Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Yet another Ring

Last week I discovered a Ring cycle on DVD that I didn't previously know about - it's from Valencia and the production is by the amazing Catalan theatre collective Fura dels Baus. The setting is very high-tech with extraordinary projections and people being flown in and out; as well as the stunning look to the production it's also musically very satisfying with excellent singing and a great orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta. Brünnhilde is the wonderful Jennifer Wilson (who did Turandot in Sydney a few years back) and the Canadian Lance Ryan does a fantastic job as Siegfried.

So far I've only got Götterdämmerung but will definitely be looking out the rest of the cycle.

A taste.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Busy week starts

Yesterday was P's birthday and, as he had the day off work, he, B and I went to Three Bags Full for lunch. B and I both had the very tasty house-cured salmon on corn and pea fritter and P had the hot cakes with poached fruit and ricotta. Afterwards we strolled down to Victoria Street where we checked out the new Aldi which just opened last week. We decided we can probably go there for much of our grocery shopping.

Back to Gloriana last night - the next concert is going to be great. We started with some glorious Brahms after which we moved on to Striggio's 40-part motet Ecce beatam lucem. This is an interesting piece but not nearly as much fun as Tallis' Spem in alium, also in 40 parts, which we rehearsed after the break. We will be performing Spem spread out around the audience in eight five-part choirs; who said surround sound was a new invention?

We finished last night's rehearsal with a run-through of Clytus Gottwald's transcription of Die zwei blauen Augen by Mahler (Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen). It actually works quite well, so I'm looking forward to Gottwald's arrangement of the Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde, which is also on the program.

Tonight it's a Gombert rehearsal, and again on Friday for the concert on Saturday. I'm also catching up with people on Wednesday and going to the doctor's on Thursday.

Labels: ,

Friday, April 09, 2010


So far this week I've had two rehearsals for Sunday's Bach cantata at St John's - Tuesday was a piano rehearsal, learning the notes and how it all fits together, then tonight we had our run-through with the orchestra. Graham always puts together a great collection of instrumentalists and this week's cantata, Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden, uses the oboe da caccias (oboes da caccia?) owned by the church. Add an oboe and a bassoon for continuo and it's a wonderful reedy sound.

We only heard two of the soloists tonight, Robert Macfarlane, the tenor, and Nick ? a wonderful sounding bass who is also singing in the next Gombert concert. Sunday morning promises to be a most excellent performance.

Tomorrow afternoon we have a rehearsal for the Brumel Earthquake mass to be performed as part of the Ensemble Gombert concert the following Saturday. So I'm keeping myself out of mischief.

Labels: ,