Live choice

Paul Riley picks the month’s best con­cert and opera high­lights in the UK

BBC Music Magazine - - Live -

LONDON Han­del’s Semele

Alexan­dra Palace The­atre, 2 May Tel +44 (0)871 220 0260

Web: www.mon­

Sir John Eliot Gar­diner’s Mon­teverdi cel­e­bra­tions in 2017 must have whet­ted his ap­petite for tour­ing opera. This spring the con­duc­tor takes Han­del’s Ovidin­spired Semele around Europe, in­clud­ing to the newly re­stored Vic­to­rian the­atre at Alexan­dra Palace (see ‘Venue of the month’, left). Louise Alder sings the ti­tle role in a con­cert-stag­ing by Thomas Guthrie.

Le Con­cert de l’hos­tel-dieu

St John’s Smith Square, 11 May Tel: +44 (0)20 7222 1061


As part of London Fes­ti­val of Baroque Mu­sic, this Ly­on­based en­sem­ble cel­e­brates the 400th birthday of the Vene­tian com­poser, poet and singer Bar­bara Strozzi with a la­teevening postscript to The Bach Play­ers’ ear­lier dance-themed con­cert. Laments and songs by Strozzi are set along­side mu­sic by near-con­tem­po­raries in­clud­ing Francesca Cac­cini and Is­abella Leonarda.

Henze’s Phae­dra

Royal Opera House, 15-20 May Tel: +44 (0)20 7304 4000


The seis­mic fall-out from

Cre­tan princess Phae­dra’s love for her step­son Hip­poly­tus fur­nished Hans Werner Henze with the ma­te­rial for his fi­nal opera, pre­miered in 2007. Noa Naa­mat’s pro­duc­tion show­cases the Royal Opera House’s Jette Parker Young Artists, and Ed­mund White­head con­ducts South­bank Sin­fo­nia.

Sound Un­bound

Bar­bi­can, 18, 19 May

Tel: +44 (0)20 7638 8891


As if May vis­i­tors such as the Santa Ce­cilia Or­ches­tra or mezzo-so­prano Joyce Di­do­nato weren’t enough, the Bar­bi­can spills out across Cul­ture Mile for a free fes­ti­val strad­dling some 100 ses­sions, over 800 years of mu­sic and artists rang­ing from The Academy of An­cient Mu­sic to Chineke!, and singer Nora Fis­cher to pi­anist-com­poser Thomas Adès.

Stock­hausen’s Don­ner­stag aus LICHT

Royal Fes­ti­val Hall, 21, 22 May Tel: +44 (0)20 3879 9555

Web: www.south­bank­cen­ Not seen in the UK for over 30 years, the ‘Thurs­day’ episode of Stock­hausen’s epic LICHT opera-cy­cle brings to­gether the London Sin­foni­etta and the

Royal Academy of Mu­sic Man­son En­sem­ble un­der Maxime

Pas­cal with his own cham­ber or­ches­tra from Paris, Le Bal­con. The pro­duc­tion is di­rected by Benjamin Lazar, and the cen­tral role of Ar­changel Michael is shared be­tween tenor Damien Bigour­dan, trum­peter Henri Deléger and dancer Em­manuelle Grach (see Com­poser of the Month, p62).

Bournemout­h Sym­phony Or­ches­tra and Cho­rus

Light­house, Poole, 15 May

Tel: +44 (0)1202 280000

Web: www.bso­

‘This is the best of me’ wrote El­gar (quot­ing Ruskin) when he com­pleted the score of his or­a­to­rio The Dream of Geron­tius. Con­duc­tor Kir­ill Kara­bits in­vests it with a strong line-up, mus­ter­ing Amer­i­can tenor Paul Ap­pleby as Geron­tius, Alice Coote as the An­gel and James Ruther­ford as the Priest and the An­gel of the Agony.


Shel­do­nian The­atre, Ox­ford, 18 May

Tel: +44 (0)1865 980980

Web: www.ox­ford­

With last year’s 85th-birthday cel­e­bra­tions be­hind him, Krzysztof Pen­derecki heads to Ox­ford to con­duct a pro­gramme de­voted en­tirely to his own mu­sic. Gá­bor Boldoczki plays the re­cent Trum­pet Con­certino; the Ox­ford Phil­har­monic’s con­cert­mas­ter Yuri Zhis­lin tack­les the Vi­ola Con­certo (orig­i­nally pre­miered by his fa­ther); and in be­tween comes the Sin­foni­etta for Strings.

Piotr An­der­szewski

As­sem­bly Rooms, Bath, 25 May Tel: +44 (0)1225 463362

Web: www.bath­fes­ti­ Beethoven’s Di­a­belli Vari­a­tions and Pol­ish pi­anist Piotr An­der­szewski have long en­joyed a spe­cial re­la­tion­ship, not least at the 1990 Leeds Pi­ano Com­pe­ti­tion and in a mem­o­rable record­ing in 2000. For Bath Fes­ti­val, he of­fers a half-dozen pre­ludes and fugues from JS Bach’s Well-tem­pered Clavier by way of warm-up.

Bryn Ter­fel

Saf­fron Hall, Saf­fron Walden, 8 May

Tel: +44 (0)845 548 7650

Web: www.saf­fron­

Fresh from Wag­ner in Mu­nich and Puc­cini’s Tosca at Covent Gar­den, the Welsh bass-bari­tone makes his Saf­fron Hall de­but with pi­anist Annabel Th­waite. Their recital wraps folk­song ar­range­ments by Brit­ten and Co­p­land around Schu­bert Lieder, English and Welsh songs, and Ibert’s Qu­a­tre Chan­sons de Don Qui­chotte.

Sol­lazzo En­sem­ble

Trin­ity Col­lege Chapel and

Lit­tle St Mary’s Church, Cam­bridge, 9, 10 May

Tel: +44 (0)1223 357851

Web:­bridgeear­ly­mu­ Across two con­certs as part of Cam­bridge Fes­ti­val of the Voice, the BBC Mu­sic Mag­a­zine Awards-nom­i­nated early mu­sic group Sol­lazzo En­sem­ble takes the mu­si­cal pulse of 14th-cen­tury Flo­ren­tine hu­man­ism and ex­plores

Court life in 15th-cen­tury Bur­gundy – in­clud­ing the in­flu­en­tial con­tri­bu­tion of blind fid­dlers Je­han Fer­ran­des and Je­han de Cor­dova.


NORTH AND WALES BBC Na­tional Or­ches­tra of Wales

Hod­dinott Hall, Cardiff, 18 May Tel: +44 (0)333 666 3366

Web: va­le­ofglam­or­gan­fes­ti­ Com­poser Steve Re­ich is pa­tron of the Vale of Glam­or­gan Fes­ti­val’s 50th edi­tion and his 2018 Mu­sic for En­sem­ble and Or­ches­tra re­ceives its Welsh pre­miere in the com­pany of new works by Mark David Bo­den and John Met­calf. Graham Fitkin’s Metal, which in­cludes un­tuned scaf­fold­ing, en­gi­neers a clan­gor­ous close.

The Hallé

Bridge­wa­ter hall,

Manch­ester, 23 May

Tel: + 44 (0)161 907 9000

Web: www.bridge­wa­ Con­duc­tor Mark Elder has cho­sen a work he de­scribes as di­rect and vis­cer­ally thrilling with which to con­clude his last Hallé con­cert of the sea­son: Mahler’s Res­ur­rec­tion Sym­phony. Alice Coote is the mezzo dis­pens­ing the balm of ‘Ur­licht’, and she’s joined in the fi­nale by so­prano Anne Sch­wanewilms.

En­sem­ble 10/10

St Ge­orge’s Hall,

Liverpool, 23 May

Tel: +44 (0)151 709 3789

Web: www.liv­er­pool­ Liverpool’s flag­ship con­tem­po­rary mu­sic en­sem­ble rounds out its 21st-birthday year with one of Liverpool’s own: com­poser and clar­inet­tist Mark Simp­son (see in­ter­view, p40). He ap­pears in both guises, and opens the con­cert with Straw Dogs, his 2010 re­flec­tion on rev­er­ence and de­struc­tion. To end, his clar­inet takes cen­tre stage in Henze’s Mir­a­cle of the Rose. And in be­tween are works by Gary Car­pen­ter and Gavin Hig­gins.

Los An­ge­les Mas­ter Choral

Sage, Gateshead, 25 May

Tel: +44 (0)191 443 4661

Web: www.sage­ Di­rec­tor Pe­ter Sel­lars’s first foray into the stag­ing of an a cappella work couldn’t have found a more sear­ing sub­ject. Or­lando di Lasso’s swan­song madri­gal se­quence La­grime di San Pi­etro con­sid­ers, in 75 exquisitel­y an­guished min­utes, Pe­ter’s grief af­ter deny­ing Christ fol­low­ing the ar­rest in the Gar­den of Geth­se­mane.


AND N IRE­LAND He­brides En­sem­ble

Con­cert Hall, Perth, 6 May

Tel: +44 (0)1738 621031

Web: So­prano Ail­ish Ty­nan (see p122) joins the He­brides En­sem­ble for Ravel’s sul­try Les chan­sons madé­casses – ju­di­ciously twinned with Ju­dith Weir’s com­pan­ion piece, Nuits d’afrique. Works by Re­becca Clarke and Ros­alie Burell flank Jean Françaix’s String Trio.

Ul­ster Or­ches­tra

Ul­ster Hall, Belfast, 24 May

Tel: +44 (0)28 9033 4455

Web: www.ul­s­terorches­ The or­ches­tra doesn’t just bid farewell to the 2018/19 sea­son but also to its prin­ci­pal con­duc­tor Rafael Pa­yare (see Back­stage with… above), who’s head­ing for pas­tures new in San Diego. They part com­pany in fine style with Mahler’s dark­ness-to­light Sym­phony No. 5, and be­fore it Inon Bar­natan is the soloist in Mozart’s tur­bu­lent Pi­ano Con­certo in D mi­nor, K466.


Han­del with care: Louise Alder takes the ti­tle role in Semele at Alexan­dra Palace

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