Latest e-mails from Mastersingers
Prior to the RFH Bicentennial Concert on Wednesday:
"Opera Forge-the Wagner Project" will be performing at various times in the afternoon between 3-6.30 pm in the Clore Ballroom in the foyer of the Royal Festival Hall.
Martin Lamb- Alberich's Curse
Rhonda Browne- Erda's Warning
Paul Carey-Jones- Wotan "Abendlich strahlt die Sonne"
Mike Bracegirdle- Winterstürme
Anna Gregory- Du bist der Lenz
To end of Act 1
Paul Carey-Jones & Meta Powell beginning of Walküre Act 2
Neal Cooper- Siegfried Forging Song
Meta Powell- Ewig war ich
Kelvin Lim piano
William Relton director
The results have now been posted on the 25 singers in the ‘Immolations Quiz’. I don’t know of anyone who did well
With the BBC Wagner 200 celebrations there are too many programmes for me to go into detail about, but here is a listing:
Unfortunately we will be busy at Aldeburgh and Stratford and will probably even miss everything on the i-player!
Enjoy the great day on Wednesday!
Message from Malcolm Rivers, Artistic Director:
"Gods and Heroes" the Mastersingers presentation devised by David Edwards for the Music Club of London last weekend in Eastbourne was totally sold out in respect of packages bought and tickets sold for the public concert on the evening of Saturday 4th May. The following unsolicited review by Fiona Maddocks in the Sunday Observer gives due credit to the core of our work and firmly underlines the musical strengths of our company. My personal thanks to all of my sponsors who have so loyally supported Mastersingers these recent years and been in a large part responsible for our successes.
‘By chance another Grand Inquisitor was prowling around last week, not in Covent Garden where he has taken the role in this production with Kaufmann, but on the English south coast. sang an extract from Don Carlo, with fellow bass as Philip II, at a weekend festival in Eastbourne called Gods and Heroes. The theme was this year's three anniversary composers – Wagner, Verdi and Britten – with performances by younger singers who are continuing their training thanks to support from , a foundation which particularly helps those moving into Wagnerian repertoire.
As Tomlinson sang Wotan at Covent Garden and Bayreuth for two decades, as well as the world over, he has a jot of experience. and , both in the cast of 's Ring Cycle next month, sang extracts from The Flying Dutchman. Druiett, Opera North's Wanderer in their forthcoming Siegfried, worked on the role with Tomlinson in a public masterclass. The tradition of British Wagner singing, passed from to Tomlinson and his generation, continues on its exciting journey down the Rhine. With the emphasis firmly on music, it feels worlds away from the at Düsseldorf's Tannhaüser last week.’ (Fiona Maddocks)
Here is a little more information on the Pappano programme on The Ring to be shown on Friday:
Unfortunately we could not make it but I am pleased to report that the Eastbourne weekend was judged by all to have been a great success. ‘The highlight of Eastbourne was Sir John: the man is extraordinary. His energy, enthusiasm and incredible insights were an inspiration to all. It was a great weekend.’ (David Edwards)
The next Mastersingers events are the ‘Inside the Ring’ programme at Blockley which coincide with the rest days of the Longborough Rings: In a change to the advertised programme Mike Ashman has had to withdraw from his presentation on ‘Rings of the World’ on July 1 and will be replaced by Carmen Jakobi directing a rehearsal of extracts from Die Walküre Act 1.
On Sunday October 27 Mastersingers will present Das Rheingold scenes 3 and 4 with the Rehearsal Orchestra at the Henry Wood Hall
Many Mastersingers alumni will be involved in the RFH Bicentenary concert on May 22
A new 90-minute TV programme ‘Pappano’s Essential Ring Cycle’ is scheduled for transmission on BBC4 at 19.30 on Friday 17th May with a repeat on the following day at 2.30 AM!
THE WAGNER WEEKEND AT ALDEBURGH CINEMA MAY 18-19
introduced by Humphrey Burton Reprinted from the Aldeburgh Gazette, April 2013
One of the most striking cultural developments in recent years has been the coming of opera screenings in cinemas. Less than a decade ago such satellite relays were unimaginable, yet now we almost routinely visit our local cinema to watch plays from the National Theatre, ballets from Covent Garden and opera from the Metropolitan, New York. Once upon a time, in the 1960s, a media guru spoke of the world becoming an electronic village. Nowadays that can be revised to "electronic opera house".
Last season Aldeburgh Cinema hosted an excited crowd of musical enthusiasts for Wagner's Ring from the Met and it's something similar - but even better! - that we are proposing for the recently announced Wagner Weekend on Saturday May 18 and May 19, just a few days before the 200th anniversary of the actual birth of Richard Wagner on May 22, 1813. Wagner himself did everything on a gargantuan scale so you have to think big if you are planning to honour him.
Here's our plan. There will be a complete Wagner opera on Saturday afternoon and early evening, The Valkyrie, which runs just over four hours (with intervals, of course) and comes from that holy of holies for Wagnerians: Bayreuth - the celebrated opera house he built for his own music dramas and nobody else's. This stunning production, which makes sensational use of laser beams for the lighting, was conducted by the great Daniel Barenboim; the role of Wotan, king of the gods, is taken by Sir John Tomlinson and Dame Anne Evans sings his wayward daughter Brünnhilde. It's our good fortune that Dame Annie, an Aldeburgh resident these days, has most kindly agreed to talk about her role and the stimulation of working with Barenboim and her charismatic stage director Harry Kupfer.
If you've never experienced Die Walküre then I urge you to give this marvellous production a whirl. It is thrilling stuff. The first act features an incestuous love affair of white-hot intensity. The tumultuous second act has two fearsome killings at its climax, after Brünnhilde defies her father's orders. And the final act sees the spectacular Ride of the Valkyrie, Wagner's most celebrated musical showpiece and a glorious finale when Brünnhilde is surrounded by a ring of fire. Unmissable! And a perfect way to get into Wagner.
"Beat that!" one is tempted to observe. And I think we shall, because all day Sunday we shall be screening Tony Palmer's epic film about Wagner's life and loves, with Richard Burton in his last great starring role, working with a superb script by Charles Wood. The spectacular camera work is by the legendary Vittorio Storaro; over 200 locations are used, all over Europe, many of them historically accurate. The musical sound track was conducted by another great Wagnerian, Sir Georg Solti; our cinema's superb sound equipment will surely do it justice. For film-lovers there are cameo performances by Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson as three hostile ministers at the court of mad king Ludwig of Bavaria - Wagner was only occasion those luninaries ever worked together. The composer's long-suffering first wife is played by Gemma Craven, his second by Vanessa Redgrave: the cast list is packed with stars, but it's Richard Burton's movie from start to finish - a role he himself said he was born to play. That the film isn't as well known as it ought to be can be explained because of its astonishing length - it's by far the longest film ever screened here!
In Aldeburgh the director's cut, i.e. the original, visionary concept, is going to be shown in three sections, each about two and a half hours long, with breaks for lunch and early supper. Tony Palmer will be here to lead a Q and A before the last lap begins. You will kick yourself if you miss this movie so it's worth making a herculean effort to devote the whole day (indeed the entire weekend) to Richard Wagner. After all, bi-centenaries don't come up very often! And the tickets are astonishingly economical in price - all the details are on the Aldeburgh cinema web site and you can make reservations at 01728 454884.
Just to put you in the mood for Wagner we shall start proceedings on Saturday morning with an illustrated talk (video and stills) about how over the last century Wagner's operas have led the way in the field of revolutionary theatre design. The speaker will be another well-known Wagner buff, Patrick Carnegy, whose recent book Wagner and the Art of the Theatre has won praise and prizes on both sides of the Atlantic. That starts at 10:30 and I look forward to greeting you in the foyer with a Wagnerian flourish!
(who back in 1982 on BBC-2 introduced the first complete television Ring cycle.)
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