After D’Oustrac’s striking success as Cassandre in Berlioz Les Troyens, this will reach audiences less familiar with her core repertoire in the baroque and grand opéra. Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été and La mort d’Ophélie, Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder and the Lieder of Franz Liszt are very well known, but the finesse of D’Oustrac’s timbre lends a lucid gloss which makes them feel fresh and pure.
We sat, bewildered, all of us, watching (enduring) Gounod’s sweet little tear jerker as a nasty drug trip. Except for the Australian Marguerite it was an all French cast and they all gamely played along, the sophisticated verse of Offenbach’s librettists Jules Barbier and Michel CarrÈ clearly sailing out over an abrasive pit.
Hector Berlioz’s Les Troyens with Philippe Jordan conducting the OpÈra National de Paris. Since Les Troyens headlined the inauguration of OpÈra Bastille 30 years ago, we might have expected something special of this new production. It should have been a triumph, with such a good conductor and some of the best singers in the business. But it wasn’t.
Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No.3 with FranÁois-Xavier Roth and the G¸rzenich-Orchester Kˆln, now at last on CD, released by Harmonia Mundi, after the highly acclaimed live performance streamed a few months ago.
A weekend commemorating the 150th anniversary of the death of Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) entitled Berlioz: The Ultimate Romantic was launched in style from Cardiff’s Hoddinott Hall with a magnificent account of L’enfance du Christ (Childhood of Christ). The emotional impact of this ‘sacred trilogy’ seemed to gain further weight for its performance midway between Christmas and Easter, neatly encapsulating Christ’s journey from birth to death.
In contrast to the ‘single-shaming’ advertisement – “To the 12,750 people who ordered a single takeaway on Valentine’s Day. You ok, hun?” – for which the financial services company, Revolut, were taken to task, this Temple Music recital programme on 14th February put the emphasis firmly on partnerships: intimate, impassioned and impetuous.
There is a famous story that when Philip Glass first met Nadia Boulanger she pointed to a single bar of one of his early pieces and said: “There, that was written by a real composer”. Glass recalls that it was the only positive thing she ever said about him
Cardboard buds flaming into magic orchids. The frenzied whizz of a Catherine Wheel as it pushes forth its fiery petals. A harvest sky threshed and glittering with golden grain.
To celebrate the bicentenary of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s births in 2019, Independent Opera (IO) and Britten Sinfonia present the first public performance of Joby Talbot’s new cantata A Sheen of Dew on Flowers on Thursday 11 April at the Barbican.
Following its sell-out success at Wilton’s Music Hall in September 2018, English National Opera’s acclaimed production of Benjamin Britten’s Paul Bunyan will be revived in May at the equally historically remarkable venue of Alexandra Palace Theatre.