiero contrasto Cosi fan tutte
Se all’imperio La Clemenza di Tito

Jonathan Cohen conductor
Jeremy Ovenden
tenor
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Released 2011
Total Running Time: 67.31
Signum Classics SIGCD251

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Mozart Arias CD

danielle-de-niese
Price: £9.99 Buy Now

Mozart Arias

Sacred Arias:
Exsultate, Jubilate, K.165
Laudete Dominum (Vesperae solennes de confessore)

Concert Arias:
Bella mia finamma, addio!…Resta, oh cara
Oh, temerario Arbace!… Per quel paterno amplesso

Opera Arias:
Giunse alfin il momento…Al desio di chi t’adora
Le nozze di Figaro (alternative aria)
Una donna a quindici anni Così fan tutte
Quando avran fine omai…Padre, germani, addio! Idomeneo
Ah! fuggi il traditor Don Giovanni
L’amerò, sarò costante Il re pastore

Duet:
Là ci darem la mano Don Giovanni (with Bryn Terfel)

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Robert Levin, Mozart, and er, Duke Ellington?

Fri 30 Sep 2011

Robert LEVIN crop

Pianist and scholar Robert Levin appeared with us last night in two concerts (a 7pm and a Night Shift) and today has been on a bit of a media blitz, appearing on Radio 4′s Today programme and the World Service too. There’s also something in the Evening Standard.

 

The reason? Well Robert has been talking about two things. Last night he performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.23 with us, and Robert’s research strongly points to it being written for a pupil of his, Barbara Ployer, something previously unknown. One of the reasons he suspects this is that he found a coda written for the piece, which was intended for Barbara, and this coda hasn’t been performed for at least 200 years. But alongside this, Robert has been talking about how we perform Mozart these days. Modern performance very much sticks to what is written on the page, with no deviation. But Robert argues that in Mozart’s day there would have been a lot of free rein given to the soloist, to embellish the basic musical line, improvise around it etc. In fact, Robert, argues that his hero, Duke Ellington, is really like a modern-day Mozart.

 

Robert is performing the Concerto with us again on 4 October, as part of our very first The Works event. In the event he’ll be joined by presenter Suzy Klein, and the first half of the concert will be given over to a ‘guided tour’ of the concerto. More on the event in this previous blog post.

 

Here’s Robert talking about the concerto, plus links to today’s coverage.

 

 

Robert on the Today Programme

 

Evening Standard Coverage

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Introducing The Works – why, what, how & when…

Tue 20 Sep 2011

The Works logo

Many of you will know of, or will have been to, one of our Night Shift events. We introduced these late-night concerts about 5 years ago, for a number of reasons – the prime one being that we wanted to appeal to a different audience to that which comes along at 7pm. But also at the OAE we like experimenting and trying new things – and the idea of a late-night informal concert simply appealed to us. As evidenced by the fact we’re still doing them 5 years later, the series has been a great success, but a year ago we started thinking ‘what next’?

When I say ‘what next’ I mean in terms of types of concert. We really like the idea of varying the concert format, so that we have a range of things that appeal to different people. We already have our ‘standard’ 7pm concerts, the Night Shift and also our amazingly popular Tots events. So we started thinking about other ideas. A shortlist was drawn up, we debated it at a board meeting, and we decided to go for something which at the time was called an ‘explorer’ concert.

The idea from this is evolved from a couple of one-off events we’ve had with conductors Iván Fischer and Marin Alsop in past seasons, where they have deconstructed a piece of music before we give a performance of it. But the concept also evolved from what some Night Shift focus groups had told us. In those groups we actually had some attenders who were somewhat older than the typical Night Shift audience. Like others in the focus groups they weren’t actually that keen on traditional classical concerts, but they came because they liked the event and its informality. However some of them did say that it was a little too late for them and that they felt they didn’t quite fit in with the studenty audience. So this made us think…we could develop something almost midway between a 7pm concert and a Night Shift. Something informal, welcoming and approachable, but perhaps a bit more structured than a Night Shift, but incorporating lots of ideas from it nonetheless.

So, after an office-wide brainstorm to find a name The Works was born. The concept is not rocket science. The heart of it is a concert at 8pm, that lasts around 80 minutes, with no interval. In the first part of the concert the presenter and conductor or soloist will give the audience a ‘guided tour’ of the featured piece of music, movement by movement. Then there’s time for a Q+A and then a full performance of it. Drinks will be allowed in and we hope some of the informal atmosphere of the Night Shift will ensue. Before the concert, from 7pm we have some jazz in the bar as a way to start people’s evening off and then after the concert our Education Director, Cherry, will lead a ‘speed-date-the-OAE’ session, which is basically a flash way of enabling the audience to meet the Orchestra (all will be explained on the night)!

Our first one is coming up soon on 4 October, for which we’re fortunate to be joined by pianist Robert Levin, who is such an amazing speaker. He’ll be playing and introducing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.23 – a [...]

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The Glam Factor. With Ceri Jones.

Fri 5 Aug 2011

Press Manager Katy Bell outside Mozart's House

When I tell people that I work for an Orchestra and occasionally get to accompany them on tour, they often get very excited and say, ‘ooh isn’t that glamorous’…

Erm… well in a word, not always!  (editor – that’s two words!) This past weekend I was lucky enough to accompany the OAE on one of their 4 trips out to Salzburg to play in the festival’s production of The Marriage of Figaro. I definitely drew the short straw with this one – one of those blink and you’ll miss it 24 hour trips, but I did get to enjoy some stunning opera in one of the worlds classiest and distinguished music festivals so it can’t have been all bad.

Do the negatives cancel out the highlight?  What do you think to this chain of events??

The glamour scale…

Saturday morning aka usually my weekend.  Alarm fails to go off so I have approximately 5 minutes accompanied by sheer panic to get dressed and leave the house (minus).

Arrive at Heathrow Terminal 1, along with the rest of the UK as it’s the first day of the school summer holidays.  Spend ages queuing to check in, then helping to sneak OAE players to the front of the queue and the bag drop so we don’t miss our plane (minus).

Finally, through security and time for a coffee with our orchestra manager, Philippa, Press Manager Katy and the 2 Tony wind players (plus).

Onto the plane, jam my bag in the overhead locker and settle in to my seat, with my free copy of the Daily Mail…(editor – double minus) I’m sandwiched in the middle of a 3. Surrounded by screaming children (minus).

Offered a skanky egg sandwich (minus).

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