MUSIC | CLASSICAL C L A S S I C A L
OPERA A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM Festival Theatre, Edinburgh; Theatre Royal, Glasgow; postponed due to COVID-19 virus
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Scottish Opera-goers can’t fail to notice the bright sparks of emerging talent which are contributing to the company’s current artistic high. A programme which celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2019/20, Scottish Opera’s Emerging Artists initiative gives young performers opportunities and support at a critical stage in their careers. It also builds a relationship whereby the singers treasure returning as their operatic trajectory ascends. One model case is soprano Jennifer France, an Emerging
Artist in 2016, and widely praised for her performances in recent productions of Ariadne auf Naxos, Flight and Anthropocene. ‘It means a huge deal,’ she says. ‘I’d come out of music college, Royal Academy and post-grad study, and Scottish Opera were huge supporters in taking me on. It’s opened all sorts of doors and it really feels like coming home for me now.’
Returning once more, France plays Tytania in Britten’s enchanting A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a new production by Citizen’s Theatre artistic director, Dominic Hill. ‘I think it’s going to be one of these pieces which is really magical,’ she says. ‘Dominic is giving us a lot of free rein to create the characters, approaching us as actors, mindful of much of this work being done for us through Britten’s music.’
France is warmly appreciative of Hill’s track record in theatre, particularly his in-depth knowledge of Shakespeare, with A Midsummer Night’s Dream being one of her own favourite plays. ‘I’ll be eight months pregnant by the time we finish the run, and we’ve completely embraced that. With children playing the fairies, it feels like Tytania is a sort of earth mother. It’s certainly given me a different spin on her character.’ (Carol Main)
CHOPIN & CHAMPAGNE BY CANDLELIGHT: APRIL – BARCAROLLE & BALLADE NO 3 Merchants House of Glasgow, postponed due to COVID-19 virus, whatsonglasgow.co.uk The complete piano music of Frederic Chopin by candlelight plus a glass of champagne. Following Warren Mailey-Smith’s inaugural London series, performing everything from memory, he’s now in the intimate setting of Glasgow’s Merchants House. RSNO: SEASON FINALE – VERDI REQUIEM Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Fri 29 May, usherhall.co.uk Hard to believe it’s that time already, but summer beckons and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Chorus end their 2019/20 season in style with a Giuseppe Verdi Requiem that will thunder, blast, terrify and enthral. Conductor Thomas Søndergård takes the audience on a journey from heaven to hell and back again.
Scottish Ensemble & Andersson Dance
SCOTTISH ENSEMBLE & ANDERSSON DANCE SWG3, Glasgow, Thu 14 May, swg3.tv This first performance in a new European festival of music for strings – The Bridge – highlights the ever-innovative Scottish Ensemble bringing musicians and dancers together. Dream-like sequences for Lutoslawski and neat precision in Bach lead towards the evening’s climax, Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge, remarkably played from memory. SUNDAY CLASSICS: ST PETERSBURG SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Sun 31 May, usherhall.co.uk One of Russia’s finest and most admired orchestras returns to Edinburgh for an afternoon of classics. Japanese pianist Noriko Ogawa plays the first piano concerto by Rachmaninov, with Prokofiev’s atmospheric score for the world’s greatest love story, Romeo and Juliet, in the second half.
92 THE LIST 1 Apr–31 May 2020
Also Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Sat 30 May, glasgowconcerthalls.com JS BACH: ST MATTHEW PASSION Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, postponed due to COVID-19 virus, thequeenshall.net Easter is rarely complete without Dunedin Consort’s spellbinding interpretation of St Matthew Passion. This one will be directed by Kristian Bezuidenhout, one of the key figures in the world of historically informed performance.
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