Just thought we’d share a very interesting video here, from an event at the Royal Opera House . Conductors Antonio Pappano, Edward Gardner and our Principal Artist Vladimir Jurowski talk to Sir John Tusa about conducting opera and what it takes to be a musical director of a leading opera house. Plus – a little clip is included of us in the pit at Glyndebourne with Vladimir Jurowski conducting. Enjoy!Read More
After the last Night Shift back in January, where Vladimir Jurowski conducted us in music by Mahler and Liszt, our brave man-with-a-cam, Zen, asked the audience: ‘How was it for you?’
Here’s what people said:Read More
Here’s a little video diary from our trip to Paris back in January, when we took a supersized OAE there for a concert of Wagner, Liszt and Mahler with conductor Vladimir Jurowski and mezzo soprano Sarah Connolly. We armed Communications Director William Norris with a video camera, and here are the results:
We’ve had a bit of a backlog of videos here, so these audience vox pops have been somewhat delayed. But they’re here now. After our Symphonic Enlightenment programme of Wagner, Mahler and Liszt at the Royal Festival Hall back on 21 January we asked audience members what they had made of the performance (with conductor Vladimir Jurowski and soloist Sarah Connolly). Here’s what they said:Read More
Projects Manager Megan Russell got snapping when we were in Paris with Vladimir Jurowski and our Symphonic Enlightenment programme a couple of weeks ago:Read More
Regular readers of this blog or our Facebook Page will know we were due to interview Vladimir Jurowski back in December. Well, that didn’t happen as he wasn’t too well, and about to embark on a big tour. We did however catch up with him last week, when he was with us conducting the Symphonic Enlightenment programme. We’d like to say a big thank you to him for giving up some of his hectic schedule to speak to us – particularly given that a) He still wasn’t 100% well, as evidenced by the tissue clutched in his hand and b) his schedule really is super-packed – he didn’t even have any time off over Christmas!Read More
More reviews from Friday’s concert at the Royal Festival Hall. Plus you can listen to the concert online for a further 6 days.
I am writing this on my final day here at the OAE. Firstly I should just explain the title ….on my second day here I got to accompany Megan to Glyndebourne to see Don Giovanni conducted by Vlad, and tonight on my last day is the fantastic concert in the RFH of Wagner, Liszt and Mahler again conducted by Vlad.
I have enjoyed my time here immensely, I was applying to the internship to find out all about ‘orchestra managing’, but have come away with knowledge about stage management, touring, visas, franking machines, rehearsals, lit stands, technical riders, Donor strategy, fixing, programming, recording, marketing, press interviews, the BBC, printing labels, playing the violin, making teas, folding music stands, running rehearsals, ordering bouquets, eating chocolates, evacuating Kings Place, and most of all un-jamming the photocopier.Read More
We’re back from Paris and a second performance of our Symphonic Enlightenment programme of Wagner, Mahler and Liszt. First reviews from Friday’s performance are now in too – mainly from bloggers and online. Hopefully the Nationals will follow tomorrow. Thanks so much for the comments posted on our blog, You Tube video and also for the many Tweets we’re had as well. It’s always great to get such instant feedback!
Radio 3 recorded Friday’s concert at the Royal Festival Hall and you can listen to it at 7pm tonight, or online here for 7 days after.
Also coming up on the blog – a video interview with conductor Vladimir Jurowski, a round up of Night Shift news, pictures from Paris and a Parisien tour diary. Plus a parting shot from our intern Ingrid.
Vladimir Jurowski, one of our three Principal Artists, conducts three concerts with us this week, two in London and one in Paris. Ahead of these we caught up with him for one of our Speed Interviews:
What/when was your big breakthrough?
What do you fear the most?
To act against my own conscience.
Which mobile number do you call the most?
What – or where – is perfection?
Perfection is an ideal. As such it belongs into the reign of dreams.
Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?
Snufkin (Snusmumriken) from the ‘Moomins’-series by Tove Jansson – for he is an idealist, an individualist, always calm, good-humoured, a music-lover and an eternal traveller.
Our next Night Shift event is next Wednesday at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, when we’ll be joined by Night Shift regular, conductor Vladimir Jurowski, for a concert of Mahler and Liszt. Support comes from Kitty La Roar and Nick of Time and there’s a DJ set afterwards from Postino. We’ve just released a new podcast ahead of the event and in it we chat to Orchestra leader Maggie Faultless about the music featured, hear from Vladimir Jurowski about his experiences of conducting at The Night Shift, find out how the graphic design and illustration for The Night Shift has evolved and also talk to Natasha, one of our student representatives. You can listen to the podcast below and it will also shortly be available on itunes. Also below is a retrospective of Night Shift flyer designs, to accompany your podcast listening!Read More
Mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly who sings with us in London and Paris next week, talks to journalist Andrew Mellor about her work with later romantic repertoire such as Mahler and Wagner:
You seem to be moving in a new direction with all this Wagner and Mahler…
Yes – thank goodness I had a lot of superb training at Glyndebourne, which prepared me very well. I didn’t realise I had that dramatic sound in my voice until Vladimir Jurowski offered me a concert performance of Tristan a while ago. He seemed to think I could do it and I appreciated that leap of faith. I had sung Das Lied von der Erde with the Concertgebouw and many other orchestral lieder by Mahler so despite performing Handel’s Giulio Cesare at the same time, Brangäne’s music felt very natural. I will confess though that her extreme outbursts initially made me want to apologize to the rest of the room! I felt slightly uncomfortable with Wagnerian hysteria.
You seemed very suited to the character at your Prom performance with Simon Rattle and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment this summer…
Actually Simon came to that rehearsal of Tristan with the LPO and Vladimir and that’s how the Prom came about. Simon was offering different ways of doing things, giving me more space than I’d been used to. He’s a wonderful accompanist; he invites the orchestra to accompany and never dominates, but at the same time he is also able to take the lead.
In two weeks time we’re getting out of our comfort zone and playing some HUGE (for us) pieces by Mahler, Liszt and Wagner with our Principal Artist Vladimir Jurowski. On the programme are two pieces by Mahler, his Totenfeier, and also the song cycle Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (with soloist Sarah Connolly). Ahead of the concerts we caught up with some OAE players and asked them what Mahler means to them. Opinion was mixed…
You can catch the concert on 21 January at the Royal Festival Hall, 22 January at the Théatre de Champs Elysées in Paris, and two pieces feature in our Night Shift on 19 January at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.Read More
As has become customary at this time of year we asked around the office and orchestra for people’s top OAE moments of 2010. There are definitely a few trends in the below… and we’d love to know what your top OAE moments of the year were too.
It’s difficult for me to decide whether Beethoven with Iván Fischer or Bach with John Butt wins my best moment of 2010? I’vedecided it’s John Butt because I have not worked with him as a director before. John is a leading Bach scholar and there were constant pearls of wisdom and humour (always a good thing in rehearsals). He is such an open and physically uninhibited musician. One of my favourite moments was when he asked us to be like evil black poodles—- all I could think of was Cruella de Vil! Not very 18th century but it worked.
Martin Kelly, Viola and Vice-Chairman
It was definitely Don Giovanni at Glyndebourne which I had the pleasure of watching twice; firstly on our annual office trip and the next time with my mum when we were caught in the worst downpour of the summer. The poor dressed up Glyndebourne-dwellers were darting, bubbly in arms, into any available shelter possible during the interval and it was a sorry, soggy lot of us who trudged back into the performance. It was my mum’s first visit to Glyndebourne though and she didn’t care at all. Don Giovanni was amazing all the way through but I especially loved the very end. Those dramatic scales over the descending bass line plus the Commendatore bellowing ‘Don Giovanni!’ certainly made for a spine tingling death scene!
Natalie Chivers, Education Projects Manager
I loved the Creation education project.
The chaos of moving 800 children that preceeded and followed the event was quite something; the silence and concentration of all those pupils watching and engaged during the performance in a packed Queen Elizabeth Hall was striking. I had great fun and learnt a lot about DNA!
The Night shift at the Roundhouse in January was amazing too.
Isabelle Tawil, Development Manager, Individual Giving
Without a doubt, the Iván Fischer Beethoven concerts in March – particularly at the Lincoln Center in New York where we gave two concerts as part of a complete cycle of the Symphonies with Iván’s “other” Orchestra, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, which gave two concerts as well. The audience reaction and Iván’s inspiring and totally unique conducting style produced electrifying musical moments of the year.
Stephen Carpenter, Chief ExecutiveRead More
Christmas and New Year just wouldn’t be the same with our favourite orchestra, would it? Well, we’re pleased to say that whether you’re in London or not, you’ll be able to enjoy our music making in the coming couple of weeks. First off there’s a chance on Christmas Eve to hear us on BBC2, playing in Glyndebourne’s 2010 production of Don Giovanni. Vladimir Jurowski, one of our Principal Artists, conducts. The performance goes out at 2.45 on 24th December, and you can find out more about the production over on the Glyndebourne website.
Next up there are two opportunities to hear us at Kings Place giving an all Mozart programme on 31 Dec (at 6pm) and 1 Jan (at 1pm). The 1 January concert will also be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, kicking off their Genius of Mozart Season.
We hope you can join us in person or via TV or radio this festive season!
(with thanks to Michael Windsor-Ungureanu for the image)Read More
Next month, our Principal Artist Vladimir Jurowski returns to us to conduct a boundary pushing (for a period instrument orchestra) Symphonic Enlightenment programme of Mahler, Wagner and Liszt. There’s a performance in the Royal Festival Hall on 21 Jan, a Night Shift at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 19 Jan, and should you live in Paris, a performance there on 22 Jan.
On Monday, our intrepid Digital Content Officer, Zen, will be catching up with Vladimir to interview him in advance of his concerts with us. We want to know your burning questions to put to him, so add them here as comments or over on our Facebook page. We promise to ask a selection of them, and we’ll get the video up before Christmas. You might want to ask about the programme, his career, why he works with the OAE or even why he likes the Moomins…(that will be explained in a forthcoming Speed Interview actually).
The full line up for concerts on 21 and 22 Jan is below, with the pieces included in The Night Shift indicated by a seasonal snow flake (*). (ok, it’s an asterisk…)
Wagner Prelude to Parsifal
Mahler Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a wayfarer), with soloist Sarah Connolly.
Liszt Les Preludes*
In what’s now become an annual feature we asked office staff here at the OAE which concerts in the upcoming season they are particularly looking forward to – and here’s what they said. Oh, and you can hear more of these from the horses mouths (so to speak) in our new Podcast.
“I’m very excited to hear the Mozart programme on 24 Nov. It has an amazing cast of singers and I am interested to see how the new narration that was written especially for this performance works.”
Isabelle Tawil, Development Manager, Individual Giving
“I can’t quite decide between these 2 which will be my top picks of the Season. I was immediately drawn to the Vladimir Jurowski concert (21 Jan) because OAE in this later repertoire is such an exciting occasion – it only tends to happen once or twice a year so is definitely one to savour. We already know that the orchestra sound fantastic and different playing Wagner from the Tristan project this Summer, and as I’ve never heard the OAE play Mahler OR Liszt before, that is something new to look forward to. I had super fun playing Les Preludes about 12 years ago and I can still remember all the tunes!
Mozart’s Die Entfuhrung will be a first for me also and I’ve spent so much time working on the details for it over the last few months I can’t wait to hear it all come together. The opportunity to hear the newly commission English narration by Simon Butteriss (which is currently sitting on my desk!) will I hope give it an exciting new dimension.”
Ceri Jones, Projects Director
“Think it’s got to be the 21 January 2010 concert with the legendary Vladimir Jurowski- I can’t wait to see what the OAE do with a bit of Mahler and Liszt! I also love Sarah Connolly’s voice after hearing her in our recent prom with Sir Simon Rattle :-)”
Natasha Stehr, Marketing and Press Officer
“I’m really looking forward to the Grand Tour of Italy programme on 20 October. Whilst I love the energy of the OAE on a massive scale, I have a soft spot for these smaller self-direct programmes. Being in the audience for these programmes is like being a member of the ensemble, they have a feeling of such intimacy that it feels like you are on the stage with them. As a cellist myself, I am also biased towards this programme as there is a cello concertos in it!”
Megan Russell, Projects Officer
View and book the whole 2010-2011 Southbank Season here
At the Don Giovanni final rehearsal a few weeks ago (we’re perfoming it at Glyndebourne currently) I caught up with OAE Education Manager and Oboeist Cherry Forbes about her role in the opera:
Sorry about any background noise which is the OAE office team enjoying a picnic!
William Norris, Marketing DirectorRead More
As you may know the OAE is currently down in Glyndebourne, where it is playing in two Mozart operas – Cosi Fan Tutte and Don Giovanni. Don Giovanni had its first night on Sunday and is conducted by our Principal Artist and Glyndebourne’s Music Director, Vladimir Juorwski. In a recent excellent interview with The Guardian he talks about his fear of conducting the opera, yoga, The Night Shift and whether Glyndebourne still has a purpose. Read the interview here.Read More
Last week we travelled to Paris for the final concert of our mini Beethoven tour with Vladimir Jurowski (mini in that it was a short tour, not that we were playing small pieces of music). We were playing in our regular venue in Paris, the Théâtre de Champs Elysées, which we visit at least a couple of times each season. The theatre is interesting for a couple of reasons – firstly, its a beautiful and historic building – and where the Rite of Spring was famously premiered, with ensuing riot. Second, it leads a dual life as both theatre (and opera house) and concert hall. So, while we performed on stage (with a special acoustic shell installed behind the orchestra to help the sound), the set of what appeared to be Cinderella was behind us, complete with giant stilettos.
The concert was being filmed for DVD and web broadcast so the afternoon rehearsal was carried out in concert dress and with the lighting that would be later used for the performance (darker than would be usual), and as you can imagine there were cables almost everywhere. I watched the rehearsal from backstage, where there was a monitor showing what was being filmed.
After the concert there was what is known as a ‘patching session’, where any bits of the performance that perhaps weren’t quite perfect are played again so that the DVD version is as near perfect as possible. Obviously with this being the OAE, the patching session didn’t need to be very long, and everyone was very happy to be on the bus back to the hotel fairly quickly after the concert.
The concert can be viewed online here FREE for a limited period
William Norris, Marketing DirectorRead More