Women in Opera – Study Day with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Perhaps the best way to describe an OAE Study Day is that it’s like a television documentary, only live.

Taking place on Sunday 2 December in the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room, this year’s Study Day centres around the OAE’s 2012-2013 series ‘Queens, Heroines and Ladykillers’, taking an in-depth look at women’s roles in music over the last 400 years.

There’ll be discussions about a range of different characters in opera, the women (and men) that played them and a look at some of the often little-known works by female composers.  The day will conclude with a performance by Robyn Allegra Parton.  While the term ‘Study Day’ might evoke a certain feeling of academia, fear not.  No exam is given at the end of the day and no prior research necessary.

The day will be hosted by presenter Rachel Leach and split into two halves, with tickets sold separately for each so you can pick and choose which sessions to attend (and you’ll have time for a nice bit of lunch in between).

Here’s a bit about how the day will unfold:

Session 1 – 10.30am-1pm:

Women in Cultural History
Deborah Leigh Simonton, of the University of Denmark, has a look at how women are portrayed in history, literature & musicals.

Women in Opera
Professor Rachel Cowgill, of Cardiff University, discusses female performers in Opera.  In this section, Rachel will address issues such as why men took on women’s roles in early opera and when women emerged to take on these roles as themselves, before going on to look at the rise of female performers as international stars.

Session 2 – 2pm-4.30pm.

A Look at Characters
Dr F. Jane Schopf, Programme Director of Opera Studies at Rose Bruford College.  In this session we’ll take a look at strong female characters from Operatic history, comparing and contrasting different composers takes on these characters.

Performance & Analysis
The day will conclude with a performance of Dido’s Lament by up and coming star Robyn Allegra Parton, as well as a guided tour through of another piece led by presenter Rachel Leach.

A nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon we think!

Full details and booking can be found here.

Listen to the International Piano Series podcast with Alice Sara Ott

The young German pianist Alice Sara Ott talks from Japan (via Skype) about Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’, her sense of home, and the Rubix cube.

You can hear Alice Sara Ott in her Royal Festival Hall debut performance on Tuesday 12 February 2013, as part of the International Piano Series.

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Watch Alice Sara Ott perform Pictures at an Exhibition

You can see Alice Sara Ott perform Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ at Royal Festival Hall on Tuesday 12 February, 7.30pm.

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Watch Francesco Piemontesi performing at the BBC Music Magazine Awards

Pianist Francesco Piemontesi has garnered a string of accolades that mark him out as a rising star, including his recent BBC Music Magazine Award, presented to him by Alfred Brendel.

“It is most gratifying that in a time when some careers are made with the excessive help of promotion, there is a young pianist with real talent, a pianist of natural poise and grace, of wonderful technical equipment, and of the ability to remind us what beautiful playing means: cantabile playing that is colourful, luminous and harmonious, without in the least lacking tension and atmosphere. I congratulate Francesco Piemontesi very warmly and wish him a wonderful future, and I congratulate the producer for the lovely sound on the record.” Alfred Brendel, speaking at the award ceremony at Kings Place in April.

Watch the award ceremony in full, or jump to 10’29 to watch Francesco Piemontesi performing live at the event:

Francesco Piemontesi makes his International Piano Series debut on Wednesday 7 November, 7.30pm at Queen Elizabeth Hall.

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Listen to the International Piano Series podcast with pianist Christian Blackshaw

Christian Blackshaw talks in depth about his love of Schumann and Schubert, ahead of his Queen Elizabeth Hall recital next year as part of the International Piano Series.

 

You can hear Christian Blackshaw perform on 26 February 2013, 7.30pm at Queen Elizabeth Hall.

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OAE’s Debussy remix competition

The Night Shift and French electronic artist Chapelier Fou are calling on all budding DJs and producers to put their mix where their mouth is.  This is an incredibly rare and unique opportunity for DJs to effectively get their hands on an entire Orchestra.
The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment have an exclusive recording of their rehearsal with the world famous conductor Sir Simon Rattle, playing one of the most influential composers in Western music; Claude Debussy (whose 150th Anniversary it is this year)… and they want you to remix it.

The samples you’ll be using are taken from their June recording of La Mer, Debussy’s ode to the sea, and not only is this your chance to have free rein over these one-off recordings, but the winner will be judged by innovative French musician and DJ; Chapelier Fou.

Entries must be submitted by 30 October and winners will be announced mid-November.

For full information and to enter, visit their website at:
http://www.oae.co.uk/2012/09/dubussy-remix-contest/

Witness an historic musical collaboration between the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Russian National Orchestra

The London Philharmonic Orchestra and Russian National Orchestra join forces for three concerts at Royal Festival Hall with the theme of War & Peace.

LPO Principal Conductor Vladimir Jurowski introduces the concerts and talks about the reasons for this historic collaboration:

 

Find out more / book tickets

Tickets for Friday 5 October have almost sold out but you can still buy tickets to see Vladimir Jurowski conduct the London Philharmonic Orchestra on Wednesday 3 October and the Russian National Orchestra on Thursday 4 October