Brett Dean's Hamlet receives world premiere at Glyndebourne Festival Opera
Brett Dean’s operatic setting of Hamlet receives its world premiere at Glyndebourne Festival Opera on 11 June 2017. Hamlet is an opera in two acts with a libretto by Matthew Jocelyn after William Shakespeare, and the production is directed by Neil Armfield and conducted by Vladimir Jurowski.
The cast for Hamlet includes three Intermusica artists, with David Butt Philip as Laertes, Jacques Imbrailo as Horatio and Rupert Enticknap as Rosencrantz. Also performing are Allan Clayton as Hamlet, Barbara Hannigan as Ophelia, Sarah Connolly as Gertrude and John Tomlinson as the Ghost of Old Hamlet.
Hamlet is commissioned by Glyndebourne Festival Opera and is the latest in a series of Dean's works to be inspired by the play, including String Quartet No.2 'And Once I Played Ophelia', From Melodious Lay (A Hamlet Diffraction) and Rooms of Elsinore. Speaking about taking on one of Shakespeare’s most enduring plays, Dean commented:
“I was attracted by the sheer wonder and beauty of the text and the endless theatrical – and to my mind, musical – possibilities of its characters and themes. Now emerging at the other end of the compositional process, I do think that the almost sacred nature and familiarity of the text may well have put composers off over the centuries, especially when contemplating Hamlet's über-famous soliloquy.”
Hamlet runs at Glyndebourne until 6 July before transferring to the Glyndebourne Autumn tour. The final performance on 6 July will be broadcast live to cinemas across the UK.
Intermusica at the 2017 BBC Proms
The BBC announced the line-up for the 2017 Proms on 20 April 2017, and as ever Intermusica artists and orchestras play a leading role in the festival. Every Prom is broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and on the BBC website, with select concerts broadcast on BBC television live or at a later date.
Simon Halsey’s Proms Youth Choir give the opening concert of the Proms on 14 July, performing John Adams Harmonium alongside the BBC Symphony Chorus and BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Edward Gardner.
Joshua Weilerstein makes his debut at the Proms on 19 July, conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra at 7.30pm the Royal Albert Hall. Weilerstein conducts a programme of Rebel Les élémens – le chaos, Berlioz Symphonie fantastique and Pascal Dusapin’s cello concerto Outscape, for which he is joined by his sister, cellist Alisa Weilerstein.
Nicholas Collon and his Aurora Orchestra return to the Proms to perform another symphony from memory at 7.30pm on 22 July. This time, they perform Beethoven Symphony No.3 ‘Eroica’, preceded by an introduction from Tom Service accompanied by excerpts from Collon and the orchestra. The programme for the concert also includes Strauss Metamorphosen.
John Wilson makes the first of two appearances at this year’s Proms at 6.30pm on 25 July when he performs with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Wilson, the orchestra’s Associate Guest Conductor, leads the orchestra in a programme of Vaughan Williams Symphony No.9 and Holst The Planets.
Christopher Purves also makes two appearances at the Proms this year, with his first coming on 27 July. Purves joins Juanjo Mena, the BBC Philharmonic and the Crouch End Festival Chorus to perform the London premiere of Mark Simpson The Immortal, an oratorio inspired by Victorian séances.
Mark Wigglesworth is joined by pianist Stephen Hough and the BBC Philharmonic at 7.30pm on 29 July to perform Brahms Piano Concerto No.1, David Sawyer The Greatest Happiness on Earth and Haydn Symphony No.99.
Sir James MacMillan’s European Requiem receives its European premiere at the Proms at 7pm on 30 July from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and conductor Xian Zhang, with Jacques Imbrailo performing as the baritone soloist.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner returns to the Proms on 2 August with the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, this time for a late night Prom at the Royal Albert Hall at 10.15pm. Gardiner conducts his ensembles in a performance of cantatas by Bach and Schütz.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner makes his second Proms appearance of the year at 7.30pm on 8 August, this time conducting the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique in a performance of Berlioz La damnation du Faust.
Lise Davidsen makes her debut at the Proms at 7.30pm on 10 August with the BBC Philharmonic and John Storgårds. Davidsen joins the orchestra to perform Sibelius Luonnotar and extracts from Grieg Peer Gynt.
John Wilson’s second Proms appearance this year comes on 11 August when his John Wilson Orchestra returns for its annual concert. This year, Wilson leads the orchestra in two performances of Rogers & Hammerstein Oklahoma!, at 2pm and 7.30pm.
Christopher Purves joins the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle for a performance of Schoenberg Gurrelieder at 7.30pm on 19 August. Also performing are three of Simon Halsey’s choruses – City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Chorus and Orfeó Català. Halsey also leads a Gurrelieder Proms Extra Sing Day at London Imperial College earlier that day.
Tim Mead returns to the Proms alongside John Butt and the Dunedin Consort for the third concert of the Proms’ Reformation Day at 7.45pm on 20 August. Mead follows last year’s Bach Mass in B minor with Bach St John Passion, singing alongside a cast that also includes Sophie Bevan, Nicholas Mulroy, Matthew Brook and Andrew Tortise.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Beyond the Score® appears at the Proms at 7.30pm on 23 August, with a performance of Dvorák Symphony No.9 ‘From the New World’ given by the Hallé Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder alongside a multi-media exploration of the symphony directed by Beyond the Score founder Gerard McBurney.
Leonidas Kavakos reunites with Riccardo Chailly at 6.30pm on 25 August, as Intermusica bring the conductor and his Filarmonica della Scala to the Proms to perform Brahms and Respighi. Kavakos joins the orchestra for Brahms Violin Concerto, which is followed by Respighi Fountains of Rome and Pines of Rome.
Joélle Harvey returns to the Proms as Glyndebourne’s production of Mozart La clemenza di Tito comes to the Royal Albert Hall at 7pm on 28 August. Harvey takes the role of Servilia, with accompaniment from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Robin Ticciati.
Intermusica is delighted to bring the Oslo Philharmonic and Vasily Petrenko to the Proms at 7.30pm on 29 August. Petrenko conducts the orchestra in an all-Russian programme of Stravinsky The Firebird (1919 version), Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.4 and Shostakovich Symphony No.12.
The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra bring an all-Mendelssohn programme to the Proms this year from 1pm on 3 September. Conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado, the orchestra perform Mendelssohn Hebrides Overture, Violin Concerto with Isabelle Faust and Symphony No.5
Ben Johnson joins Sakari Oramo, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and an international cast of soloists for the Last Night of the Proms on 9 September. The Last Night begins from 7.15pm and will be broadcast live on BBC Two, and Johnson sings Kodály Te Deum.
Jacques Imbrailo makes debut at Teatro Real, Madrid as Billy Budd
Jacques Imbrailo travels to Spain this month to make his house debut at the Teatro Real, Madrid in the title role of Billy Budd on 31 January 2017. Conducted by Ivor Bolton, the cast for Deborah Warner's new production also includes Brindley Sherratt, Toby Spence, Thomas Oliemans, David Soar and Christopher Gillet.
Imbrailo has regularly performed the role around the world, and gave a critically-acclaimed performance in Michael Grandage's production at Glyndebourne Festival Opera:
“Jacques Imbrailo's Billy, conversely, pulls off the feat of personifying goodness while maintaining a vivid, three-dimensional reality: the scene where Budd comes to Vere's cabin believing he is to be promoted, only to discover the heinous accusation made against him, is almost unbearably moving.”
"Imbrailo’s Billy is as honest and open and trusting as ever, and his final lilting lament more devastating.”
Further highlights this season for Jacques include a return to Glyndebourne for the world premiere of Brett Dean Hamlet.
Jacques Imbrailo makes his role debut as Zurga in Bizet's The Pearlfishers at English National Opera
Jacques Imbralio makes his role debut as Zurga in Bizet The Pearl Fishers at English National Opera this month on 19 October 2016, his first appearance with the company.
Imbrailo sings alongside Claudia Boyle as Leïla, Robert McPherson as Nadir and James Creswell as Nourabad in Penny Woolcock's production, which is conducted by Roland Böer.
The Pearl Fishers plays at English National Opera until 2 December. Imbrailo then begins 2017 at Teatro Real, Madrid, where he sings the title role in Britten Billy Budd in February.
Jacques Imbrailo makes house debut at the Shanghai Grand Theatre in Pelléas et Mélissande
Jacques Imbrailo makes his house debut at the Shanghai Grand Theatre on 8 September 2016 as Pelléas in Debussy Pelléas et Mélisande with the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra. Conducted by Tang Muhai, the performance is a co-production between Shanghai Grand Theatre and Xinchan Centre for Theatre Arts, directed by Yi Liming.
Pélleas is becoming one of Imbrailo’s signature roles, his Shanghai debut follows his critically acclaimed performance of the role in Zurich earlier this year:
“Jacques Imbrailo as Pelléas has a wonderfully soft voice, his baritone is velvety and formative with sympathetic emphasis.”
Oper aktuell, May 2016
Future season highlights for Imbrailo include his debut at English National Opera as Zurga in Bizet The Pearl Fishers and the title role in Britten Billy Budd for Teatro Real, Madrid.
Jacques Imbrailo makes his Edinburgh International Festival debut
Jacques Imbrailo makes his Edinburgh International Festival debut on 14 August in a performance of Elgar The Apostles. The performance will feature the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, conducted by Edward Gardner.
Other artists include Sophie Bevan, Karen Cargill, Allan Clayton, Marcus Farnsworth and John Relyea.
Next season Imbrailo’s highlights include a return to English National Opera to perform Zurga in Bizet The Pearl Fishers, and to the Teatro Real for the title role in Britten Billy Budd. Imbrailo will also make his debut with Shanghai Oriental Performing Centre where he will perform Pelleas in Debussy Pelléas et Mélisande.
Jacques Imbrailo stars in Don Giovanni with Classical Opera at Cadogan Hall
Jacques Imbrailo performs the title role of Don Giovanni in a concert performance with Classical Opera at Cadogan Hall on 17 June 2016.
Conducted by Ian Page, the cast for this production includes Ana Maria Labin, Helen Sherman, Ellie Laugharne, Stuart Jackson and Darren Jeffery.
Imbrailo previously sung the role for Scottish Opera to great critical acclaim:
“Jacques Imbrailo was an authoritative Giovanni, tall, aquiline and with a lightness of voice that was full of charm, little hinting of the danger that lurked below.”
"It is Giovanni’s mission to seduce all around him – not only his women but also his audience. This Imbrailo proceeded to accomplish with some aplomb. His baritone voice brought a polished and suitably aristocratic air to this Giovanni and there was no doubt that he was always one step ahead of everyone around him."
"Jacques Imbrailo is darkly compelling as the Don"
Future highlights include Elgar The Apostles at the Edinburgh Fetsival and Zurga in Bizet The Pearl Fishers at English National Opera.
Jacques Imbrailo & Corinne Winters star in Pelléas et Mélisande at Opernhaus Zürich
Jacques Imbrailo and Corinne Winters make their debuts for Opernhaus Zürich in the title roles in a new production of Pelléas et Mélisande by Dmitri Tcherniakov from 8 May 2016. Conducted by Alain Altinogu, the cast for this production also includes Brindley Sherratt as Arkel and Kyle Ketelsen as Arkel.
Imbrailo reprises the role of Pelléas following his critically acclaimed portrayals for Stockholm Opera and Welsh National Opera:
“Especially outstanding are the titular hero and heroine, ideally sung and played by the South African baritone Jacques Imbrailo…. Both look their parts to perfection and sing their music with thrilling ease"
Sunday Times, June 2015
"No one will argue with the musical quality of this production, which is superb. Jacques Imbrailo inhabits Pelléas' shy tenativeness, with his high baritone finely deployed."
Guardian, May 2015
Future highlights include Elgar The Apostles at the Edinburgh Festival and the title role of Don Giovanni at Cadogan Hall with Classical Opera.
Winters recently made a successful debut as a “stunning, intense and heart-breaking” Desdemona in Verdi Otello for Opera Vlaanderen. Next month she debuts as Fiordiligi in Mozart Cosi fan tutte for Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, a role she reprises next season for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
“….Musically the show is dominated by Winters, whose sound is far bigger and more burnished than her waif-like frame might suggest.”
Times, October 2015
Performances of Pelléas et Mélisande run until May 29, 2016.
Jacques Imbrailo sings Pelléas in new production of Pelléas et Mélisande at Royal Swedish Opera
Jacques Imbrailo sings the role of Pelleas in Keith Warner’s new production of Pelléas et Mélisande at the Royal Swedish Opera from 19 March 2016. Imbrailo joins a cast that also includes Kerstin Avemo as Mélisande and Fredrik Zetterström as Golaud. Franck Ollu conducts.
Following this, Imbrailo travels to Switzerland to sing the same role at Opernhaus Zürich in a new production of Pelléas et Mélisande directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov.
Danielle de Niese & Jacques Imbrailo in world premiere of Bel Canto at Lyric Opera of Chicago
Daneille de Niese leads the world premiere of Jimmy Lopez’s Bel Canto at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on 7 December 2015 alongside Jacques Imbrailo, conducted by Sir Andrew Davies.
Based on the novel by Ann Patchett and inspired by a real-life event, De Niese performs the role of American diva Roxane Coss. Coss travels to Peru to sing at the vice president's home for a visiting Japanese mogul, only for an international crisis to explode when terrorists storm the mansion and take everyone hostage. Isolated for months, unlikely alliances form between captors and captives as fear and anger mingle uneasily with desire and even love.
Alongside De Niese and Imbrailo are J’nai Bridges as Carmen, Jeongcheol Cha as Hosokawa, Andrew Stenson as Gen and Anthony Roth Costanzo as Cesar in this new production by Kevin Newbury with a libretto by Pulitzer Prize winner Nilo Cruz. Renée Fleming curated this project for Lyric Opera.
De Niese began the 2015/16 season with a double header at the BBC Proms, singing at the Last Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall opposite Jonas Kaufmann, broadcast worldwide, and at Proms in the Park in Hyde Park. Her operatic engagements include a return to Theater an der Wien to sing Poppea in Robert Carsen’s new production of Handel Agrippina, and Rosina in the new production of Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Glyndeboure Festival and BBC Proms.
Highlights for Imrailo this season include Pelléas Pelléas et Mélisande at Opernhaus Zürich and the title role of Don Giovanni at Cadogan Hall.
Performances of Bel Canto continue until 17 January.
Jacques Imbrailo & Christopher Purves in a new production of Pelléas et Mélisande at WNO
Jacques Imbrailo reprises the role of Pelléas in Debussy’s symbolist masterpiece Pelléas et Mélisande at Welsh National Opera on 29 May 2015, with Christopher Purves singing the role of the prince Golaud.
Imbrailo reprises the role of Pelléas following a critically acclaimed role debut in Essen in the 2012/13 season:
“Baritone Jacques Imbrailo’s Pelléas is a virile, romantic heartthrob, with fine voice to match.”
BBC Music Magazine
“Flawlessly sung, with the required smoothness of tone and persuasiveness in textual delivery…There’s an unforced sweetness of demeanour and…Imbrailo’s face registers every shade of emotion.”
International Record Review
“Jacques Imbrailo delights the eye and ear as Pelléas, with the technique, youth and beauty of line to convey both innocence and impetuous passion.”
This is his second role at WNO this season, having made his role debut there as Papageno The Magic Flute in February 2015.
Following his tremendous success singing the title role in Puccini Gianni Schicchi at Opera North, Christopher Purves revives his critically-acclaimed Golaud:
“Soaring above all this is Christopher Purves's pained, tragic Golaud: beautifully sung and acted, this Golaud's failing is simply that he is all too human.”
This summer, Purves can also be heard in the title role of Handel Saul at Glyndebourne, and the role of Protector in George Benjamin Written on Skin at Lincoln Center.
Pelléas et Mélisande runs from 29 May until 06 June, conducted by Lothar Koenigs and directed by David Pountney.
Jacques Imbrailo makes his debut at Teatro Real singing Britten’s War Requiem
Jacques Imbrailo makes his debut at the Teatro Real, Madrid, in two performances of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem on 12 and 14 March.
The performances are conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado and also feature soloists Susan Gritton and John Mark Ainsley.
Jacques Imbrailo returns to Houston Grand Opera for Così fan tutte
Jacques Imbrailo returns to Houston Grand Opera this month to sing the role of Guglielmo in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, opening on 31 October 2014. Imbrailo’s performances as Guglielmo at both Opera North and Glyndebourne Touring Opera have been widely praised, with the Times describing his interpretation of the role as “outstanding”. Imbrailo made his Houston Grand Opera debut in 2012, when he sung Tarquinius in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia.
For this production, directed by Harry Silverstein, Imbrailo is joined by Rachel Willis-Sørensen (Fiordiligi) and Melody Moore (Dorabella). Performances run from 31 October to 15 November.
Jacques Imbrailo makes role debut as Valentin in Gounod Faust in Baden-Baden
On 6 June, Jacques Imbrailo makes his role debut as Valentin in Faust, in a brand new production by Bartlett Sher at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden. The cast also includes Charles Castronovo in the title role and Erwin Schrott as Méphistophélès, as well as Sonya Yoncheva as Marguerite, Angela Brower as Siébel and Derek Welton as Wagner.
The production, conducted by Thomas Hengelbrock, opens on 6 June and runs until 12 June, with a concert performance on 15 June at the Internationales Musikfest Hamburg.
Jacques Imbrailo sings Billy Budd for first Glyndebourne Festival tour to New York
Jacques Imbrailo reprises the title role of Billy Budd for Glyndebourne on 7 February as the Festival tours to the US with its resident orchestra and chorus for the first ever time. Imbrailo has sung the role of Billy in this celebrated production by Michael Grandage several times before to great critical acclaim:
“Jacques Imbrailo is the finest Billy I have heard – lusty, virile, sensitive and moving.”
Financial Times, May 2010
“Jacques Imbrailo makes a marvellously youthful innocent sounding Billy Budd, and his lyrical singing of Billy’s solo scene before his execution is heart-rending.”
Gramophone, March 2013
“[Imbrailo] pulls off the feat of personifying goodness while maintaining a vivid, three-dimensional reality … almost unbearably moving.”
Guardian, five stars, August 2013
“You still want to weep for Jacques Imbrailo’s Budd.”
Gramophone, August 2013
“The original Billy…returns, his gleeful energy radiating out among the dull greys and browns of the sailors, and bringing a vocal sophistication to match his dramatic innocence…”
The Arts Desk, August 2013
This production at the Brooklyn Academy of Music will feature the entire cast from the revival at Glyndebourne’s 2013 Festival, along with the Glyndebourne Chorus and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Mark Elder. After opening on 7 February, further performances of Billy Budd take place on 9, 11 and 13 February.
Jacques Imbrailo makes role debut as Don Giovanni in new Scottish Opera production
Jacques Imbrailo will sing the title role of Don Giovanni for the first time on 15 October, starring in a new production of Mozart’s opera at Scottish Opera. Directed by Sir Thomas Allen, the opera is a co-production between Scottish Opera and Boston Lyric Opera.
Imbrailo regularly sings Mozart roles, including Il Conte Le nozze di Figaro (Royal Opera House, Welsh National Opera and Opéra de Lille).
Don Giovanni opens on 15 October and runs until 23 November, and is conducted by Speranza Scappucci.
Live recording of Elgar’s The Apostles featuring Jacques Imbrailo wins BBC Music Magazine award
The Hallé’s live recording of Elgar’s The Apostles featuring Intermusica's Jacques Imbrailo, has won the BBC Music Magazine’s Recording of the Year award. Imbrailo, who sang the role of Jesus, was conducted by Sir Mark Elder in a performance last year at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, which was recorded live for The Hallé’s own label.
A jury member of the BBC competition commented:
"Right from the start this recording reveals the imagination, originality and radiant beauty of the score."
Other performers on the album include Rebecca Evans, Alice Coote, Paul Groves, David Kempster and Brindley Sherratt.
Click here for further information about the 2013 BBC Music Magazine Awards.