Festival 2013 Podcasts
Get insights from the experts about the Glyndebourne Festival 2013 opera season in our podcast series presented by Peggy Reynolds. Bookmark this page or subscribe via iTunes to hear new episodes as they arrive.
As part of the celebrations of Britten's centenary year, Peggy Reynolds explores one of his best-loved works - Billy Budd. With contributions from Sir Thomas Allen, who introduces us to the character of Budd and sets the drama into historical context, against the backdrop of the French revolutionary wars. From Ellie Stedall, who tells us more about the source of the libretto - a short novella by the American writer Herman Melville - which explores ideas of free will, conscience and the fugitive nature of truth. And from the music writer Gavin Plumley, who celebrates the huge range of musical styles and textures found in Billy Budd and the unique soundworld created by Britten's all-male cast. [Producer: Mair Bosworth]
Peggy Reynolds explores Gaetano Donizetti's Don Pasquale. With expert insights from the conductor, Sir Mark Elder, who argues that Don Pasquale is "a brilliant refilling of an old mould". From Francesco Izzo, Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Southampton, who sets the opera into the wider historical context of the development of opera buffa, arguing that Don Pasquale was a new kind of comic opera, one which treats its characters with great empathy and warmth. From Glyndebourne's dramaturg, Cori Ellison, on the origins of the Basso Buffo character in Italian commedia dell'arte and Donizetti's use of the waltz as a signifier for youth throughout the opera. And from Danielle de Niese, who introduces us to Norina, the opera's feisty heroine and considers the moral of the story. [Producer: Mair Bosworth]
(Musical extracts used with kind permission of Decca Classics)
Peggy Reynolds provides a historical and musical introduction to one of the great works of French Baroque opera, Jean-Philippe Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie. We hear from Jeanice Brooks, Professor of Music at the University of Southampton, who identifies Rameau as an almost exact contemporary of Handel and Bach, who started his musical career as an organist and theorist and went on to stage lavish operas for Louis XV as 'Compositeur du Cabinet du Roi'. From writer and mythographer Marina Warner, who unfolds the myth which forms the basis of the opera's narrative, and explores the Racine play which inspired Pellegrin's libretto for Rameau's opera. And from Sarah Connolly, who marvels at the richness of invention in Rameau's music and explores the pivotal role of Phèdre, a woman doomed to an unattainable and incestuous love. [Producer: Mair Bosworth]
(Musical extracts used with kind permission of Warner Music)
Peggy Reynolds explores Giuseppe Verdi’s last, great work: the comic opera Falstaff. With contributions from the conductor Sir Mark Elder, who celebrates the delicacy, wit and humanity of Verdi’s score. From Glyndebourne’s dramaturg, Cori Ellison, who reflects on the quicksilver pace of this wonderfully funny work by a composer who we do not tend to associate with comedy. And from the baritone Laurent Naouri, who discusses the role of Falstaff, and the words and music written for the character by Verdi and his librettist, the prodigiously talented Arrigo Boito. [Producer: Mair Bosworth]
(Musical extracts from the 1960 Glyndebourne recording of Falstaff)
Ariadne auf Naxos brings together the 'high art' of opera seria and the lighter, comic entertainment of the commedia dell'arte. Peggy Reynolds provides a historical and musical introduction to this ambitious, witty and intricately crafted collaboration between Richard Strauss and his librettist, the poet and playwright Hugo von Hofmannsthal. With contributions from the writer and broadcaster David Nice, who provides expert insight into Strauss's use of the orchestra to explore the theme of 'high' versus 'low' art. From theatre director Didi Hopkins of Commediaworks, who explains the history of the commedia dell'arte and introduces us to some of the art form's stock characters. And from the writer Michael Kennedy who explores the - at times rather fraught - working relationship between Strauss and Hofmannsthal and discusses the genius of Strauss's music. [Producer: Mair Bosworth]
(Musical extracts used with kind permission of EMI Classics.)
Listen to Le nozze di Figaro podcast (20 mins)
A guide to Glyndebourne's signature opera, Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, with music from the live recording of our 1962 production. Presenter Peggy Reynolds explores the historical context of the opera, the politics behind its humour, and Mozart's sublime music of rage and forgiveness. With contributions from Conductor Jane Glover, General Director of Glyndebourne David Pickard, Head of Music at Royal Holloway, University of London, Julian Johnson and Dr John Leigh of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge – a specialist in 18th Century French thought and literature. [Producer: Mair Bosworth]
(Musical extracts from the 1962 Glyndebourne recording of Le nozze di Figaro)
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