Monday 5 November 2018

Rake afternoon reminder

Click on the above for better detail and come along if you can. What would normally be the last class of my Opera in Depth term has turned into a little gala with excerpts from Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress to raise funds for British Youth Opera. I'm confident that Spence, Nicky will match Spence, Toby, who gave a total performance on Saturday night as Vladimir Jurowski's Tom Rakewell. Our Rake people span productions from 1977 (Dame Felicity Lott, who will speak but not sing, at least live) to this year (Samantha Clarke, a stupendous Anne Trulove in British Youth Opera's fine production). It's been a joy dealing with the folk at St James's Sussex Gardens - total pros.

Meanwhile the last two of four classes on Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades will be, very appropriately, at Pushkin House, since the Frontline, 'gone corporate' as founder member Ed Vulliamy puts it, decided that they needed to have the room available to make more dosh - and I pay them quite a sum already - in 'the run-up to Christmas', which they regard as the whole of November. Well, the bonus is that the students also get to see a fine exhibition of Laura Footes's imaginative artwork inspired by Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita. I was at Pushkin House last Tuesday for a talk by my New Best Friend from a Bromsgrove Shostakovich Quartets weekend, Elizabeth Wilson, on the extraordinary pianist Maria Yudina. Which has led to a whole investigation of great playing. But more on that anon.

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