Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Barbican 2012 2013 Opera and Vocal

Hooray for the Barbican, going for baroque on baroque! The Barbican is ideal - big enough to afford top performers, small enough not to overwhelm the aesthetic. Even though soloists haven't yet been announced, it's likely that Les Talens Lyriques Lully Phaéton, cond. Christophe Rousset on 8/3/13 will be a highlight - just 15 months to go! Another relative rarity - Handel Imeneo on 29/5/13. It's not Blockbuster Handel, but more delicate, and the cast is excellent - Rebecca Bottone, character soprano par excellence who lifts everything she's in. Already I'm looking forward to what Robert Hugill will write about this (read his review of a much less stellar performance).

David Daniels will sing in that and also in Handel Radamisto (10/2/13) with Harry Bicket, English Consort, Luca Pisaroni, Patrica Bardon and Elizabeth Watts - infinitely stronger cast than the ENO staging. Two Les Arts Florissante performances - John Eliot Gardiner conducts Handel Belsahazzar on 13/12/12 and Paul Agnew conducts Monteverdi Madrigals Book 5 on 15/6/13. It's JEG's 75th birthday next March, and he's celebrating by conducting Stravinsky Oedipus Rex.

If baroque don't rock your boat, there's a full Grieg Peer Gynt 15/12/12 with Miah Persson, Ann Hallenberg, Johannes Weisser, BBCSO and BBC Singers and the wonderful Marc Minkowski. Although everyone knows bits of Peer Gynt, hearing it as a whole is extremely rewarding. And just the thought of Miah Persson singing Solvieg's Song gives me goosebumps.

Donizetti's Belisaro (28/10/12) with Mark Elder, BBCSO and an interesting Poulenc Les animaux modèles (26/4/13) with readings and video projections, which can be fine, done well. Stéphane Denève conducts the BBCSO.

Re British opera, you could go for Britten The Turn of the Screw (Andrew Kennedy, Sally Matthews, Colin Davis,16/4/13) but far more unusual would be the Oliver Knussen double bill, Where the Wild Things Are and Higgelty Piggelty Pop!  (3/11/12). It's a matinee, because they were inspired by books Knussen's daughter used to read.  Although this will be a must for people with kids, it's also a good outing for those who don't have them, since this kind of zany good humour is so Knussenesque. He mostly conducts these days but he's a pretty good composer too.

Wild card: John Adams The Gospel according to the Other Mary, a Barbican co-commission. (16/3/13). Adams can be variable, see Nixon in China, but the subject's very tricky. Gustavo Dudamel's first big, big opera premiere with the LA Phil and Peter Sellars directing. Maybe it will be good, but my gut instincts are that this constellation will bring out fashion victims in force.  Two weeks later, Valery Gergiev conducts Szymanowski Stabat Mater and Brahms German Requiem. Will Gergiev bring us back to earth? He has his merits, and could say much in Szymanowski.

Recitals with Juan Diego Florez, Joyce DiDonato, Renée Fleming,  Elina Garanca, Cecelia Bartoli and Magdalena Kozcena.

Tomorrow : Barbican orchestral 2012-3. Please also see Barbican 2011-2 vocal and Barbican orchestral 2011-2, as 2012 has only just begun! For link, see here.

1 comment:

PhilipMC said...

Thank you for this excellent résumé. However, John Eliot (“Jiggy”) Gardiner, indisputably venerable though he is, is not quite THAT venerable (I know, because we were contemporaneous as undergraduates at Cambridge). The concert including Oedipus Rex on 25 April 2013 is in celebration of his 70th (not 75th!) birthday a few days earlier, on the 20th.