Intermusica artists featured in Best of 2017 critics' picks
At the end of each year we look forward to reading critics’ musical highlights from the last 12 months; we’re delighted to see many of our artists featured in a host of such round-ups.
A standout achievement of the year was Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Monteverdi 450 tour, which was praised globally. The tour commemorated the 450th anniversary of the composer’s death and visited the Berlin Festival, Philharmonie de Paris, the new National Forum of Music in Wrocław, and the Salzburg, Edinburgh International and Lucerne festivals, as well as Bristol’s Colston Hall, Aix-en-Provence, Barcelona’s Palau de la Música Catalana and a historic residency at Teatro La Fenice in Venice, the composer's adopted home. Hugh Canning in the Sunday Times praised it as “dazzling”, while it was also chosen as one of the highlights of the year by the Guardian and Alex Ross of the New Yorker, who praised the “deft, vivid” productions that confirmed that “the first great opera composer remains the master of the game.” It was also chosen by the Herald Scotland, The Arts Desk, New York Classical Review and Chicago Classical Review.
Another highlight was the world premiere run of Brett Dean’s Hamlet at Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Hugh Canning picked it as his operatic highlight of the year in the Sunday Times, and it also featured in round-ups in the Evening Standard, The Arts Desk and The Stage.
Hugh Canning also praised David Butt Philip’s “searing” performance in Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé.
Nicholas Collon’s Prom with his Aurora Orchestra, in which he conducted Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony from memory, was chosen as one of the Evening Standard’s highlights of the classical year, as was the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester’s visit to London. The orchestra’s performance at the Barbican featured Intermusica artists Leonidas Kavakos and Kirill Gerstein performing Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, and was part of the orchestra’s 275th anniversary tour, which Intermusica brought to Europe and Asia.
Several Intermusica artists also featured in The Arts Desk’s round-up of the best concerts and opera performances. In the concert round-up, Mark Wigglesworth’s Prom with the BBC Philharmonic was highlighted thanks to a “miraculous” performance of Haydn Symphony No.99. Kian Soltani was highly praised for his performance of Strauss Don Quixote at the Southbank Centre with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, with The Arts Desk writing that it was “quite the most vivid” critic David Nice had heard live. Nice also cited HK Gruber for his performance as conductor and chansonnier in his Frankenstein!! at the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra’s composer festival.
In The Arts Desk’s opera round-up, Martyn Brabbins’ performance of Harrison Birtwistle’s The Last Supper with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra “kicked off the year in thoughtful, complex style”, while David Nice also gave special mention to Wallis Giunta, writing that she was the “young singer of the year in my books” for her performances in L'enfant et les sortileges and Trouble in Tahiti in Opera North's well-received Little Greats series of one-act operas. Giunta was also named 'Breakthrough Artist in UK Opera' in the WhatsOnStage Opera Poll.
Meanwhile, Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s new recording of Bach St Matthew Passion, made with the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, was chosen as one of Gramophone’s Critics’ Choice, as was Boris Giltburg’s account of Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.2 with Carlos Miguel Prieto and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
Composer and music writer Robert Hugill picked John Wilson’s recording of Walton’s Façade as one of his top recordings of the year. Also featured were Sir James MacMillan’s “powerful” Stabat Mater and Martyn Brabbins’ latest entry in the Romantic Piano Concerto series for Hyperion, this time featuring the piano concertos of Roger Sacheverell Coke.
The Pavel Haas Quartet once again found great critical success with their latest CD, which featured Dvorák Piano and String Quintets and was made with Boris Giltburg and founder and former member Pavel Nikl. The album was chosen as one of the records of the year by the Boston Globe and WQXR.
Danielle de Niese and David Butt Philip join the London Symphony Orchestra & Sir Simon Rattle for Bernstein's Wonderful Town
Danielle de Niese and David Butt Philip join Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra for two semi-staged performances of Bernstein Wonderful Town on 16 and 21 December 2017. The performances are part of the LSO's celebrations marking Bernstein's centenary, and de Niese and Butt Philip take the roles of Eileen and Lonigan.
De Niese comes to this project fresh from her operatic debut in the southern hemisphere as Hanna Glawari Merry Widow with Opera Australia in Melbourne. She returns to Australia for further performances in Sydney, opening with a New Years’ Eve gala performance at the Sydney Opera House. Looking ahead, de Niese makes her role debut as Musetta La bohème at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as well as returning to Wiener Staatsoper for more performances of Don Pasquale.
Butt Philip has recently starred in the title role of Brett Dean's Hamlet for Glyndebourne on Tour, receiving outstanding reviews:
"It’s an exceptional, career-making achievement"
In the new year he returns to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as Narraboth in Salome, while further ahead he makes his company debut with Teatro Real as Robert Devereux in Sir David McVicar’s new production of Gloriana.
David Butt Philip sings Verdi Requiem with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
David Butt Philip joins the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko to perform Verdi Requiem on 19 November 2017. Butt Philip performs alongside an all-star cast of soloists that also includes Sir Bryn Terfel, Ekaterina Gubanova and Ainhoa Arteta.
Following Butt Philip’s recent acclaimed debut in the title role in Brett Dean’s Hamlet, upcoming operatic highlights include his house debut with Teatro Real as Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex in Sir David McVicar’s new production of Britten Gloriana, Falco in Mascagni’s Isabeau at Opera Holland Park and Narraboth Salome at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Butt Philip’s concert highlights this season include Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius with the Hallé Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder, Britten’s War Requiem with Opera Orchestra National Montpellier and Orquestra Sinfonica Portuguesa, Brett Dean’s From Melodious Lay with Vladimir Jurowski and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin and Prokofiev’s Seven, they are seven with the Philharmonia under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy. He also makes his role debut as in the title role of La damnation de Faust in a concert performance with the Orchestra of Opera North.
Brett Dean's Hamlet performed by Glyndebourne on Tour starring David Butt Philip & Rupert Enticknap
Brett Dean’s acclaimed Hamlet returns to the stage on the Glyndebourne Autumn Tour from 21 October 2017, with David Butt Philip in the title role and Rupert Enticknap as Rosencratz. Hamlet received its world premiere at Glyndebourne this summer to widespread critical acclaim, with the production heralded as "heart-wrenchingly beautiful", "reverent but mischievous" and "an ingenious deconstruction of Shakespeare":
“Dean’s skill at creating a supercharged orchestral subtext to each scene is matched by his immense theatricality. Quite apart from his unerring pacing of the story, he also creates at least a dozen moments where sheer sonority alone sends shivers up the spine… The overall impression is of a richly imaginative composer at the top of his game.”
Five stars, The Times
Neil Armfield returns as director, and Duncan Ward conducts the Glyndebourne Tour Orchestra. Hamlet opens on 21 October at Glyndebourne Opera House before touring to Canterbury, Norwich, Milton Keynes, Woking and Plymouth in November.
Patricia Bardon & David Butt Philip: Das Rheingold at the Tanglewood Festival
Patricia Bardon and David Butt Philip join Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony at the Tanglewood Festival on 15 July 2017 to perform Wagner Das Rheingold. Bardon takes the role of Erda while Butt Philip sings Froh, joining a cast that also includes Sarah Connolly, Jochen Schmeckenbecher and Morris Robinson.
Bardon comes to Tanglewood soon after singing Elgar The Dream of Gerontius with English National Opera at the Royal Festival Hall and Mahler Symphony No.2 with Fabio Luisi and the Opera di Firenze.
Butt Philip has recently made debuts including Erik Fliegender Hollander at Opéra de Lille and Laertes in the premiere of Brett Dean's Hamlet at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, an opera in which he will play the title role on the Glyndebourne Tour next autumn. On the concert platform, Butt Philip has recently performed Beethoven Symphony No.9 with both the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Dream of Gerontius with the Tonkünstler Orchestra and the Hallé Orchestra.
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.
David Butt Philip sings Beethoven Symphony No.9 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra
David Butt Philip joins the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall on 6 May 2017 to perform Beethoven Symphony No.9 under the baton of Kazushi Ono. Butt Philip performs alongside fellow soloists Justina Gringyte and Jihoon Kim. The concert is part of the Southbank Centre's Belief and Beyond Belief series.
Future highlights for Butt Philip this season include his debut at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, where he plays Laertes in the world premiere of Brett Dean Hamlet.
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.
David Butt Philip makes his debut in the helden repertoire as Erik in Der fliegende Holländer
David Butt Philip makes his debut in the helden repertoire with Erik in Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer on 27 March 2017 at Opéra de Lille. The production is directed by Àlex Ollé in collaboration with La Fura dels Baus and Eivind Gullberg Jensen is conducting. He performs alongside Simon Neal (Der Holländer), Patrick Bolleire (Daland) and Catherine Naglestad (Senta).
David Butt Philip has established himself in recent years as one of the most exciting British tenors, having made remarkable debuts as Grigory in a new production of Boris Godunov at Royal Opera House, Laca Jenůfa and Luigi Il Tabarro both at Opera North and Rodolfo and Pinkerton at English National Opera.
On the concert platform this season he has sung Dream of Gerontius with the Hallé Orchestra and at the Musikverein Vienna, Froh Das Rheingold with the Hallé Orchestra, Beethoven Symphony No.9 with both the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo and London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, and Handel’s Messiah with the Mozart Festival Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall.
Other highlights this season include a return to Glyndebourne Festival Opera to sing Laertes in a new commission of Shakespeare’s Hamlet by composer and fellow Intermusica artist Brett Dean, and his US debut as Froh Das Rheingold at the Tanglewood Festival with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons. Further ahead he makes his debut with Teatro Real and returns to Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne and English National Opera. On the concert platform he appears at the Three Choirs Festival, BBC Proms, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Opera Orchestre National de Montpellier.
Sarah Tynan, Susan Bickley & David Butt Philip join the Hallé for Das Rheingold in concert
Sarah Tynan, Susan Bickley and David Butt Philip join Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé at Bridgewater Hall on 27 November 2016 for a concert performance of Wagner Das Rheingold. Tynan (Woglinde), Bickley (Fricka) and Butt Philip (Froh) perform alongside Iain Paterson as Wotan, Samuel Youn as Alberich and Emma Bell as Freia.
Sarah Tynan has recently been seen at Sadlers Wells in the Garsington Opera / Ballet Rambert staged co-production of Haydn Creation. She also sings Creation next month with the Bergen Philharmonic, and in the new year returns to English National Opera in the title role of Handel Partenope.
Bickley appeared at Glyndebourne this summer as Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, and has recently been seen at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Matron in Shostakovich The Nose, in the hugely successful new production by Barrie Kosky.
Butt Philip last performed with Sir Mark Elder in Opera Rara’s Semiramide at the BBC Proms in 2016. Last season he also debuted the role of Pinkerton in Anthony Minghella’s acclaimed production of Madame Production at English National Opera, and later this season sings the role of Erik in Wagner Der Fliegende Holländer in his debut at Opéra de Lille.
David Butt Philip returns to Opera North as Luigi in Il tabarro
David Butt Philip begins the month with a return to Opera North, where he sings the role of Luigi in Puccini Il tabarro from 1 October 2016. Under the baton of Jac Van Steen, Butt Philip performs amongst the Giselle Allen and Anne-Marie Owens. The production opens at the Leeds Grand Theatre with performances on 8, 14, 20 and 26 October and further performances on 4 November (Theatre Royal Newcastle), 11 November (The Lowry Salford Quays), 18 November (Theatre Royal Nottingham) and 30 November and 2 December (Edinburgh Festival Theatre).
Butt Philip previously performed with Opera North a year ago in his company debut as Laca in Jenufa.
“David Butt Philip’s powerhouse tenor dominated the stage in the role of Laca, a character to which he brought a fine sense of youthful obsession.”
Bachtrack, October 2015
During his tour with Opera North, Butt Philip can also be heard in a variety of concerts, including the Samling 20th Anniversary Showcase at Wigmore Hall, The Last Night of the Autumn Proms at Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, and a concert performance of the first instalment of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, Das Rheingold, also at Bridgewater Hall.
Vlada Borovko & David Butt Philip make their BBC Proms debut with Rebecca de Pont Davies in Boris Godunov
Vlada Borovko and David Butt Philip make their BBC Proms debut, and Rebecca de Pont reprises her role as the Innkeeper, on 16 July with a concert version of Mussorsgy Boris Godunov from the Royal Opera House. The cast led by Bryn Terfel in the title role is conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano. Listen to the concert live on BBC Radio 3 from 7pm.
Vlada Borovko, who is a member of the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme, reprises the role of Xenia, Boris’s daughter:
Vlada Borovko impresses as Boris's unhappy daughter Xenia."
Sunday Express, March 2016
“And, in the Tsar’s apartments – where a map marks Russia’s territories in red, as if the land is bathed in blood – sweet-toned relief is offered by Xenia (Vlada Borovko), who laments the death of her fiancé, and her Nurse (Sarah Pring), who tries to console her.”
Opera Today, March 2016
“Jette Parker Youth Artist Vlada Borovko was heartbreakingly beautiful as Xenia, Boris’ daughter. She sang with a clear, powerful sound that fit this masculine opera.”
Schmopera, March 2016
David Butt Philip, himself an alumnus of the programme, returns to the role of Grigory, having recently finished a triumphant run of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly at English National Opera:
“The main musical attraction of this revival is the chance to hear young British tenor David Butt Philip making his role debut as Pinkerton... it’s one of the best-sung Pinkertons we’ve heard yet in this production, the voice even and lovely from bottom to top (and what a top it is in this piece) and phrasing consistently sensitive and musical.”
Arts Desk, May 2016
“David Butt Philip’s strikingly well sung Grigory”
Guardian, March 2016
“David Butt Philip, ringingly clear of tone and diction”
Arts Desk, March 2016
Rebecca de Pont Davies returns to the Proms following her critically acclaimed portrayal as Auntie Peter Grimes in 2012:
“…superbly characterised… Rebecca de Pont Davies's androgynous brothel madam Auntie”
Guardian, August 2012
Upcoming highlights for De Pont Davies include debuts at the Opera National du Rhin as Mrs Grose in Robert Carsen’s new production of The Turn of the Screw and at the Teatro Regio di Torino as Kabanicha Káťa Kabanová.
David Butt Philip joins Intermusica for worldwide management
Intermusica is delighted to welcome British tenor David Butt Philip for worldwide management.
A former Jette Parker Young Artist, David Butt Philip made his debut at English National Opera in 2014 as Rodolfo La bohème, which was met with unanimous critical acclaim:
“It’s an impressively complete performance: his Rodolfo is likable and unassuming on stage, but when he sings he unleashes a warm, easy-sounding tenor voice with plenty of heft and ping at the top. His first aria hymns Mimi’s little frozen hands in impeccable Italianate style.”
This season he made his role debuts as Laca Jenufa with Opera North and Grigory in the new production of Boris Godunov at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, which will also be presented at the BBC Proms in July this year.
Next season he makes his debuts at Luigi Il Tabarro with Opera North and Cavaradossi Tosca. Further role debuts includes Essex Gloriana, Narraboth Salome and Froh Das Rheingold and in the future he will continue his exploration of the dramatic Slavic and German repertoire.
On the concert platform his appearances include Mahler Das klagende Lied with Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Rossini Petite messe solenelle at the Barbican, Haydn Nelson Mass with the Hallé under Sir Mark Elder, Britten Folk Songs with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra and Elgar The Dream of Gerontius with the Halle and Sir Mark Elder.
Butt Philip currently sings the role of Pinkerton Madam Butterfly with English National Opera. For more details on the dates and production click here.