Viennese charm, wit and waltzes enchant in the Volksoper’s The Merry Widow

AustriaAustria Lehár, The Merry Widow (Die lustige Witwe): Soloists, Dancers of Vienna State Ballet, Chorus and Orchestra of the Volksoper Wien / Alfred Eschwé (conductor). Volksoper Wien, Vienna, 3.9.2021. (RP)

Volksoper’s Die lustige Witwe (previous performances) © Volksoper Wien

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An important premiere at the Three Choirs Festival – Gabriel Jackson introduces The World Imagined

Gabriel Jackson’s new The World Imagined

When Covid restrictions caused the cancellation of the 2020 Three Choirs Festival I regretted that decision on many levels. One of my main disappointments was that the cancellation deprived us of the opportunity to hear the world premiere of a major new work by Gabriel Jackson, The World Imagined. Happily, it has been possible to reschedule the premiere and include it in the plans for the 2021 Three Choirs Festival. I have been an admirer of this composer’s music, especially his choral works, for many years now so the prospect of such a significant new score is enticing. Consequently, I seized the chance to discuss the new work with Gabriel, albeit in a socially distanced way.

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The Three Choirs Festival announces its Bold Adventure for 2021


It was a bitter disappointment when the Covid pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 Three Choirs Festival in Worcester; this was the first time in its 300-year history that the Festival had been cancelled other than during war time. Since then, the outlook for live music-making in the UK has been very uncertain, but the highly successful vaccination programme and a very welcome significant reduction in case numbers has brought optimism and the Three Choirs has announced a programme for the 2021 Festival. The city of Worcester has again been given the opportunity to act as host and the Festival will run from 24 July to 1 August.

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A Thoughtfully Devised Recital of English and French Music at Three Choirs Festival

United KingdomUnited Kingdom Three Choirs Festival (7) – Venables, Ravel, Debussy, Vaughan Williams: James Gilchrist (tenor), Anna Tilbrook (piano), Carducci String Quartet, Cirencester Parish Church, 31.7.2019 (JQ)

Carducci Quartet (c) Tom Barnes

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A Fallen Soldier of the Great War Movingly Commemorated by Joshua Ellicott and Simon Lepper

United KingdomUnited Kingdom Three Choirs Festival (5) – Finzi & From your ever-loving son, Jack: Joshua Ellicott (tenor), Simon Lepper (piano), St Catherine’s Church, Gloucester, 31.7.2019 (JQ)

3604 Rifleman Ellicott J, by courtesy of Joshua Ellicott

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Edward Gardner Leads a Dramatic Verdi Requiem at the Three Choirs Festival

United KingdomUnited Kingdom Three Choirs Festival (3) – Verdi:  Hye-Youn Lee (soprano). Christine Rice (mezzo-soprano), David Butt Philip (tenor), James Platt (bass), Three Choirs Festival Chorus, Philharmonia Orchestra / Edward Gardner (conductor). Gloucester Cathedral, 28.7.2019. (JQ)

Edward Gardner conducts the Verdi Requiem (c) Michael Whitefoot

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