The 3 June saw us perform an all Handel programme in the final concert of our 2012-2013 Season – Queens, Heroines and Ladykillers: A Tribute to Lorraine Hunt Lieberson.Read More
For those of you who attended our Tribute to Lorraine Hunt Lieberson on Monday 3 June, we can tell you that the encore performed was the Musette from Handel’s Concerto Grosso Op6 No6. You may have also noticed that Stéphanie d’Oustrac was unfortunately indisposed and unable to join us on this occasion. We were, however, very pleased to welcome Karine Deshayes, who stood in at the last minute and was met with a wonderful response. Here’s a bit more about her.Read More
Mezzo-soprano Stéphanie d’Oustrac joins us on 3 June for Queens, Heroines and Ladykillers: A Tribute to Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. Here she goes up against the clock in our speed interview…Read More
On 3 June, we take to the stage at Royal Festival Hall for a tribute to the great mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson.Read More
On 3 June, we return to Royal Festival Hall to perform A Tribute to Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, the final concert of the season and the last of our Queens, Heroines and Ladykillers series.Read More
Lorraine Hunt Lieberson was born in San Francisco, on 1 March 1954. She grew up in a very musical household, with both her parents being music teachers and heavily involved in opera.Read More
We welcomed esteemed conductor Marin Alsop and British soprano Emma Bell to the stage for a dramatic concert featuring Mozart, Beethoven and Schumann on 8 March at the Southbank Centre.
Here’s what the audience thought of the night…and below, what the press had to say.
The Times (subscribers only)
Seen and Heard
You can also check out our Storify page from the night here.Read More
In Curtain Raisers and High Drama on 8 March, Marin Alsop joins us for an evening of hugely evocative music written for the female voice. Among works by Weber, Beethoven and Schumann, there’s also a chance to hear Elettra’s heart wrenching lament O smania! O furie!… from Mozart’s Idomeneo, an aria so powerful, you might argue it could make anything feel dramatic.Read More
As part of our Queens, Heroines and Ladykillers podcast, we chatted to conductor Marin Alsop and soprano singer Emma Bell about their experiences with the OAE, including why singing certain arias can be like taking part in The Great British Bake Off…Read More
After a bit of a break, our Queens, Heroines and Ladykillers series returns on 8 March at the Queen Elizabeth Hall when Emma Bell sings a whole host of arias written for the female voice, including an aria from Mozart’s Idomeneo featuring the famous ladykiller, Elektra. Here’s a bit about her…
Who was she?
Elektra was the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra and her siblings were Orestes and Iphigenia. It was not the most happy of families – her dad killed her sister and in retaliation her mum killed her dad so Elektra combined forces with her brother to kill her mum. (Greek myths had a body count worse than an episode of Game of Thrones.)
What was she famous for?
Elektra is most famous for helping her brother to kill their mother. This murder inspired plays by all three great Greek tragedians and modern writers such as Eugene O’Neill and Jean-Paul Sartre.
She features in famous operas by Mozart and Richard Strauss, partly inspired Marina and the Diamonds’ second album and even has a psychological complex named after her.
Of course there was that really bad film about an assassin too.
Was she a queen, heroine or ladykiller?
Elektra is best known for being a killer (both as a lady who killed and for killing a lady) but she was the daughter of a queen (whom she killed) so could be seen as a queen as well.
Who will be singing Elektra and when?
Emma Bell will be singing Elettra from Mozart’s Idomeneo on 8 March 2013 in Queens, Heroines and Ladykillers: Curtain raisers and high drama at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.
You can listen to Cheryl Studer sing Elettra’s aria Oh smania! Oh furie! Oh disperata Elettra! here.Read More
Perhaps the best way to describe an OAE Study Day is that it’s like a television documentary, only live.Read More
Last week, we enjoyed a fabulous concert with fast rising star Jonathan Cohen conducting and regular OAE collaborator Sarah Connolly singing some wonderful arias from Purcell, Rameau and Charpentier.
Here’s what the reviewers said about the concert:
The Times (subscribers only)
Thanks to all who tweeted during the concert too, our favourite comment was:
“Blinking Hell! I always thought @spconnolly was fab, but tonight she got into my heart and soul and had a good old rummage. Superb”
Here’s our Storify page with all your feedback from the night.
Let us know what you thought of the night by using the comments box below.Read More
Our guide to female opera characters returns, with a look at Phaedra…
The fabulous Sarah Connolly will be taking on the role next Thursday at our next Queens, Heroines and Ladykillers concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, in Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie.
In Part 3 of our guide to female opera characters, we’re looking into the life of famous queen Dido…and tonight at the Royal Festival Hall, Anna Caterina Antonacci will be portraying the lady herself in an aria from Berlioz’s grand opera Les Troyens.
Who was she?
Dido was founder and queen of Carthage. She fled her home of Tyre when her brother murdered her husband and she settled with her followers in North Africa.
The new city of Carthage was flourishing when the Trojan hero Aeneas arrived on his way to Italy to found what would eventually be Rome. However, when he stopped in Carthage the goddess Venus made Dido fall in love with him and for a while Aeneas postponed his quest. When he eventually left, Dido was heartbroken and committed suicide, cursing Aeneas and his descendants. Aeneas later met Dido in the underworld but she refused to forgive him even in death.
What was she famous for?
Dido is most famous for the Roman poet Virgil’s account of her romance Aeneas in The Aeneid. The story of their doomed romance was used by Christopher Marlowe, Henry Purcell and Sasha Waltz.
Dido has a popstar, a computer game character, a mathematical problem and an asteroid named after her.
Was she a queen, heroine or ladykiller?
Dido was a queen first and foremost. Before Aeneas arrived on the scene, she was an accomplished leader known for her wisdom. When she originally asked for land to build Carthage she was told she could have only the amount of land an ox hide could cover – to get round this she had the hide cut into one long strip which meant she had enough land to build a whole city!
Who will be singing Dido and when?
Anna Caterina Antonacci will sing Je vais mourir…Adieu, fière cité from Berlioz’s Les Troyens at Three eras of divas on 30 September 2012. You can listen to it here
Sarah Connolly will be singing When I am laid in earth from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in French Exchange on Thursday 8 November 2012.Read More
Next in our handy guide to female opera characters, we find out more about Iphigenia…if you’re coming to our concert on Sunday at the Royal Festival Hall, you’ll get to hear her distraught aria, taken from Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride.Read More
You may remember that we launched a competition a few weeks back, where you could win a night fit for a Queen. Entrants had the chance to win a private box plus interval drinks for the opening night of our Queens, Heroines and Ladykillers season on 30 September at the Southbank Centre, London.
Well, we’ve been reading through the great entries you’ve submitted and we’re very pleased to announce that our winner is: Camelia Borg. She was nominated by her colleague, Maurizio Borgatti at the charity Voice who submitted the following heart-warming entry:
“Hi my heroine is a young care experienced woman called Camelia Borg who is currently volunteering for Voice as a fundraising intern for 3 months. She has overcome an amazing number of difficulties in her young life and yet still has an amazing passion and drive to help other young people in care through her work with Voice. This is her story:
My life’s journey began in Hertfordshire, I was taken into care and moved from area to area, home to home; there’s been so many across the years that I have lost count.
Throughout my childhood I encountered many difficult obstacles and issues, quickly aging me beyond my years. I found myself lost in a system full of promises that weren’t kept. My last Foster Carer introduced me to Voice, as I had many issues and she knew that they were independent and willing to help me. Through the help, advice and guidance from my advocate, I was able to understand and realise that I didn’t have to be another care statistic.
I could never forget that pivotal moment that changed everything for me, and so continued to help Voice through volunteering, to help give something back and be able to help them and others…”
Well done Camelia – a true heroine0 and many thanks to all who entered the competition.Read More
Here’s our brand-new podcast dedicated to our new concert series for 2012-2013: Queens, Heroines and Ladykillers, which starts this Sunday at the Royal Festival Hall.Read More
Ahead of the first concert in our Queens, Heroines and Ladykillers series this Sunday, celebrating some amazing women in music, we thought we’d give you the lowdown on some of the female opera characters we’ll be featuring over the next few months.
First on our list is Medea, one of the most notorious ladykillers of them all…Read More
At 10am tomorrow, OAE viola player Annette Isserlis and Chair of Musicology at Cardiff University; Professor Rachel Cowgill, will be donning the Radio 4 headphones and settling into the seats of Woman’s Hour to discuss our upcoming Queens, Heroines and Ladykillers Season, which starts this Sunday at the Royal Festival Hall.Read More
Ahead of our Queens, Heroines and Ladykillers series launching on 30 September, celebrating feisty female roles in opera, we’re launching a competition where you could win a night fit for a Queen.
Nominate your personal heroine and you’ll be in with the chance to win your own private box plus interval drinks for the opening night of the Queens, Heroines and Ladykillers season on 30 September at the Southbank Centre, London.
We’ve put together a little video (above) with a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing…
To enter, tell us about your personal heroine in 200 words or less by 26 September and we’ll pick the best entry and announce the winner the following day.
Entries should be submitted to: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also enter on our Facebook or Twitter pages.
Good luck!Read More