ENO four-part Orpheus series begins: Mary Bevan, Sir Willard White & Valentina Peleggi star in Offenbach Orpheus in the Underworld
Mary Bevan returns to English National Opera on 5 October, making her role debut as Eurydice in Offenbach Orpheus in the Underworld.
The new production by director Emma Rice is the second opera in ENO’s 'Orpheus' series in which the company have taken the unprecedented step of programming four different Orpheus operas during autumn 2019: Gluck Orpheus and Eurydice, Offenbach Orpheus in the Underworld, Birtwistle The Mask of Orpheus and Glass Orphée.
The series involves multiple Intermusica artists and we will be producing a number of news pieces following its progress.
Bevan has made many role debuts for ENO including Zerlina Don Giovanni, Rebecca Two Boys, Barbarina and Susanna The Marriage of Figaro, Yum-Yum The Mikado, Papagena The Magic Flute, Second Niece Peter Grimes and Despina Cosi Fan Tutte. Other operatic highlights of the 2019/20 season include Sifare in Mozart Mitridate for Garsington Opera, a revival of the role of Rose Maurrant in Weill Street Scene for Opera de Monte Carlo, and Diana Iphigenie en Tauride with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Sir Willard White performs alongside Bevan in the role of Jupiter, having made his London operatic debut with the company as Seneca L'incoronazione di Poppea in 1967. His most recent roles with ENO include Schigolch Lulu and Bottom A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Highlights in the 2019/20 season include Luther and Crespel Les contes d'Hoffmann at La Monnaie, Trinity Moses Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny for Dutch National Opera in a revival of the recent production with Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, and Arkel Pelléas et Mélisande for LA Opera.
Valentina Peleggi, currently the Mackerras Fellow at ENO, conducts the Offenbach performances on 21, 26 and 28 November. This follows a very well-received conducting debut at ENO with two performances of Boheme last Spring, followed by her own production of Dido at the Unicorn Theatre in May. In February 2020 she takes on ENO’s Carmen production at the Coliseum – a major commitment to this young conductor.
Peleggi's symphonic debuts this season include the Royal Philharmonic, BBC Scottish and Bournemouth Symphony in the UK, Residentie Orkest in Holland and Richmond Symphony in the US. She also returns to her home town of Firenze to conduct the Orchestra della Toscana.
Mary Bevan receives an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List
Mary Bevan has been awarded an MBE for services to music in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, it was announced on 8 June 2019.
She will be invited to an Investiture Ceremony at Buckingham Palace where the Royal Family will recognise and honour her achievements. The Order of the British Empire was instituted in 1917 by George V to reward outstanding contribution to the war effort. It now rewards service in a wide range of areas, such as arts, sciences and work with charitable and welfare organisations.
Bevan receives the MBE as one of Britain’s most prominent artists, receiving acclaim from critics and audiences alike for her standout performances. She recently garnered praise for her Royal Danish Opera debut as Bellezza in Il Trionfo del tempo e del desinganno; for the title role in Mark-Anthony Turnage’s new opera Coraline for the Royal Opera at the Barbican; and for her return to English National Opera as Zerlina in Don Giovanni.
This summer, Bevan performs in Basel and Leipzig, singing the title role in Handel’s oratorio Susanna with Kammerorchester Basel and Paul McCreesh. She also gives a song recital at Wigmore Hall, sings Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 at Garsington Opera, performs Britten Les Illuminations with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and gives a song recital with Joseph Middleton at the St Magnus International Festival in Kirkwall, before returning to English National Opera in the autumn.
In a happy turn of events, Bevan's soprano sister Sophie Bevan was also awarded an MBE for services to music in this year's Birthday Honours.
Also recognised in this year's list is Stephen Cleobury, Director of Music of the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, who has been knighted for his services to choral music. Cleobury has been Director of Music and Organist of King’s since 1982, and under his leadership the choir has helped shape the writing of contemporary choral music. Speaking to Classic FM, Cleobury said: “It’s a wonderful thing to have this recognition of what I’ve spent my life doing. It’s been a great privilege for me to nurture many generations of young people.”
Mary Bevan stars in Saul at Handel Festspiele Göttingen
Mary Bevan appears at the Internationale Handel Festspiele Göttingen on 18 May 2019, singing the role of Michal in Handel Saul with the NDR Chor and FestspielOrchester Göttingen under Laurence Cummings. Saul was first performed in London in 1739 and focuses on the first king of Israel's relationship with his eventual successor, David; one which turns from admiration to envy and hatred, ultimately leading to the downfall of the eponymous monarch.
Bevan is renowned for her engaging interpretations of Handel’s heroines on both the operatic and concert stages. Last month, she made a successful debut at Royal Danish Opera in Handel Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno in a new staging by Ted Huffman. This season alone she has performed Handel’s oratorios and concert pieces at the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Royal Festival Hall, the Miguel Delibes concert hall in Valladolid, with The Hallé at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester and at the Teatro Mayor in Bogota with the Acadamy of Ancient Music and Laurence Cummings. She recently recorded a new Handel album with the Academy of Ancient Music which will be released later this year followed by a UK concert tour.
Bevan’s forthcoming highlights include the title role of Handel Susanna with the Kammerorchester Basel and Paul McCreesh in Basel and Halle, concerts with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and a solo Lieder recital at St Magnus International Festival, Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 at Garsington Opera with the English Concert and Cupid in Offenbach Orpheus in the Underworld at English National Opera.
Saul will be broadcast live on radio by NDR Kultur - click here for more details.
Intermusica artists star in English National Opera’s 2019/20 season
English National Opera announced their 2019/20 season on 3 April, and as ever there is a strong Intermusica presence at the house alongside Music Director Martyn Brabbins.
Alongside three revivals, the season features seven new productions, the most for five years. For the first time, four of the new productions present different versions of the same story as ENO presents four takes on the Orpheus myth. In keeping with the season’s theme of the rise of the feminine, more than half of the new productions are directed by women, with Tatjana Gürbaca, Emma Rice, Barbora Horáková and Netia Jones all helming productions.
> Click here to see full details of ENO's 2019/20 season
Martyn Brabbins conducts two productions. On 18 October he opens Daniel Kramer’s production of Harrison Birtwistle The Mask of Orpheus. The production stars Marta Fontanals-Simmons as Eurydice the Woman and Susan Bickley as Eurydice the Myth and Persephone. Brabbins then returns on 26 February 2020 to conduct a revival of Anthony Minghella’s Olivier Award-winning production of Madam Butterfly, starring Natalya Romaniw in the title role. Brabbins will be assisted for the production by Adam Hickox.
Valentina Peleggi continues her Mackerras Fellowship with her first full production in the main house: a revival of Calixto Bieito’s production of Carmen from 29 January 2020, which features a cast starring David Butt Philip as Don José and Nardus Williams as Micaela. Earlier in the season she conducts three performances of Offenbach Orpheus in the Underworld on 1, 26 and 28 November. The new production from Emma Rice features Sir Willard White as Jupiter and Mary Bevan as Diana.
Geoffrey Paterson debuts on 15 November conducting a new production of Phillip Glass Orphée from Netia Jones. The cast features Anthony Gregory, who makes a return to ENO as Cégeste, and Simon Shibambu as the poet.
Susan Bickley appears in a second production when she returns in the role of Marcellina in The Marriage of Figaro from 14 March 2020, in a new production directed by Joe Hill-Gibbons.
Antony Hermus makes his debut at ENO on 28 March 2020, conducting the premiere of Tatjana Gürbaca’s new production of Dvorák Rusalka, and taking it to Theatre du Luxembourg for additional performances after the London run. David Butt Philip takes the role of the Prince, while Patricia Bardon appears as Ježibaba.
Mary Bevan stars in Royal Danish Opera's first production of Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno
Mary Bevan joins Royal Danish Opera this month for their first ever production of Handel Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno from 3 April 2019. Bevan stars as Belezza, who is tempted by Pleasure, Time and Wisdom to follow their various ways of life. Ted Huffman conducts Lars Ulrik Mortensen's production, which then travels to Malmö Opera for two further performances on 18 and 20 April.
Bevan returns to the works of Handel again later this season when she sings Merab Saul at the Göttingen International Handel Festival and the title role Susanna with the Kammerorchester Basel.
Host of Intermusica artists to appear in Barbican 2019/20 classical season, including portraits for Yuja Wang and Antoine Tamestit
The Barbican has announced its 2019/20 classical season with a promise to deliver ‘a year of life-affirming musical experiences’.
Among the highlights is Yuja Wang, selected for the Barbican’s ‘Artist Spotlight’, who will perform solo and chamber repertoire across four concerts. On 18 November, Wang gives the London premiere of John Adams Piano Concerto, Must the Devil have All the Good Tunes (a work written especially for her) with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel. On 21 November, she appears alongside Andreas Ottensamer, Principal Clarinet with the Berlin Philharmonic. On 13 January, Wang performs with Gautier Capuçon in a concert featuring Chopin Introduction et polonaise brillante. The Spotlight series culminates in a solo recital on 31 March 2020: click here for complete details.
Antoine Tamestit has been selected for the London Symphony Orchestra’s Artist Portrait and will showcase his musical inspirations across three concerts. Sticking close to this season’s theme of ‘roots and origins’, he begins with a work written for him – Jörg Widmann’s Viola Concerto – on 19 April with Daniel Harding. On 11 June, Tamestit performs Berio Voci with François-Xavier Roth and three days later, the Walton Viola Concerto (which Tamestit refers to as his ‘special concerto’) with Alan Gilbert. The Portrait also includes four chamber concerts at LSO St Luke’s in May and June – click here for more details.
Richard Egarr and the Academy of Ancient Music begin their Beethoven 250 anniversary celebrations with the composer’s complete incidental music for Goethe’s Egmont on 2 October. They will be joined by violinist Viktoria Mullova on 20 November for Bach Violin Concerto No.1 alongside orchestral and vocal works by CPE Bach, JS Bach, Haydn and Grimani. Following Egarr’s critically acclaimed performances and recording of Castello’s First Book of Sonatas in 2016, he will conduct the Second Book in a concert on 22 April.
Following lauded Mendelssohn and Schumann cycles, Sir John Eliot Gardiner returns to the London Symphony Orchestra on 20 October, this time bringing together three works that define the ‘Czech sound’ – Janáček Ballad of Blaník and Glagolitic Mass along with Dvořák The Golden Spinning Wheel. Conductor and orchestra will then perform Suk Symphony No.2, 'Asrael', and Dvořák Cello Concerto with soloist Truls Mørk on 24 October. In the space of just one week in May, Gardiner and his Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique will perform all of Beethoven Symphonies: starting with No.1, scheduled alongside Creatures of Prometheus on 11 May, the cycle will conclude on 16 May.
Also appearing in the Barbican’s 2019/20 classical season are pianists Daniil Trifonov (30 Apr 2020) and Kirill Gerstein (6 June 2020); conductors Martyn Brabbins (1 Nov 2019) and Ben Gernon (2 May 2020); singers Marta Fontanals-Simmons (3 Oct 2019), Lise Davidsen (10 Feb 2020), Mary Bevan (19 Mar 2020) and Tim Mead (10 Apr 2020); as well as Colin Currie (23 Oct 2019), Ning Feng (13 Feb 2020) and Simon Halsey, in his role as Choral Director of the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.
Intermusica will tour the Oslo Philhamonic with Vasily Petrenko in October, marking their 100th anniversary season with concerts across major cities in Europe. They will appear at the Barbican on 22 October to perform Strauss Don Juan, Shostakovich Symphony No.10 and Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor with Leif Ove Andsnes.
Click here for complete season details.
Intermusica artists feature in the Southbank Centre's 2019/20 Classical Season
The Southbank Centre announced its 2019/20 Classical Season on 18 February, and Intermusica artists appear throughout. In addition to the Southbank Centre's world class annual programming, the new season also marks the start of Beethoven 250, the venue's year-long celebration of the composer's birth.
Southbank Centre Associate Artists Marin Alsop and Colin Currie both give multiple performances over the course of the season. On 9 November, Alsop conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance of Walton Belshazzar's Feast alongside Butterworth A Shropshire Lad and Elgar Enigma Variations. She then returns in April for Beyond Beethoven 9, in which she leads the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and a massed choir of 200 singers in two performances of Beethoven Symphony No.9 together with four new commissions between the movements of the symphony.
Beyond Beethoven 9 is part of All Together: A Global Ode to Joy, an initiative in conjunction with Carnegie Hall which take place on five continents with nine orchestras and sees the symphony reimagined as a “twenty-first century call for unity, justice and empowerment”. Read our full story on All Together here.
Currie first appears at the Southbank in the 2019/20 season at the International Chamber Music Series, recreating the premiere of Steve Reich Drumming at the Hayward Gallery with the Colin Currie Group on 6 and 7 December. He performs in the series again on 1 February 2020 alongside the JACK Quartet. Finally he joins the Philharmonia Orchestra for an Artist Portrait concert in their Music of Today series on 14 May.
Kirill Gerstein joins the London Philharmonic Orchestra in concert on 23 October to give the UK premiere of Thomas Adès Piano Concerto, performing under the baton of the composer himself. He then returns to the Philharmonia Orchestra on 13 February 2020 alongside Lahav Shani, who conducts Gerstein in Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini as well as Prokofiev Overture to War and Peace and Romeo and Juliet.
Daniil Trifonov also gives two performances at the Southbank Centre. On 31 October, he performs a solo recital of Schumann, Beethoven and Prokofiev at the Royal Festival Hall. On 22 March 2020, he joins Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony as the soloist for Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.4, part of Tilson Thomas' final season at the head of the orchestra.
In 2020 Lise Davidsen performs with the long-standing chiefs of both the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Philharmonia Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Vladimir Jurowski. On 19 March, she joins Salonen and the Philharmonia to sing Mahler Humeresken, a collection of settings of poems from Des Knaben Wunderhorn. Then on 4 April she performs Beethoven Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II with Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, part of the Beethoven 250 series.
Also appearing in the Southbank Centre's 2019/20 season are conductors Charles Hazlewood (28 September), Geoffrey Paterson (21 November), Andrew Manze (7 December), Mark Wigglesworth (4 February 2020), Emmanuel Krivine (14 February 2020), John Wilson (27 February 2020), Thierry Fischer (10 March 2020) and Nicholas Collon (16 May 2020); violinists James Ehnes (9 October) and Leonidas Kavakos (27 February 2020); singers Sofia Fomina (19 October), Susan Bickley (30 November), Mary Bevan (15 December), Susanna Hurrell and Simon Shibambu (15 January 2020), Patricia Bardon (1 February 2020), Joélle Harvey (20 February 2020) and Wallis Giunta (11 June 2020); pianists Andreas Haefliger (15 March 2020) and George Li (3 May 2020); and cellist Kian Soltani (27 February 2020).
Intermusica is proud to co-promote the International Chamber Music Series with the Southbank Centre, a relationship which has lasted for almost 30 years. Click here to read our full summary of the series in the 2019/20 season.
Click here for complete details for Southbank Centre's 2019/20 classical season.
Mary Bevan gives world premiere of Roxanna Panufnik's Faithful Journey
Mary Bevan has been invited by composer Roxanna Panufnik to sing the solo part in her new oratorio Faithful Journey – A Mass for Poland at the NOSPR Concert Hall in Katowice on 9 November 2018. The new choral work celebrates the centenary of Poland regaining independence. The world premiere is performed by the National Forum Choir and the National Radio Symphony Orchestra of Poland under the baton of Alexander Liebreich.
On 21 November, Bevan returns to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for the UK premiere of Faithful Journey, led by Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.
Later this season Mary makes her Royal Danish Opera debut as Bellezza in Il Trionfo del tempo e del desinganno, sings Merab in Saul at the Göttingen Handel Festival, the title role in Handel's Susanna with Chamber Orchestra Basel and Paul McCreesh, and a New Year gala with the OAE.
Mary Bevan stars in Trial by Jury at the BBC Proms at Alexandra Palace
Mary Bevan joins the BBC Concert Orchestra at Alexandra Palace on 1 September 2018 for a concert performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's one act operetta Trial by Jury. Directed by Jack Furness, Trial by Jury is conducted by Jane Glover and also features Sam Furness, Neal Davies and Ross Ramgobin.
The performance celebrates the refurbishment of Alexandra Palace's recently rediscovered theatre. The theatre opened in 1875, the same year that Trial by Jury was premiered. As well as Trial by Jury, the concert features performances of music by contemporaries of Gilbert and Sullivan.
10 Intermusica artists nominated for 2018 Gramophone Awards
The shortlist for the 2018 Gramophone Awards has been released, and there are 10 Intermusica artists included among the nominations. The winners will be announced at the Gramophone Awards Ceremony on 13 September.
See the full details of the nominees below.
Renaud Capuçon features on two nominated recordings in the Chamber category, both released on Erato. The first, of Brahms String Sextets, was recorded live at Capuçon's Festival de Pacques in Aix-en-Provence, while the second nominated record is a collection of chamber works by Debussy.
The Pavel Haas Quartet and Boris Giltburg are nominated for their recording of Dvorák Quintets, which was released by Supraphon. The recording was met with great acclaim upon release and was named Recording of the Month by BBC Music Magazine, Album of the Week in the Sunday Times and Editor's Choice by Gramophone.
In the Choral category, Joélle Harvey features on Arcangelo's nominated recording of three Magnificats from CPE Bach, JS Bach and JC Bach. Harvey was praised by Gramophone for her "uniformly dramatic and engaging singing".
Lise Davidsen features in the Concerto category, singing in the Incidental Music to Peer Gynt in the Bergen Philharmonic and Edward Gardner's album of Grieg, which also features the composer's Piano Concerto.
Martyn Brabbins is nominated for three awards this year. In the Contemporary category, he is nominated for his BIS recording devoted to the works of John Pickard and his NMC album of Howard Skempton The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. He is also nominated in the Orchestral category for his recording of Tippett's First and Second Symphonies, released on Hyperion.
In the Orchestral category, Colin Currie featured on Ondine's recording of Elliot Carter Late Works. Currie performed Two Controversies and a Conversation, a work for piano, percussion and chamber orchestra.
Mary Bevan's solo album, Voyages, is nominated in the Solo Voice category. Recorded with pianist Joseph Middleton, Voyages features a wide-ranging group of songs by composers including Bréville, Schubert, Debussy and Duparc.
Intermusica at the 2018 BBC Proms
The BBC Proms returns this year on 13 July 2018, and as ever there is a strong Intermusica presence at the festival. This year sees returns for artists including Marin Alsop, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, John Wilson, Colin Currie and Antoine Tamestit, while Intermusica also brings the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and the Baltimore Symphony to the festival as part of the Proms' celebrations of the centenary of Leonard Bernstein's birth. All concerts are broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.
On 15 July at 7pm, Colin Currie and Martin James Bartlett join an array of previous winners and finalists for a concert celebrating the 40th anniversary of BBC Young Musician. Currie performs Steve Reich Drumming – Part I with Colin Currie Group members and fellow BBC Young Musician competitors Sam Walton, Aiden Spillet and Owen Gunnell, while Martin James Bartlett performs in Saint-Saëns Carnival of the Animals.
Susan Bickley renews her relationship with the London Sinfonietta and Sir George Benjamin at 3pm on 21 July in a Prom at the Roundhouse in Camden. Bickley performs in a programme featuring a quartet of war-themed premieres as well as works by Stravinsky, Messiaen and Ives.
Simon Halsey leads the BBC Proms Youth Choir once again this year in concert with Donald Runnicles and the World Orchestra for Peace at 7.30pm on 21 July. They perform Shadow, a new, First World War-themed commission from Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds. Also on the programme are Britten Sinfonia da Requiem and Beethoven Symphony No.9. Halsey returns in August for concerts with the London Symphony Chorus and Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle and in September with the City of Birmingham Symphony Choruses with Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
On 25 July, Ben Gernon returns to the Proms with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. Gernon, the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor, leads the BBC Philharmonic in the world premiere of Tansy Davies What did We See?, an orchestral suite from the composer’s recent opera Between Worlds. He also conducts Beethoven Piano Concerto No.5 ‘Emperor’ with soloist Paul Lewis and Brahms Symphony No.2. The concert starts at 7.30pm.
Martyn Brabbins conducts the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales in a programme celebrating English composer Hubert Parry at 7pm on 27 July. Brabbins conducts Parry’s Symphony No.5 and Hear my words, ye people! alongside works by his pupils Vaughan Williams and Holst. Tai Murray is the soloist in Vaughan Williams The Lark Ascending, while soprano Francesca Chiejina and bass-baritone Ashley Riches also feature.
Andrew Manze returns this year alongside the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducting the orchestra in a London-focussed programme at 7pm on 31 July. The concert opens with Haydn Symphony No.104 ‘London’, and after the interval Manze conducts Vaughan Williams A London Symphony.
On 5 August, Brett Dean joins Thomas Dausgaard and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra for their Brandenburg Project. Over two concerts, the orchestra presents Bach’s six Brandenburg Concertos alongside six newly commissioned companion works. Dean performs as viola soloist in the second concert at 7.30pm, while his Approach – Prelude to a Canon is one of the companion works.
Nicholas Collon and his Aurora Orchestra make their annual appearance in a late-night Prom focussing on Shostakovich at 10.15pm on 6 August. Joined once again by BBC broadcaster Tom Service, Collon and the Orchestra unpack the composer’s Symphony No.9 before performing it from memory. The concert also features Shostakovich Piano Concerto No.2 with soloist Denis Kozhukhin.
Intermusica renews its relationship with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Sir Antonio Pappano at 7.30pm on 10 August, bringing them to the Proms as part of the festival's celebrations for the Bernstein centenary (Bernstein was the orchestra's honorary conductor for a decade). Pappano conducts the composer's Symphony No.1 'Jeremiah' alongside Haydn The Creation - Chaos and Mahler Symphony No.1.
Renaud Capuçon appears at the Proms at 7pm on 16 August alongside the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in its debut appearance at the festival. Capuçon is the soloist for Ravel Violin Sonata No.2, which has been orchestrated by Yan Maresz.
Marin Alsop conducts the Proms Scratch Orchestra in two free concerts at Maida Vale Studios on 26 August. The Scratch Orchestra, made up of amateur musicians and members of the BBC Concert Orchestra, performs movements from Shostakovich Symphony No.5.
Joshua Weilerstein returns to the Proms at 7.30pm on 26 August to conduct the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a tribute to Leonard Bernstein’s televised Young People’s Concerts. Utilizing words, projections and music, the concert features works including Stravinsky The Rite of Spring, Ligeti Apparations and Debussy La mer alongside works by Bernstein and Beethoven.
Wallis Giunta makes her Proms debut at 1pm on 27 August, leading a recital of works by Bernstein and his associates at Cadogan Hall. As well as works by Copland, Sondheim and Barber, the concert features the world premiere of a new song by British composer Bushra El-Turk, Crème Brûlée on a Tree, inspired by Bernstein’s recipe settings.
Marin Alsop returns to the Proms at 8pm on 27 August as Intermusica brings the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to the festival for a concert of Bernstein and Shostakovich with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique return to the Proms at 7.30pm on 5 September for a programme of Berlioz. They are joined by Antoine Tamestit, who performs Harold in Italy, while Joyce DiDonato sings arias from Le mort de Cléopatre and Les Troyens.
Russell Braun joins the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under Peter Oundjian at 7pm on 6 September as the baritone soloist in Britten War Requiem. Braun performs alongside Erin Wall and Allan Clayton.
Mary Bevan debuts at Teatro Real as Rose Maurrant in Kurt Weill's Street Scene
Mary Bevan makes her debut at the Teatro Real in Madrid on 26 May 2018, singing the role of Rose Maurrant in Kurt Weill Street Scene. The production is directed by John Fulljames and also stars Joel Prieto as Rose's neighbour and lover Sam Kaplan and Paulo Szot and Patricia Racette as her parents, Frank and Anna.
Street Scene was the first opera Weill composed after fleeing to America. It features a libretto by Elmer Rice, who based it on his own Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name.
Bevan recently created the role of Coraline in the world premiere production of Mark Anthony Turnage Coraline with the Royal Opera, a performance that was well received by the press:
“Bevan gives a terrific performance in the title role, assertive, lyrical and superbly acted.”
Guardian, March 2018
"And in Mary Bevan we get an ideal Coraline, flinging herself about in frustration at the start, and heroically carrying the show while singing a very demanding part."
Independent, March 2018
Street Scene runs in Madrid until 1 June.
Mary Bevan stars in world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage's Coraline at the Barbican Centre
Mary Bevan sings the title role in the world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Coraline, opening at the Barbican Theatre on 29 March 2018. This adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s popular novel is produced by the Royal Opera House, directed by Aletta Collins, and also features the Britten Sinfonia conducted by Sian Edwards.
Bevan recently made her Teatro Real debut as Rose Maurrant in Weill Street Scene and has also just released a solo album entitled Voyages with pianist Joseph Middleton.
"Bevan’s purity of tone and discreet yet telling way with words can be by turns unnerving and alluring in the Baudelaire settings. Debussy’s Cinq Poèmes have real drama, as rapture turns to regret and pleasure itself becomes itself a torment. She generates tremendous intensity in ‘Chant d’automne’, and the exquisite way she floats the high-lying refrains of Rollinat’s ‘Le jet d’eau’ is simply breathtaking."
Gramophone, January 2018
Coraline runs until 7 April at the Barbican.
Intermusica at the Southbank Centre's 2018/19 classical season
The Southbank Centre launched its 2018/19 classical season on 30 January 2018, with Intermusica artists and performing throughout the year. Highlights include Marin Alsop continuing her relationship with the Southbank in concerts with the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Nicholas Collon and the Aurora Orchestra continuing their residency, and performances from Leonidas Kavakos, John Wilson, Kian Soltani and George Li.
Another major highlight of the season is the International Chamber Music Series, which Intermusica co-promotes with the Southbank Centre. This year it opens with a concert from Jordi Savall and his Hesperion XXI and features a concert marking the centenary of author Muriel Spark from the Nash Ensemble, and performances from Leonidas Kavakos and Yuja Wang, the Jerusalem, Artemis and Belcea quartets, and performances of Stockhausen by Southbank Centre Artist in Residence Pierre-Laurent Aimard.
Nicholas Collon and the Aurora Orchestra continue as Associate Orchestra with three concerts in the new season. The first, on 16 September 2018, pairs a memorized performance of Beethoven Symphony No.5 with HK Gruber's Frankenstein!! in a concert conceived and directed by Jane Mitchell. Their second, on 20 January 2019, is titled Songs from the Road and features Mahler's Songs of a Wayfarer, arrangements of folk ballads and the world premiere of Du Yun Where we lost our shadows. Their final concert takes place on 5 June 2019 and features works by Beethoven, Thomas Adès, a Max Richter world premiere and Mozart's Symphony No.41.
Kirill Gerstein renews his partnership with Thomas Adès when he joins the composer and the London Philharmonic Orchestra on 26 September to perform Adès' concerto for piano and orchestra, In Seven Days.
Geoffrey Paterson returns to the London Sinfonietta on 13 October to conduct them in a performance of Pascal Dusapin Passion, a collaboration with Music Theatre Wales.
Patricia Bardon returns to the role of Baba the Turk in a performance of Stravinsky The Rake's Progress with Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra on 3 November.
Lahav Shani and Francesco Piemontesi join forces for a concert of Brahms and Beethoven with the Philharmonia Orchestra on 4 November. Shani conducts Weber Oberon Overture, Brahms Symphony No.1 and Beethoven Piano Concerto No.5 'Emperor', with himself as piano soloist.
Marin Alsop makes her first visit of the season on 11 November, conducting the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in a performance of Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem. She then returns on 16 January to conduct the London Philharmonic Orchestra in a contemporary programme with Colin Currie giving the world premiere of Helen Grime's Percussion Concerto.
John Wilson returns to the Philharmonia Orchestra on 15 November for a concert of Gershwin and Walton. He is joined by Louis Schwizgebel, who performs Gershwin Piano Concerto. Wilson then brings his John Wilson Orchestra to the Southbank Centre on 15 December, leading them in a characteristic programme of music from Hollywood and Broadway. He returns on 18 April to lead the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in a special performance of Gilbert & Sullivan Trial by Jury.
Mary Bevan joins the Philharmonia Orchestra and conductor Brian Wright for a seasonal performance of Handel's Messiah on 16 December.
Leonidas Kavakos appears at the Southbank Centre's International Chamber Music Series on 18 January alongside Yuja Wang, performing a recital of Mozart, Prokofiev, Bartók and Strauss.
Martyn Brabbins joins the Philharmonia Orchestra on 20 January 2019 to conduct an English programme of Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Britten and the London premiere of Geoffrey Gordon's Prometheus, a concerto for bass clarinet and orchestra.
Jacques Imbrailo joins the Mozartists and conductor Ian Page on 29 January for the next concert in their Mozart 250 series, which is themed around the year 1769. Imbrailo sings arias by Gluck, Haydn, Arne, Gréty and Paisiello.
Susan Bickley returns to the Southbank Centre to sing Beethoven Symphony No.9 alongside the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Oliver Gooch on 16 March.
Kian Soltani returns on 23 March after his acclaimed debut at Southbank Centre with the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra. This time he joins Edward Gardner and the London Philharmonic Orchestra to play Elgar Cello Concerto.
George Li joins Vasily Petrenko and the London Philharmonic Orchestra on 27 March to perform Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1, part of a programme that also features Khachaturian Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia and Walton Symphony No.1.
Following a critically acclaimed London conducting debut with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain in 2017, Carlos Miguel Prieto returns to lead the young musicians in a concert on 12 April. Prieto conducts an exciting programme of Revueltas, Carlos Chávez and Copland.
Francesco Piemontesi returns to the International Piano Series on 2 May, performing a solo recital of works by Bach, Debussy and Rachmaninov.
Martin James Bartlett joins the Philharmonia Orchestra on 7 May to perform Ravel Piano Concerto in G, part of a programme that also features the world premiere of Cecilia McDowall Da Vinci Requiem.
Mary Bevan & Marta Fontanals-Simmons make their Teatro Real, Madrid debuts in Weill's Street Scene
On 13 February, Mary Bevan and Marta Fontanals-Simmons make their Teatro Real debuts in John Fulljames’ production of Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, under the musical direction of Tim Murray.
Bevan sings the role of Rose Maurrant, and Fontanals-Simmons sings Jennie Hildebrand. On 16 February at 20:00 CET, the production will be streamed live online by Mezzo Live HD.
Bevan will next be seen in London singing the title role in the Royal Opera House’s world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s new opera Coraline, to be performed at the Barbican Theatre. This season she also appears at the Wigmore Hall, and with the Aurora Orchestra for a performance of Richard Ayres’ In the Alps.
Other highlights this season for Fontanals-Simmons include Zweite Dame Die Zauberflöte for Garsington Opera and Alasdair Nicolson Shadows on the Wall – Five Hauntings at the Barbican with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Ben Gernon. Future engagements include a return to Glyndebourne Festival Opera and to the Teatro Real, and her debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Monte Carlo Opera.
Intermusica at the Barbican Centre's 2018/19 classical season
The Barbican Centre revealed its classical music season for 2018/19 on 23 January 2018, and as ever there are many Intermusica artists performing over the season. Highlights include Daniil Trifonov's London Symphony Orchestra Artist Portrait, the visit of Sir Antonio Pappano and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia to perform Mahler Symphony No.6 and Sir John Eliot Gardiner's return to the LSO. See below for full details.
Daniil Trifonov is the subject of the LSO's Artist Portrait next season. The Portrait begins in February 2019 when he performs Ravel Piano Concerto with the orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle, and continues in June with a performance of Beethoven Piano Concerto No.5 and a solo recital of works by Beethoven and Prokofiev. It culminates on 16 June with a performance of Shostakovich Concerto No.1 for piano, trumpet and strings.
On 29 September 2018, Ben Gernon conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Holst The Planets, presented by scientist and broadcaster Professor Brian Cox.
Sir James MacMillan's All the Hills and Vales Along receives its world premiere from the London Symphony Orchestra and Simon Halsey's London Symphony Chorus on 4 November and forms part of the Barbican Centre's series of events commemorating the First World War. Earlier that day, the piece is the focus of an LSO Discovery Day, during which members of the public can attend a morning LSO rehearsal of the MacMillan premiere followed by chamber music and a discussion about creative responses to World War I.
Martyn Brabbins is also involved in the First World War anniversary, conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere of Cheryl Frances-Hood's Last Man Standing, part of a programme that also includes Bax November Woods and Vaughan Williams Symphony No.4.
Marin Alsop returns to the Barbican on 4 December to continue the Bernstein at 100 celebrations with a concert performance of the composer's Candide. Leonardo Capalbo stars in the title role.
Leonidas Kavakos makes two appearances at the Barbican during the 2018/19 season. In September he joins Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax in bringing their critically acclaimed Brahms Piano Trios to the Barbican Hall. In December, he renews his relationship with Sir Simon Rattle and the LSO when he performs Brahms Violin Concerto.
James Ehnes returns to the Barbican on 18 January 2019, performing Beethoven Violin Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Mary Bevan joins John Butt and the BBC Symphony Orchestra to perform Bach's B minor Mass on 2 February, singing with her sister Sophie Bevan, tenor Samuel Boden and bass-baritone Edward Grint.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner continues his fruitful collaboration with the London Symphony Orchestra in February, conducting two concerts of works by Weber, Mendelssohn and Schumann. Gardiner is joined by soloists Isabelle Faust, Kristian Bezuidenhout and Piotr Anderszewski.
Lahav Shani joins the LSO in February, alongside pianist Simon Trpčeski, for a concert of Weill, Rachmaninov and Stravinsky.
Nora Fischer joins the BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor Joana Carneiro in concert on 11 May, performing as soprano soloist in the UK premiere of Golijov Oceana.
Intermusica brings the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia to the Barbican on 25 May for a concert with their Music Director, Sir Antonio Pappano.
Kian Soltani performs at LSO St Luke's in June, as part of the ECHO Rising Stars tour, for which he was nominated by the Wiener Konzerthaus and Wiener Musikverein.
Richard Egarr leads Mary Bevan, Thomas Hobbs & Christopher Purves in Handel Messiah at the Barbican Centre
Richard Egarr returns to the Barbican Centre this month alongside his Academy of Ancient Music for a performance of Handel Messiah on 20 December 2017. Egarr is joined for the concert by Intermusica's Mary Bevan, Thomas Hobbs and Christopher Purves, as well as countertenor Reginald Mobley.
Egarr is one of the UK's foremost baroque performers, and has received great critical acclaim for his performances of Handel over the years. Of a previous Messiah with the AAM, the Guardian wrote:
“The emotional trajectory was securely plotted, with the central depiction of the Passion and resurrection admirably taut, and the great outpouring of joy reserved for the final vision of how “the dead shall be raised incorruptible” on judgment day…. Vocally, much of it was remarkable."
Mary Bevan begins 2018 in Madrid where she sings Rose Maurrant in Weill’s Street Scene for Teatro Real. Later in the season she returns to the Barbican, this time with the Royal Opera, to sing the title role in the world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Coraline.
Thomas Hobbs also performs in Canada this month, singing Bach cantatas with Les Violons du Roy and Bernard Labadie. He begins the new year singing Bach Christmas Oratorio with the Danish National Symphony and Marcus Creed and joins Collegium Vocale Gent on tour at the end of January.
Christopher Purves has just made his debut as Trinity Moses in Weill’s The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny for Opernhaus Zurich under Fabio Luisi and this month also sings Berlioz l’Enfance du Christ with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and Robin Ticciati.
Mary Bevan & Thomas Hobbs sing Bach's Christmas Oratorio on tour in Australia
Mary Bevan and Thomas Hobbs travel to Australia this month for a tour with the Choir of London and Australian Chamber Orchestra from 3 to 10 December 2017. Bevan and Hobbs join the ensembles and conductor Richard Tognetti for performances of Bach Christmas Oratorio in Melbourne, Queensland, Canberra and Sydney.
In the new year, Bevan debuts at Madrid’s Teatro Real as Rose Maurrant in Weill Street Scene and sings the title role in Mark-Anthony Turnage’s new opera Coraline for the Royal Opera at the Barbican. She can also be seen this month singing Handel Messiah with the Dunedin Consort at Wigmore Hall, and with the Academy of Ancient Music at the Barbican.
Hobbs travels onward from Australia to Canada to perform Bach cantatas alongside Les Violons du Roy and Bernard Labadie, and reunites with Bevan at the Barbican for Messiah with the Academy of Ancient Music. He also returns to the Christmas Oratorio in January with the Danish National Symphony and Marcus Creed.
Mary Bevan releases debut solo album, Voyages, on Signum Classics
Mary Bevan releases her debut solo album, Voyages, on 10 November 2017, a collaboration with pianist Joseph Middleton for Signum Classics. Bevan and Middleton have created a programme of songs set to poems by Baudelaire and Goethe, including settings by Debussy, Duparc, Chabrier, de Bréville, Séverac, Fauré and Schubert.
Last season Bevan made her Carnegie Hall debut in Ariodante with The English Concert, and also appeared at the Theater an der Wien, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, the Barbican, Musée d'Orsay, Concertgebouw Amsterdam and at the Adelaide Festival. This season Bevan appears in Sally Beamish’s world premiere of The Judas Passion for the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and for the Philharmonia Baroque in California, debuts at Madrid’s Teatro Real as Rose Maurrant in Weill’s Street Scene and sings the title role in Mark-Anthony Turnage’s new opera Coraline for the Royal Opera at the Barbican.
Nine Intermusica artists nominated at the 40th Gramophone Awards
Nine Intermusica artists have been nominated for Gramophone Awards this year across a range of categories. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on 13 September, which will be live streamed on Medici.tv. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Gramophone Awards.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner is nominated in the Baroque Vocal category for his recording of Bach St Matthew Passion with the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists. Gramophone described the recording as "a memorable and moving St Matthew... What really makes this one special, however, is its emotional integrity."
James Ehnes is nominated alongside his colleagues in the Ehnes Quartet in the Chamber category for their recording of Schubert String Quartet No.14 'Death and the Maiden' and Sibelius Intimate Voices. Gramophone commented that "[the] pairing of these two quartets is a stroke of programming genius... I never would have thought of putting these two works together, but in this group’s hands it has resulted in something wonderful."
Paul McCreesh's new recording of Haydn's The Seasons made with the Wrocław Baroque Orchestra and Gabrieli Consort and Players is nominated in the Choral category. McCreesh previously received a Gramophone award for his 2006 recording of Haydn's The Creation. In their review, Gramophone wrote that "McCreesh and his massed Anglo-Polish forces have given us a Seasons that thrillingly catches both the work’s bucolic exhilaration and its invocations of the sublime. And for sheer sonic splendour it’s in a class of its own."
Sir James MacMillan's Stabat Mater, recorded by Harry Christophers and the Sixteen, is nominated in the Contemporary category. Gramophone's review concluded that "Posterity might well judge this to be a 21st-century masterpiece; there is no question that this is a truly masterly recorded performance."
Also nominated in the Contemporary category is Renaud Capuçon, whose disc of three 21st century violin concertos has also been shortlisted. The three concertos, all written for Capuçon, were recorded with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, and Gramophone praised Capuçon’s "probing playing [and] his welcome advocacy".
Daniil Trifonov is nominated in the Instrumental category for Transcendental, his recording of Liszt's works for solo piano. Gramophone praised the recording as a "triumph", commenting that "every decent record collection should have at least one version of all four sets of these studies. It is quite a feat for a single pianist to deliver what are, in effect, top-of-the-pile performances of almost all of the 23 separate titles – but that is what Trifonov offers."
Leo Hussain is nominated in the Opera category for Opus Arté's DVD of the revival of Fiona Shaw's Glyndebourne production of Britten The Rape of Lucretia. Gramophone singled him out for his "lyrical yet incisive" approach, writing that "conductor Leo Hussain gets finely detailed playing from his LPO instrumentalists, with every flicker of colour speaking volumes."
Roger Vignoles is nominated in the Solo Vocal category alongisde baritone Florian Boesch for their recording of Krenek's cycle Reisebuch aus den österreichischen Alpen. Vignoles was praised by Gramophone for his playing of "great control, refinement and subtlety", while the recording itself was proclaimed "an outstanding achievement."
Mary Bevan joined tenor Allan Clayton for his album Where'er You Walk, a collection of arias Handel composed for tenor John Beard, which is nominated in the Recital category. Bevan sings on 'As steals the morn', which Gramophone described as an "added bonus... it's a very attractive package."
Mary Bevan makes her Carnegie Hall debut
Having recently returned from a critically-acclaimed run as Merab in Handel’s Saul at the Adelaide Festival, Mary Bevan makes her Carnegie hall debut on Sunday 30 April in another Handel masterpiece. This time she takes to the stage with The English Concert, conducted by Harry Bicket, as Dalinda in Ariodante alongside Joyce di Donato in the title role. This Ariodante is part of an eight-city tour of the United States and Europe, including performances at Washington’s Kennedy Centre, Vienna’s Theater an der Wien, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris and at London’s Barbican on 16 May 2017.
Bevan recently performed a recital of Schubert with the Myrthen Ensemble at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. The ensemble will come together again for a lunchtime recital at London’s Wigmore Hall on 6 May 2017.
She is particularly in demand in Baroque and contemporary repertoire. Next season sees her perform Handel’s Messiah with the Academy of Ancient Music, conducted by Richard Egarr at London’s Barbican; tour Europe in concerts of Semele with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment conducted by Ivor Bolton; return to the Teatro Real Madrid as Rose Maurrant in Street Scene by Kurt Weill and make further appearances with the Royal Opera House London and in Australia.
Christopher Purves & Mary Bevan star in Saul at the Adelaide Festival
Christopher Purves and Mary Bevan travel to Australia this month to star in Handel Saul at the Adelaide Festival from 3 March 2017. The performances mark the Australian premiere of Barrie Kosky’s acclaimed production, which debuted at Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 2015.
Purves sang the title role during the Glyndebourne run and reprises the role in Adelaide. His performances as Saul at Glyndebourne were universally praised:
"Christopher Purves’s magnificently insecure, vindictive and snarling Saul gets madder and madder... commanding presence..."
Times, July 2015
"And what Purves does with his part is extraordinary: by turns pathetic, murderous, and ridiculous, he becomes the real subject of the drama, but rather than being gawpers in Bedlam we are brought to an infinitely more compassionate place."
Independent, five stars, July 2015
Bevan meanwhile makes her role debut as Merab and reunites with Purves following their recent performances together in Richard Jones' new production of Don Giovanni at English National Opera. Her other highlights this season also include a tour of Asia with the English Concert and Harry Bicket, as well as concerts with the Academy of Ancient Music.
Saul runs at the Adelaide Festival until 9 March.
Intermusica tours Shakespeare in Love with the English Concert, Tim Mead & Mary Bevan to Hong Kong & China
Complimenting the Halle’s China tour of orchestral works inspired by Shakespeare in July this year, Intermusica continues to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death by touring the English Concert under Harry Bicket to Hong Kong and China from 11 December 2016.
The tour is a unique musical project showcasing Shakespeare’s influence on baroque repertoire. Featuring the soprano Mary Bevan and counter-tenor Tim Mead, the programme for the concerts includes vocal and instrumental works by Purcell, Arne, Locke and Handel, who were all inspired by plays including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, Cymbeline and Julius Caesar.
Entitled ‘Shakespeare in Love’, the concept was jointly created by Intermusica and the English Concert specifically for the Asia market and is another example of how Intermusica closely collaborates with orchestras and ensembles to design and deliver pioneering tours with strong artistic integrity. The tour visits Hong Kong’s City Hall alongside the ensemble’s debuts in the Qintai Concert Hall Wuhan, Shanghai’s Grand Theatre and the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing.
11 December: City Hall, Hong Kong
13 December: Qintai Concert Hall, Wuhan
15 December: Grand Theatre, Shanghai
17 December: NCPA, Beijing
Susanna Hurrell, Susan Bickley & Mary Bevan open Bach Festival Lausanne with The English Concert
Susanna Hurrell, Susan Bickley and Mary Bevan join The English Concert in Switzerland on 30 October 2016 for the opening concert of the Bach Festival Lausanne.
Hurrell, Bickley and Bevan join the ensemble for a performanceof Purcell Dido and Aeneas with Hurrell in the title role opposite baritone David Stout. Bickley takes the role of the Sorceress and Bevan sings Belinda.
Further highlights for Hurrell include her debut at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence and a return to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. This season Bickley sings in Barrie Kosky's acclaimed new production of Shostakovich The Nose and returns to English National Opera for the world premiere of Ryan Wigglesworth The Winter's Tale. Bevan began the season as Zerlina in English National Opera's new production of Don Giovanni and rejoins The English Concert in December for a tour of Asia alongside Tim Mead.
Christopher Purves & Mary Bevan star in Don Giovanni at English National Opera conducted by Mark Wigglesworth
Christopher Purves stars in the title role of Mozart Don Giovanni alongside Mary Bevan as Zerlina under the baton of Mark Wigglesworth in Richard Jones' new production for English National Opera, which opens on 30 September 2016.
Purves spent this summer singing the role of Forester in Janacek The Cunning Little Vixen at Glyndebourne, a role that prompted the Guardian to comment:
“Christopher Purves, who in his closing hymn to nature, secures his position as one of our finest British baritones.”
Later this season Purves returns to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in the role of Protector in George Benjamin Written on Skin. The role has recently garnered Purves considerable acclaim throughout Europe and North America.
Previously a Harewood Young Artist, soprano Mary Bevan returns to the ENO after last season’s success as Yum-Yum in The Mikado. This summer she also appeared at Garsington Opera as Elvira in Rossini L’Italiana in Algeri, and later this season headlines a concert tour to Asia alongside Tim Mead with Harry Bicket and The English Concert.
Mark Wigglesworth returns to English National Opera following several triumphant performances last season, which included critically acclaimed interpretations of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, The Force of Destiny, The Magic Flute and Jenufa:
"The opera’s passion and compassion burn fiercely yet lingeringly: this is an interpretation that seeps under your skin rather than hits you in the solar plexus and is unquestionably all the more powerful for it."
"Thanks to Mark Wigglesworth and a glowing ENO orchestra... it’s a true company achievement, and a life-enhancing, gloriously creative example of what opera in the 21st-century West End can be."
Spectator (The Magic Flute)
“Mark Wigglesworth, in conjunction with his superb choral and orchestral forces, contributes hugely to the compulsive effect of the drama.”
Five Stars, Evening Standard (The Force of Destiny)
"Mark Wigglesworth conducts them in a masterly interpretation marked by extreme contrasts between silken sensuous pianissimi and boilingly thunderous fortissimi. The playing is as good as anything in London."
Daily Telegraph (Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk).
Don Giovanni runs until 26 October at the London Coliseum. Click here to read more about the production, including an interview with Purves and Jones.
Mary Bevan makes role debut as Elvira in L'Italiana in Algeri for Garsington Opera
Soprano Mary Bevan makes her role debut as Elvira in Rossini l’Italiana in Algeri at Garsington Opera, opening 4 June 2016. The production is directed by Will Tuckett and conducted by David Parry. This summer is a busy one for Bevan, with recitals at the Danube Festival and Cheltenham Festival in July, as well as a performance in the title role of Purcell Dido and Aeneas at the Milton Abbey Festival. In September, she returns to the English National Opera as Zerlina in their new production of Mozart Don Giovanni alongside Christopher Purves in the title role.
Bevan has most recently garnered praise for her performance as Silandra in Cesti Orontea:
“Mary Bevan was in luminous voice as Silandra.”
“Bevan showed dramatic wit and vocal control, the occasional elaborate ornamentation employed to convey Silandra’s capriciousness.”
L'Italiana in Algeri runs from 4 June to 10 July.
Intermusica leads eight major Asia tours in 2016
Intermusica will take eight world-class ensembles to Asia in 2016 in a year of ground-breaking firsts. Watch our video below to find out more.
Academy of Ancient Music
- Conducted by Richard Egarr
- First British orchestra to play in Prince Mahidol Hall, Bangkok
- Marking 275th anniversary of Vivaldi’s death
Budapest Festival Orchestra
- Conducted by Iván Fischer with soloist Ning Feng
- BFO’s debut in Xi’an, the ancient capital of China
- Chinese premiere of Dutilleux’s L’arbre des songes
Choir of King's College, Cambridge
- Choir’s debut in Nanjing and Tianjin and fourth Intermusica tour to China
- Opening Beijing NCPA’s International Chorus Festival
Colin Currie Group
- Group's Macau debut
- Celebrating Steve Reich’s 80th birthday year
- Debut of Steve Reich's music at Macu International Music Festival
- Conducted by Sir Mark Elder
- Hallé's debut in Wuhan and Shanghai
- First British orchestra to collaborate with Chinese choruses in the Chinese premiere of William Walton’s Henry V
- Conducted by Andrew Manze
- UNESCO World Cities of Music collaboration with Tongyeong
- Sir Andras Schiff’s debut concerto tour of China
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
- Conducted by Osmo Vänskä with soloist Renaud Capuçon
- OSR's debut in India
The English Concert
- With soloists Tim Mead and Mary Bevan
- ‘Shakespeare in Love’: a concept designed by Intermusica in collaboration with The English Concert to celebrate Shakespeare 400
- The English Concert’s debut in Wuhan, Shanghai and Beijing
Mary Bevan and Ben Johnson perform in Wigmore Hall's Schubert Song Series
Mary Bevan and Ben Johnson join pianist Graham Johnson for a recital in Wigmore Hall's ongoing Schubert Song Series on 16 February 2015. Bevan and Johnson perform alongside tenor Robin Tritschler and baritone Marcus Farnsworth for this programme of Schubert’s settings of verse by Ossian (Scottish poet James Macpherson.)
Johnson sings the role of Eisenstein this summer in Strauss Die Fledermaus for Opera Holland Park opposite fellow Intermusica artist Susanna Hurrell as Rosalinde. He has most recently been seen as Lysander in Bergen National Opera’s production of Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream and in concert with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, and Choir of Kings College, Cambridge.
Mary Bevan has recently starred as Yum-Yum in Jonathan Miller's popular production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado at English National Opera, and also starred in the title role of Rossi Orpheus for the Royal Opera at the Sam Wannamaker Theatre at Shakespeare’s Globe. This spring she can be seen in concert with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orquestra Sinfonica de Sevilla and Academy of Ancient Music, and this summer stars as Elvira in Rossini L’Italiana in Algeri for Garsington Opera.
Mary Bevan joins La Nuova Musica for Cesti's Orontea
Mary Bevan joins La Nuova Musica on 14 December 2015 for a performance of Cesti’s Orontea at Wigmore Hall in London. Bevan takes the role of Silandra alongside Anna Stephany in the title role and Jonathan McGovern as Alidoro under the baton of David Bates. The comedic Orontea received its premiere in Innsbruck in 1656 and became one of the most popular operas of the seventeenth century, although it was not heard in the UK until 1969.
This is a busy season for Bevan, who has recently starred in the title role of Rossi Orpheus for the Royal Opera House at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, as well as in English National Opera’s revival of The Mikado, as Yum-Yum. This month she also sings Handel’s Messiah with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, as well as with the Royal Northern Sinfonia. Later this season she also appears as Elvira in Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri at Garsington Opera.
Click here to find out more about Orontea.
Anthony Gregory and Mary Bevan return to English National Opera for the Mikado
Anthony Gregory and Mary Bevan return to English National Opera to play the lovers Yum-Yum and Nanki-Poo in Jonathan Miller's legendary production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado on the 21 November 2015.
Anthony Gregory comes fresh from his house debut at Teatro Real, Madrid as Oronte in David Alden’s production of Alcina, conducted by Christopher Moulds.
"Anthony Gregory is a touchingly dignified Oronte (a sublime 'Un momento di contento'!) in the nods to Fifty Shades that Katy Mitchell made him play in his tortuous relationship with Morgana."
Res Musica, July 2015
Further season highlights for Gregory include his company debut at Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, Lisbon as Pylade Iphigenie en Tauride and his North American debut in Omaha as Jupiter in Semele followed by Flute A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Glyndebourne Festival.
Soprano Mary Bevan reprises the role of Yum-Yum, which she sang to critical acclaim for ENO in 2012. Earlier this season, Bevan made her role debut in the title role of Luigi Rossi’s Orpheus for the Royal Opera House at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Later this season she can be seen as Elvira in Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri at Garsington Opera, as well as in concerts with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Royal Philharmonic, and at Wigmore Hall.
“...other classy performances... Mary Bevan sings Yum-Yum immaculately and with a knowing self-regard that retains a charmingly innocent surface”.
Guardian, December 2012
The Mikado runs till 6 December with further performances 30 January and 6 February.
Mary Bevan sings title role of Rossi's Orpheus for the Royal Opera House
Mary Bevan sings the title role in Luigi Rossi’s Orpheus at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse this month, a co-production between the Royal Opera House and Shakespeare’s Globe. The production builds on the success of last season’s L’Ormindo, which also appeared in the candlelit Wanamaker Playhouse. In a new English translation by Christopher Cowell, Orpheus is directed by Keith Warner, and the Orchestra of Early Opera Company provide orchestral accompinement under the baton of Christian Curnyn. Bevan stars opposite Louise Alder as Eurydice, Verena Gunz as Nurse, Caitlin Hulcup as Aristeus, and Sky Ingram as Venus.
Later in the season, Bevan reprises the role of Yum-Yum in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado at English National Opera, appears in concert with La Nuova Musica, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Royal Northern Sinfonia, and also in recital at Wigmore Hall.
Intermusica artists perform at the Buxton Festival
Susan Bickley appears in two productions at the Buxton Festival this summer. The first, Charpentier’s Louise, features Bickley as Mère, opposite Michael Druiett, Adrian Dwyer, and Madeleine Pierard. These concert performances on 16, 19, and 23 July 2015 are conducted by Buxton Festival Music Director Stephen Barlow.
Bickley also sings the role of Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, a co-production between The English Concert and Bristol Old Vic. Joining Bickley in the cast are Mary Bevan as Belinda, David Stout as Aeneas, and Pumeza Matshikiza as Dido. This semi-staged, candle-lit production has been directed by Tom Morris and John Retallack, and is performed on 13 and 20 July.
Ben Johnson also appears at the festival this month, making his role debut as Carlo in Verdi’s Giovanna d’Arco on 11 July 2015. Johnson stars opposite Kate Ladner, Devid Cecconi, and Graeme Danby in a production conducted by Stuart Stratford. Johnson has previously received high praise for his interpretation of Alfredo in Verdi’s La traviata, of which one critic remarked that “this was one of the most beautifully crafted accounts of the role of Alfredo that I have heard” (Planet Hugill). Giovanna d’Arco runs until 24th July at the Buxton Opera House.
Susanna Hurrell & Mary Bevan in Dido and Aeneas with English Concert
Susanna Hurrell stars as Dido and Mary Bevan as Belinda in the English Concert's performance of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas on 27 May at Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden. Oliver award-winning director John Retallack directs this revival of his acclaimed production from the Bristol Old Vic.
Sopranos Hurrell and Bevan are becoming renowned for their work in the baroque repertoire. They recently appeared together in the Royal Opera House / Roundhouse co-production of Monteverdi Orfeo, and both have gone on to star in other major Royal Opera House productions: Hurrell garnered critical praise for her performances as Erisbe in Cavalli L’Ormindo in February, and Bevan is set to sing the title role in the upcoming production of Rossi Orfeo this autumn.
The performance of Dido and Aeneas takes place at Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden on 27 May, conducted by Harry Bicket. Bevan sings in two additional performances at the Buxton Festival in July.
Mary Bevan, Colin Currie & Marin Alsop: winners at RPS Music Awards
Mary Bevan and Colin Currie have won RPS Music Awards in the Young Artist and Instrumentalist categories respectively, while Marin Alsop’s Britten War Requiem project at the Southbank Centre has won the Learning and Participation category. They were awarded the prizes, for achievement in the UK during 2014, at a ceremony on 5 May in London where Currie also performed a short marimba solo.
Colin Currie was the focus of the Metal Wood Skin percussion festival at the Southbank Centre from autumn 2014, which saw him perform premieres by Reich, Andriessen, Clyne and MacMillan and lead a variety of education events. The festival received acclaim from the press, the Financial Times praising it for “cutting-edge atmosphere, contemporary works, young audiences.” Currie also launched a new solo recital programme in 2014 at the Wigmore Hall and Sound Festival Aberdeen, including a commission by Rolf Wallin, and his other UK performances included with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
Mary Bevan’s 2014 began with Peter Grimes in January at English National Opera, followed by La clemenza di Tito with Classical Opera and Despina in Cosi fan tutte at ENO. In October she triumphed as Susanna in Mozart The Marriage of Figaro, also for ENO, prompting the Times to comment “her Susanna is gloriously acted and stylishly sung: a real coming-of-age” (Times, October 2014). Bevan has also been continually featured on the concert platform, singing with orchestras including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Britten Sinfonia.
Britten War Requiem, a project staged by Marin Alsop and Southbank Centre in November 2014, commemorated the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War and involved students from the Royal Academy Symphony Orchestra, the National Youth Choir of Great Britain and Southbank Voicelab Children’s Choir. Soloists Ben Johnson and Natalia Tanasii also featured in the performance. Eight students from Lilian Baylis School Technology school went on journey to uncover this masterpiece, find out why Britten wrote it and explore the themes of the piece through three chapters: War, Words and Music. Watch the full performance and links to other related videos here.”
Awards in 13 categories are chosen by eminent independent juries from the music profession and are unique in the breadth of musical achievement they span – from performers, composers and inspirational arts organisations to learning, participation and engagement. The list of winners since 1989 reads as a roll call of the finest living musicians.
Mary Bevan performs a recital with Sholto Kynoch at Oxford Lieder
Mary Bevan gives a recital at Oxford Lieder on 11 April alongside pianist Sholto Kynoch. The duo will perform a programme exploring madness and the human mind titled ‘Songs of Mayhem and Madness’, featuring songs by Brahms, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Purcell, and Strauss.
Bevan has recently finished a successful run as Euridice in Monteverdi Orfeo at Roundhouse, and will sing Belinda in Purcell Dido and Aeneas with the English Concert later this season.
The recital will take place at Oxford’s Holywell Music Room on 11 April.
Mary Bevan joins Southbank Sinfonia for concert at St John's Smith Square
Mary Bevan performs with the Southbank Sinfonia at St John’s Smith Square on 24 March. The programme will include Schubert Mass in G, Mozart Coronation Mass, as well as Mozart Exsultate Jubilate and Laudate Dominum. Bevan will be joined by the Malcolm Sargent Festival Choir, mezzo-soprano Lilly Papaioannou, tenor David Webb, baritone Richard Latham, and organist Nicholas O’Neill for this concert conducted by Simon Over.
Bevan has recently been celebrated for her “marvellous” and “affecting” (Opera Now) performances as Music/Euridice in the Royal Opera House / Roundhouse co-production of Monteverdi Orfeo.
Susan Bickley, Mary Bevan, Susanna Hurrell & Anthony Gregory: Royal Opera House’s Orfeo
Susan Bickley and Mary Bevan join Susanna Hurrell and Anthony Gregory in the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden’s new production of Monteverdi’s Orfeo, to be presented at the Roundhouse in London on 13 January. Bevan sings the role of Euridice, Bickley sings Silvia, Gregory sings First Pastor and Hurrell will sing Nymph. Conducted by Christian Curnyn and featuring the Orchestra of the Early Opera Company, performances run until 24 January.
Mary Bevan returns to the Royal Opera after appearing to acclaim on the main stage as Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro in 2013. Winner of the Critics’ Circle Exceptional Young Talent Award, Bevan was most recently praised for her “bewitching” Susanna with the English National Opera (Michael Church, Independent, October 2014).
A veteran of the Royal Opera House main stage, Susan Bickley most recently appeared as Virgie in Turnage Anna Nicole. Bickley joins Orfeo following a successful run as Herodias in Strauss Salome at Dallas Opera alongside Deborah Voigt.
Anthony Gregory will make his Royal Opera debut with Orfeo. Other season highlights include an “exquisitely sung” (Alexandra Coghlan, Spectator, October 2014) Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw at Glyndebourne, as well as appearances with Opera de Limoges and Aix en Provence Festival.
Directed by former Royal Shakespeare Company artistic director Michael Boyd, this production of Orfeo follows the tremendously successful Royal Opera House and Roundhouse co-production of Cavalli L’Ormindo, presented in spring 2014, and featuring Susanna Hurrell.
Kitty Whately, Ben Johnson & Mary Bevan: Bach Magnificat with Britten Sinfonia at Barbican Hall
Kitty Whately, Ben Johnson and Mary Bevan sing Bach Magnificat with Britten Sinfonia and King’s College Choir at Barbican Hall on 6 December. The Christmas-themed concert will also include Bach Brandenburg Concerto No.2, Poulenc Quatre motets pour le temps de Noel and Respighi Lauda per la Nativita del Signore. Conducted by Stephen Cleobury, the performance will also feature soprano Lucy Crowe, counter-tenor James Laing, and bass Ashley Riches.
This will mark BBC New Generation Artist Kitty Whately’s debut with the Britten Sinfonia. She will join the orchestra again in the New Year for two performances of Haydn Nelson Mass in Spain.
Mary Bevan and Benedict Nelson praised in ENO’s The Marriage of Figaro
Mary Bevan and Benedict Nelson have received acclaim for their role debuts as Susanna and Count Almaviva respectively in Fiona Shaw’s The Marriage of Figaro at English National Opera, and were described by The Arts Desk as “a cast that’s pretty close to perfect” in a five-star review.
During the curtain call, Mary Bevan was also presented with the Critics’ Circle Award for ‘exceptional young talent in music’, presented by Guy Dammann, in recognition of her work over the past year.
Mary Bevan / Susanna
“… the shining…Mary Bevan…with her dramatic awareness and quick wit as Susanna”
Andrew Clements, Guardian, October 2014
“… her Susanna is gloriously acted and stylishly sung: a real coming-of-age”
Richard Morrison, Times, October 2014
“Mary Bevan’s bewitching Susanna. It was entirely appropriate that the first night should conclude with Bevan receiving this year’s Exceptional Young Talent award from the Critics’ Circle, because the perfection of her singing is allied to a natural dramatic gift.”
Michael Church, Independent, October 2014
“Bevan… reveals a vocal line of soaring sweetness and accuracy, as well as impeccable phrasing. Her gestures and facial expressions, even when she is silently hiding behind objects, suggest a bright character who is always thinking and calculating, but only ever with the most noble of intentions.”
David Smith, Music OMH, October 2014
“But the show belongs to Bevan... this felt a lot like the singer’s graduation – a promotion to a role she was made to play. Pert and pretty as any Susanna, under Shaw’s direction Bevan also has a no-nonsense vigour about her, and we more than believe her sly declaration that “women of my class don’t get headaches”. A singing actress of the most instinctive kind… this is a performance that must be judged as a whole.”
Alexandra Coghlan, five stars, The Arts Desk, October 2014
“The most remarkable singing comes from the Susanna of Mary Bevan… Unfailingly stylish, she combines great diction with acting ability and a natural warmth”
David Gutman, The Stage, October 2014
“…she was indeed sparkling”
Stu Black, Londonist, October 2014
Benedict Nelson / Count Almaviva
“This underlying violence is heightened by Benedict Nelson’s Count, who suppresses as much as he releases, a man stalking the borderlands of his own civilised humanity.”
Five stars, Alexandra Coghlan, The Arts Desk, October 2014
“Benedict Nelson presents a formidable and brutal figure whose presence you would not wish to be in when he went into a rage.”
David Smith, Music OMH, October 2014
“David Stout as Figaro and Benedict Nelson as the Count bring a wealth of insight to the servant-master relationship”
Stu Black, Londonist, October 2014
Mary Bevan and Benedict Nelson make role debuts in The Marriage of Figaro at ENO
Soprano Mary Bevan and baritone Benedict Nelson make role debuts as Susanna and Count Almaviva respectively in The Marriage of Figaro at English National Opera on 16 October. Fiona Shaw returns to the Coliseum to revive her acclaimed 2011 production of the work, hailed by critics as “humane, intelligent and buzzing with energy” (Rupert Christansen, Daily Telegraph, October 2011).
Harewood Artist Bevan makes her first ENO appearance of the season as Susanna, following her “most versatile and bewitching Despina” (Michael Church, Independent, May 2014) in Così fan tutte last summer. Later this season she takes part in ENO’s Orfeo at the Bristol Old Vic.
Nelson returns to the Coliseum following previous ENO highlights as Billy Budd, Figaro The Barber of Seville and Valentin Faust, among many others. Away from London last season, he sang Ned Keene Peter Grimes for Opéra de Lyon and Opera North.
After opening on 16 October, further performances of The Marriage of Figaro take place 23, 25, 28, 31 October, 4, 6, 8 14, 19 and 23 November
Intermusica artists give recitals with Oxford Lieder
Mary Bevan, Ben Johnson, Benedict Nelson and Roger Vignoles all give recitals for Oxford Lieder during October and November.
On 4 October, Bevan joins Rozanna Madylus, Robert Murray, Roderick Williams, Sholto Kynoch and principal players of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at Kings Place. They will present Schubert’s Octet in F and the Complete Songs of 1824.
Vignoles then gives two recitals on 12 and 19 October. He first performs several works of early Schubert with Elisabeth Meister and Nicky Spence, before performing Die schöne Müllerin with Christoph Prégardien. On 22 October Vignoles will give a masterclass for young singers and pianists.
On 1 November, Johnson and Nelson join Geraldine McGreevy, Anna Huntley and Graham Johnson for a lecture recital that focuses on Schubert’s final years.
Mary Bevan & Kitty Whately perform Maxwell Davies’ Caroline Mathilde at BBC Proms
Mary Bevan and Kitty Whately perform together at the BBC Proms on 12 August in a performance of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ Suite from Act II of Caroline Mathilde. They will be joined onstage by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and conductor Thomas Søndergård.
The performance marks a Proms debut for BBC New Generation Artist Kitty Whately, while Mary Bevan returns to the festival following her 2012 appearance as Kate in Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Yeomen of the Guard.
The performance will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and recorded for a later television broadcast on BBC Four on 21 August.
Mary Bevan sings La clemenza di Tito with Classical Opera
Mary Bevan sings Servilla La clemenza di Tito with Classical Opera on 13 March in a concert performance at Cadogan Hall, London. The concert will be conducted by Classical Opera founder and artistic director Ian Page and, alongside Bevan, features a line-up of tenor Robert Murray, soprano Gillian Ramm, mezzo-sopranos Helen Sherman and Hanna Hipp and bass-baritone Darren Jeffery. The performing forces are completed by The Choir and Orchestra of Classical Opera.
Later in March Bevan appears in a performance of Haydn’s Mass in Time of War (Kettledrum Mass) with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Leeds Festival Chorus. She joins mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnston, tenor Robin Tritschler and bass Neal Davies under the baton of conductor Simon Wright. The concert, which forms part of the Leeds International Concert Season, will take place at Leeds Town Hall on 29 March.
Vuyani Mlinde and Mary Bevan sing in Stravinsky’s Pulcinella with the Prague Philharmonia
Intermusica artists Vuyani Mlinde and Mary Bevan make their debuts with the Prague Philharmonia in Stravinsky Pulcinella on 9 March.
The concert, in the Dvořák Hall of Rudolfinum, also includes Mozart Horn Concerto No.4, and Sibelius Violin Concerto in D Minor. The performance is conducted by Jakub Hrůša.