Steve Devine, director and harpsichord, joins members of the Academy of Ancient Music, Bojan Čičić, violin and mezzo Helen Charlston for a programme of Strozzi, Monteverdi and Dario Castello. The event will be live-streamed on April 14 from West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge at 19:30 BST and is available for 48 hours afterwards. Full details here.
Tenors Guy Cutting and Bradley Smith appear in the Oxford Bach Soloists Virtual Easter Festival conducted by Tom Hammond-Davies. Filmed in stunning Oxford venues Bradley and Guy share the tenor arias in the St John Passion with Guy also singing tenor solos in the Bach Cantata Der Himmel lacht! Die Erde jubilieret BWV31. Thomas Guthrie has directed a socially-distanced but compelling and atmospheric celebration of Bach’s works. Available online from April 2 until April 30.
Still available online is Dietrich Henschel’s performance of Winterreise with Sholto Kynoch as part of the 2021 Oxford Leader Festival: “… a performance of powerful interiority… I prefer a Winterreise that’s been wrenched from the singer’s body and this one was ectoplasmic.” Backtrack; “Henschel is rightly regarded as one of Germany’s finest lied interpreters, now almost a veteran performer, and his singing of Schubert’s great cycle was notable for its almost numbed anticipation of the gruelling winter journey to come…such is his artistry, the eloquence of his delivery of the text could hardly fail to move in his partnership with Kynoch.” The Times; “Dietrich Henschel gave us a Winterreise that offered no quarter from the musical storm. Back in 2012 Henschel released a pretty definitive recording of Schubert’s cycle on disc. Nearly a decade on and his wanderer is bleaker still: maddened to the point of hallucination, fury, suicide.” The Spectator
Against all odds tenor Samuel Boden reached Barcelona for the long-awaited Spanish première of George Benjamin’s Lessons in Love and Violence. Reprising the roles of Boy and Young King he makes his début at the Gran Teatro Liceu with performances on Feb 26, Mar 1, 4, 7, 9 & 11. Josep Pons conducts Katie Mitchell’s staging adapted for the pandemic by Dan Ayling.
Running the gauntlet of quarantine and post-Brexit UK Border Control German Baritone Dietrich Henschel will be performing Winterreisse at the Oxford Lieder Festival on February 27 accompanied by festival director Sholto Kynoch. The event will be Broadcast from the Holywell Music Room, Oxford. Full details here. “Baritone Dietrich Henschel is a towering figure, physically, intellectually, musically and theatrically. His prowess as an interpreter, by which I mean precisely his ability to get below the surface of a song and right into its soul, is extraordinary.” Herald Scotland
Mezzo soprano Bethany Horak-Hallett has received glowing reviews for her recording of Cupid in John Eccles’ Semele with the Academy of Ancient Music directed by Julian Perkins: … Bethany Horak-Hallett makes such an eloquent Cupid that I only wish this god of love had flown into view more often. The Times; With Bethany Horak-Hallett a deliciously light Cupid … this is a cast without flaw. Opera Now; … Bethany Horak-Hallet is charming in Cupid’s short scene. Planet Hughill
Tenor Andrew Irwin has been selected to receive a BBC Northern Ireland & Arts Council of Northern Ireland Young Musicians Platform Award. As well as funds towards career development projects the award includes BBC broadcast opportunities and an appearance with The Ulster Orchestra. Hear more on BBC In Tune.