BBC Music Magazine
Paul Riley picks the month’s best concert and opera highlights in the UK
LONDON Il Pomo d’oro
Milton Court Theatre, 1 June
Tel: +44 (0)20 7638 8891
Having accompanied Handel’s Agrippina (staring Joyce Didonato as the eponymous Empress) the previous evening, Il Pomo d’oro swaps the Barbican stage for nearby Milton Court. In its more intimate surroundings, and with Handel and Corelli looking on, Edgar Moreau is the soloist in cello concertos by Boccherini, Tartini and Piatti.
Queen Elizabeth Hall, 1 & 2 June Tel: +44 (0)20 3879 9555
Web: www.southbankcentre.co.uk The Southbank Centre follows up Stockhausen’s Donnerstag aus LICHT with two further evenings – anchored by pianist Pierrelaurent Aimard – devoted to his music for piano, percussion, and electronics. Fellow pianist Tamara Stefanovich joins
Aimard for Mantra; and the first concert sets Klavierstücke I-XI alongside Kontakte.
The Multi-story Orchestra
Kings Place, 9 June
Tel: +44 (0)20 7520 1490
As Kings Place’s ‘Venus Unwrapped’ celebration of women composers nears its halfway point, Christopher
Stark conducts a specially commissioned set of love songs from composer Kate Whitley and poet Sabrina Mahfouz. Soprano Sarah-jane Lewis prefaces these with Ravel’s delicious Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé.
Janá ek’s The Cunning
Barbican, 27, 29 June
Tel: +44 (0)20 7638 8891
The fruitful collaboration between Sir Simon Rattle and director Peter Sellars continues, and to end the London Symphony Orchestra’s current season they reunite for a semi-staging (sung in Czech) of Janácˇek’s poignant
comedy. Lucy Crowe is the wily Vixen with Gerald Finley as her benign sometime captor.
St George’s Bristol, 7 June
Tel: +44 (0)845 4024 001
Web: www.stgeorgesbristol.co.uk Following concerts as part of the Thuringia Bach Festival in Germany, the one-to-a-part vocal ensemble is Bristol-bound. Five of Bach’s motets, including the exuberantly virtuosic Singet dem Herrn, are spliced with movements from the Solo Cello Suites played by Jonathan Rees.
Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, 14 June
Tel: +44 (0)1227 787787
Web: www.philharmonia.co.uk Conductor Martyn Brabbins forges a cross-border alliance with an Anglo-scottish programme in which James Macmillan’s Percussion Concerto No. 2 (soloist Colin Currie) and Hamish Maccunn’s The
Land of the Mountain and the Flood are bookended by Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro and Enigma Variations.
All Saints Church, Boughton Aluph, 28 June
Tel: +44 (0)1227 769075
Tenor Matthew Long takes the title role in Thomas Guthrie’s staging of Monteverdi’s ‘favola in musica’. It is conducted by the Stour Music festival’s artistic director designate Robert Hollingworth. Outgoing director Mark Deller, meanwhile, signs off in lively style on 30 June with Handel’s Dixit Dominus and the Bach Magnificat.
Larcher’s The Hunting Gun The Maltings, Snape, 7,9 June
Tel: +44 (0)1728 687110
Web: www.snapemaltings.co.uk Composer Thomas Larcher, tenor Mark Padmore and soprano-conductor Barbara Hannigan each curates part of this year’s Aldeburgh Festival. To Larcher falls the first word: the UK premiere of his opera The Hunting Gun. Based on a novella by Yasushi Inoue, it’s conducted by Mark Wigglesworth, directed by Karl Markovics and introduces the newly formed Knussen Chamber Orchestra.
Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden, 22 June
Tel: +44 (0)845 548 7650
Just ahead of Emanuel Ax’s 70th-birthday concert at
Wigmore Hall devoted exclusively to Schumann (where he’s joined by baritone Simon Keenlyside and the Dover Quartet), the American pianist gives a solo recital ranging over works by Brahms, Ravel, Chopin and George Benjamin.
NORTH AND WALES Welsh National Opera
Millennium Centre, Cardiff, 7-23 June
Tel: +44 (0)29 2063 6464
Prison bars encircle WNO’S imaginative summer season, what with one-off performances of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and Menotti’s The Consul. Krása’s Brundibar notches up two airings; and a bold pairing of Dallapiccola’s The Prisoner and Act II of Beethoven’s Fidelio returns erstwhile music director Lothar Koenigs to the company on the eve of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2019.
Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Nevill Holt, Market Harborough 12-16 June
Tel: +44 (0)115 846 7777
Web: www.nevillholtopera.co.uk The Britten Sinfonia is in the pit for Anna Morrissey’s new production of Benjamin Britten’s enchanted and enchanting score. Mozart’s Così fan tutte completes the Nevill Holt season, both operas conducted by Nicholas Chalmers.
Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, 15 June
Tel: + 44 (0)161 907 9000
Web: www.bridgewater-hall.co.uk The orchestra’s clarinet-playing composer in association, Mark Simpson, multi-tasks as he gives the world premiere of his new concerto for the instrument. Soprano Elizabeth Watts is the soloist in Mahler’s Symphony
No. 4 and sings arias from Mozart’s Idomeneo.
Ben Gernon conducts.
Sage Gateshead, 15 June
Tel: +44 (0)191 443 4661
It might be crammed into a single extended evening, but the Royal Northern Sinfonia’s Brahmsfest under director Lars Vogt does the composer proud. A triple-decker concert journeys from vocal works including the Alto Rhapsody through the Piano Trio No. 3 and Double Concerto (soloists Christian and Tanja Tetzlaff) to the blazing fervour of Symphony No. 2.
Penarth Chamber Music Festival
Penarth, 27-30 June
Tel: +44 (0)333 6663366
Web: www. penarthchambermusicfestival.org.uk Downsized to septet proportions, Strauss’s Metamorphosen as well as the Elgar Piano Quintet are attractions at Penarth’s end-of-the-pier show with a difference. Devised by violinist David Adams and cellist Alice Neary, this year’s edition also decamps to All Saints Church.
AND N IRELAND St Magnus Festival
Pickaquoy Centre, Kirkwall, 22 June
Tel: +44 (0)1856 871445
A flotilla of eminent Nordic choirs brings Orkney’s St Magnus Festival to a vocal close. But at the start, variously configured members of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra are in residence for three concerts.
The full orchestral complement comes together under Ben Gernon for Vaughan Williams’s Dona nobis pacem – crowning a centenary account of the Elgar Cello Concerto, performed by Jamal Aliyev, and Rudi Stephan’s Music for Orchestra.
The Bowhouse Series
Bowhouse Farm, St Monans, 26-30 June
Tel: +44 (0)131 473 2000
Web: www.eastneukfestival.com Stitched into East Neuk Festival’s 15th-anniversary outing are six ‘Bowhouse’ concerts showcasing – solo and in collaboration – the likes of pianist Elisabeth Leonskaja, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Belcea and Pavel Haas Quartets. Standouts include Mendelssohn’s Octet and Brahms’s F minor Piano Quintet.
Mozart’s The Magic Flute
Grand Opera House, Belfast, 27 & 29 June
Tel: +44 (0)28 90244 1919
Scottish Opera’s three-country tour of Sir Thomas Allen’s
2012 production culminates in two Belfast performances (see ‘Venue of the month’, left) conducted by Tobias Ringborg. Peter Gijsbertsen is Tamino, Gemma Summerfield plays Pamina, Julia Sitkovetsky is the Queen of the Night, and Richard Burkhard sings Papageno.