Members of the public needed for Lost in Song and join a study to evaluate mood and general well-being

Call for participants for a study into the effects of virtual choral singing on mood and well-being

Brought to you by Limina Immersive, NHS Arden & GEM and Ex Cathedra, Lost in Song is a web-based application that has been specifically developed to lift spirits and provide an opportunity to experience the joys of choral singing from the comfort and safety of your own home. With songs arranged and performed by award-winning Birmingham-based choir Ex Cathedra, Lost in Song allows you to sing along with a choir, while enjoying 360 degree footage of natural landscapes from around the UK.

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Bampton Classical Opera returns to London’s St John’s Smith Square on 6 November with Gluck’s one-act opera The Crown

BAMPTON CLASSICAL OPERA 2020
Christoph Willibald Gluck ‘THE CROWN’ (‘LA CORONA’) composed 1765
Azione teatrale, in one act, sung in Italian with linking English narration

Concert Performance: St John’s Smith Square, London: 7.30pm Friday 6 November, 2020

Libretto: Pietro Metastasio
Conductor: Robert Howarth
CHROMA Ensemble

Bampton Classical Opera returns to the Baroque splendour of London’s St John’s Smith Square on 6 November with a concert performance of Gluck’s one-act opera The Crown, the first in the UK since 1987. The performance will also be filmed and available to watch on demand on the Bampton website from 9 November.

Composed in 1765 The Crown (La corona) glories in the sensuous beauty and virtuosity of the soprano voice.  It was written for four Viennese Archduchesses, daughters of the Holy Roman Emperor Francis I and the formidable Empress Maria Theresa, young singers for whom Gluck had already composed his delectable Il parnaso confuso, performed by Bampton in 2014. Both works set words by Pietro Metastasio and were destined for imperial family celebrations at the Hapsburg court theatre, although La corona was abandoned due to the Emperor’s death. In Bampton’s performance the florid arias – as thrilling as anything by Handel – will be sung in Italian, linked by a narration in English. Early music specialist Robert Howarth conducts, making his Bampton debut, and an outstanding cast includes Lucy Anderson, first prize-winner of the 2019 Bampton Young Singers’ Competition. The performance adds to Bampton’s noteworthy exploration of rarely-performed operas by Gluck, one of the most significant and melodious of eighteenth-century masters.

Synopsis: In his almost countless libretti, which made him the most popular of operatic poets in the first half of the 18th century, Metastasio plundered the classical myths for stories of valour and love. The Crown, like many others, derives from a story in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Meleagro, Prince of Calydonia, gathers a troupe of brave heroes to hunt and slaughter the ferocious wild boar which has been sent by the goddess Diana to devastate his realm. The opera however is concerned not with masculine prowess and bravery but with the role and ambitions of women. Atalanta, Climene and Asteria debate whether to join the chase, angry that only men can have the honour of gaining the crown of victory. When they consult Meleagro, he says the task is men’s work and warns that they will endanger themselves. Nevertheless, the girls cannot hold back: Atalanta wounds the boar and Meleagro is able to kill it. Each is reticent to accept the crown: in the end they offer it to the Emperor Francis, in whose honour the opera was commissioned.

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Pianist Leon McCawley in conversation with Robert Beattie

Leon McCawley is one of the UK’s leading concert pianists. He has forged a highly successful career since winning first prize in the 1993 International Beethoven Piano Competition in Vienna and second prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition the same year. Since then, his concert performances and extensive discography have established him as a … Read more

Glyndebourne 2020 – A little brightness in all the pandemic doom and gloom

Like all arts organisations during these gloomy times of the Covid-19 pandemic, Glyndebourne was forced to cancel their Festival 2020 and faced with a financial struggle. Unlike most, however, the Glyndebourne opera house is set in the middle of the Sussex countryside, with beautiful grounds, pleasant gardens and the lovely backdrop of the old country … Read more

Two more evenings of opera and ballet, live from the Covent Garden stage and available online  

#OurHouseToYourHouse 

Fundraising for our future – 
Royal Opera House announces Autumn Opera and Ballet Concerts 

The Royal Opera House is delighted to announce two packed evenings of opera and ballet, live from our stage in Covent Garden and available to view wherever you are in the world online.  

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A Truth in Art: Aubrey Beardsley at Tate Britain

Salome by Aubrey Beardsley (c) Tate Britain

A truth in art, said Oscar Wilde, is one whose opposite is also true. Aubrey Beardsley’s same friend also said, one should either be a work of art or wear a work of art. That is Dandyism for you. These men would sometimes spend hours tying a cravat. Whichever way you look at Beardsley there are contradictions. It is comic while being tragic. Lightweight while being ponderous. Intense while being relaxed. Dismissive while being possessive. Comic while being tragic. Knowing while being unknowing. Gilbert and Sullivan were Beardsley’s exact contemporaries. See my recent Seen and Heard piece on G&S topsy-turveydom (click here).

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City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s Centenary Concert will be streamed online on 5 September

CITY OF BIRMINGHAM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA TO PERFORM CENTENARY CONCERT IN WAREHOUSE

Saturday 5 September, 7pm
Streamed on the CBSO’s YouTube and Facebook channels
#cbso100

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) has today announced that it will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its first ever concert with a landmark performance featuring the full orchestra and filmed at a production warehouse in Birmingham.

The varied programme will be conducted by former Music Director Sir Simon Rattle, who is handed the baton for this special event by the orchestra’s current Music Director, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, while she is on maternity leave. They are joined by cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and sitar player Roopa Panesar, and the performance will be presented by Birmingham-born actor Adrian Lester.

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