Archived News for May 2011
01 May 2011
Very pleased to announce that the performers for June's Music at St Peter's concert will be Sara Lian Owen (soprano), and the Hampden Quartet (Alexandra Reid, Charlotte Reid, Ashley Stanfield, Tom Kelly). Regulars at the series will remember the Reid Sisters for their previous vibrant performances at the church, in Haydn's Creation, and then in the first recital of this series back in 2009. Looking forward to welcoming these people to St Peter's!
08 May 2011
Currently coaching on RAO’s imminent production of Die Dreigroschenoper (dir. John Ramster, cond. Dominic Wheeler). This Brecht/Weill tale of poverty and anger presents a completely different musical language for many of the singers, owing much more to the ‘musical’ style and to jazz influences; here it is performed in its original German (keeping the language coach, Gerhard Gall, particularly busy with the many pages of dialogue!). With many of the opera school’s singers away in the summer term working at Glyndebourne and Garsington, the understudies are largely drawn from the postgrad vocal studies course, so it has been an unexpected chance to work with them too. Even the early production rehearsals looked very slick and dynamic! The show opens on Thursday 19th May in the Sir Jack Lyons Theatre at RAM.
13 May 2011
The phonecall you don’t want to receive from a duo partner on the morning of a concert is “I’m sorry, I’m not very well”, but having explored various contingency plans, James Turnbull and I went ahead with today’s recital, with a revised programme (removing the Howells Sonata, which even famed oboist Leon Goosens considered extraordinarily difficult!). The Wye Valley Music Society uses the beautiful St Briavels Church and it was a pleasure to play this revised programme of Vivaldi, Poulenc, Finzi, Schumann, Brahms and Vaughan Williams to such a warm audience.
22 May 2011
The Samling Foundation provides a wonderful chance for young professional singers and pianists to escape to the beautiful north west for a week and work intensively with various top tutors. The setting of Farlham Hall (near Brampton, in Cumbria) is absolutely stunning, and we were spoilt rotten there, taking over the place entirely for the week. The six singers (sopranos Meeta Raval, Eva Ganizate, Jennifer France, mezzo-soprano Kathryn Rudge, tenor Stephen Chambers, baritone Benjamin Appl) all have exciting burgeoning careers; between them this week they were preparing for roles at ENO, performances in Cardiff Singer of the World, recordings with RSNO, productions across Europe, recitals, auditions… Concurrent sessions with gurus Della Jones, Paul Farrington, Caroline Dowdle and John Mark Ainsley ensured that it was a packed week, not least for pianists Jocelyn Freeman and myself - but it was extremely productive. Wednesday saw a public masterclass at The Sage in Gateshead, whose smaller recital hall is ideal for sung repertoire. A fascinated audience received a real insight into the detailed process of preparation for performance, and it was great to see many of them back for the concluding concert, in the same space, on Saturday. This featured arias and songs from each of the singers, as well as operatic ensemble numbers and excerpts from Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzer involving everyone. Samling is proud to have ‘accumulated’ 200 Samling Scholars over its 15 years of existence, and it is a privilege to be a part of such a starry lineup.