Tell us what you’d like to to hear more of

In September we will be continuing with our series of classical music podcasts.

To help us produce content that interests you, we want to know what you would like to hear more of, and how you think should we theme our podcasts? Guide through the eras of music; following orchestra members throughout the series or beginners guide to music – anything at all. Just let us know by leaving a comment below.

Thanks for your help!

Listen to Southbank Centre classical music podcasts from earlier on this year

NORTHERN IRELAND OPERA SHORTS – ‘SNAPSHOTS OF LIVES ON THE EDGE’

Five opera premieres described as “snapshots of lives on the edge”, were staged by Northern Ireland Opera last week in Belfast.

With music by five Northern Irish composers, including Conor Mitchell working with leading contemporary playwrights, musicians from the Ulster Orchestra and a talented cast of nine singers from across Ireland performed these compact, hard-hitting works conducted by Fergus Sheil and directed by Rachel O’Riordan.

Fionna Maddocks writes for The Observer:

“In this bouquet of new works, each opera was skilful, provoking laughter as well as sorrow and, at an average duration of 10 minutes, never a moment too long.”

Read the full review

All five works will be performed at Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall on Friday 13 July, 8pm as part of New Music 20×12 at Southbank Centre.

Find out more / book tickets

Dig out your dancing shoes: one day to go!

It’s the big day tomorrow – Brynfest, our four-day festival, kicks off in style with The Golden Age of Broadway show. As we dig out our top hats and polish our dancing shoes, we asked Bryn why he chose to include a Broadway night as part of the festival.

‘It fits into the formula that I have used before at my Faenol Festival in North Wales. I’m always one that’s loved listening and performing Broadway tunes and since the advent of people like, for instance, Michael Ball, Michael Crawford and Elaine Paige, songs from musicals have really been brought into the public eye. I wouldn’t have a festival without an evening of musical theatre.’

Portrait of Bryn Terfel

Bryn Terfel © Briony Campbell

Are you a fan of musicals?

‘I adore them – they’re so entertaining.  I love My Fair Lady, and I saw Anything Goes in New York which was just tremendous – a real journey down memory lane. 

‘Oddly, last time I was in New York I saw the two theatrical productions that seem to have run away with the Tony Awards, which are Porgy and Bess with Audra McDonald (who, by the way, was one of the artists that came to my festival in North Wales) and I saw One Man, Two Guvnors twice with James Corden. ‘

You’re famous for your opera singing – what is your experience of Broadway tunes?

I grew up with them – they’re songs that I’ve sung and they have been sung to me by my grandparents and parents. They were always very popular in concerts when I was a youngster, even before I went to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, but I then still used them in miscellaneous concerts we had all over Wales with male voice choirs.  So ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ I would have sung most probably over 1,000 times but still never ever get tired of it.’

Will you be performing in the show tomorrow?

‘I’ll make a brief appearance maybe.  It’s not my bread and butter but I can certainly, hopefully, sing a tune. I’ve brought along some very special guests to make the night go with a swing. We have an icon from Wales, of course, tying everything together, which is Siân Phillips. Emma Williams sang with me when we did the Sweeny Todd in the Royal Festival Hall, and there are many others too. These people work so hard, so to even think that somebody can turn up on a Wednesday night, in the middle of a busy schedule and just give us a concert is really enchanting. I’m very excited to hear them sing!’

If you’re a fan of musicals, there’s still time to book your tickets for tomorrow’s show.