Opera North’s La rondine proves a balm for our troubles today

United KingdomUnited Kingdom Puccini, La rondine: Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra of Opera North / Kerem Hasan (conductor). Lyric Theatre, The Lowry, Salford Quays, 17.11.2023. (MC)

Laura-Kelly McInroy (Suzy), Kathryn Sharpe (Bianca), Pasquale Orchard (Yvette), Philip Smith (Rambaldo), Sébastien Guèze (Ruggero), Satriya Krisna (Goblin), Ross McInroy (Périchaud) © Tristram Kenton

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RCS’s memorable double bill shows post-WWII operas don’t have to be feared and can be entirely engaging

United KingdomUnited Kingdom Opera Double Bill – Gian Carlo Menotti, The Medium & Jake Heggie, Three Decembers: Soloists and Musicians of Royal Conservatoire of Scotland / William Cole (conductor). Sir Alexander Gibson Opera Studio, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow, 1.11.2023. (MC)

William Cole conducts RCS’s soloists and musicians in Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers © Robbie McFadzean/RCS

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Sincerity and firm resolve from the Dudoks and joyful folk music from Sophie Joint and Breanna Wilson

Music at Paxton – Summer Festival of Chamber Music 2023 (MC)

Music at Paxton 2023 is held at Paxton House in the county of Berwickshire, part of the Scottish Borders region. This is my fifth occasion attending Music at Paxton, a ten-day festival that is taking place between the dates Friday 21st July to Sunday 30th July 2023.

Set in the spectacular rolling scenery of the Scottish Borders, Paxton House is only a short walk to the River Tweed, and some five miles from the Northumberland town of Berwick-upon-Tweed. Most of the concerts are held in the beautiful Picture Gallery of this historic Georgian house that makes an elegant backdrop, while some other concerts use a large marquee in the substantial grounds of the estate.

Festival artistic director Angus Smith and his Music at Paxton team have put together a varied and thoughtful music programme, gathering a talented group of musicians. Consisting of seventeen events including those appealing to the seasoned chamber music follower, to concerts for all the family to enjoy, and to those especially designed for young children.

My stay was for the first three days of Music at Paxton, and I selected four concerts to review.

Music at Paxton – Summer Festival of Chamber Music 2023 [1]: 

21.7.2023 – Dudok Quartet Amsterdam (Judith van Driel, Marleen Wester [violins], Marie-Louise de Jong [viola], David Faber [cello]), Picture Gallery, Paxton House

Dudok Quartet Amsterdam © Yuri Andries

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A praiseworthy Opera Gala celebrates the Royal Northern College of Music’s fiftieth anniversary

United KingdomUnited Kingdom RNCM Opera Gala: Soloists, RNCM Opera Chorus, RNCM Professional Experience Scheme Students, Orchestra of Opera North (augmented by players from RNCM) / Garry Walker (conductor). Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, 28.6.2023. (MC)

Garry Walker conducts the Orchestra of Opera North (augmented by players from RNCM) © Roscoe Rutter

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