Monday, 6 July 2020
Zooming the woods with Siegfried
This should have been the third September of taking my Ring course to the amazing Gartmore estate in the Trossachs near Stirling, courtesy of the Wagner Society of Scotland. For obvious reasons that won't be happening. How I shall miss the possibility of waking up to misty mornings like this
followed by days of blazing sunshine. Well, that was last September, and Scotland's second heatwave of 2019, so probably it won't be repeated. But I would have been swimming regularly in a pool of the Forth I discovered on my last day.
No matter; next year is already booked, though whether it will be for Götterdämmerung - probably most participants are more likely to want to join my autumn term Opera on Focus course, since that will almost certainly revert to Zoom , too - or Tristan und Isolde remains to be seen.
In the meantime, though it's run under the aegis of the Wagner Society of Scotland, anyone can still sign up for the Zoom Siegfried course, due to start this Wednesday afternoon at 2.30pm, running until (approximately, since Zoom time gives us luxury to over-run) 4.30pm, and then for nine more Wednesdays. It's a bargain at £100 for the whole term. If you'd like to join, just email me at email@example.com.
Who knows whom we will be able to entice as special guests this time? My summer courses have been on such a roll. Cue namedrop: Ermonela Jaho, Sirs Antonio Pappano and Mark Elder for Madama Butterfly (Tony, as we can call him, had so much of wondrous interest to say that I didn't get my stint in, so am more than happy to offer an extra class this afternoon) plus Susan Bullock on Elektra; for the symphony classes, Vladimir Jurowski, Paavo Järvi, Vasily Petrenko and Mark Wigglesworth among the megastars plus equally fascinating contributions from conductors Catherine Larsen-Maguire, Kristiina Poska, Jonathan Bloxham, Andres Kaljuste and Ian Page. This Thursday Elizabeth Wilson of the superlative Shostakovich: A Life Remembered and violinist/leader/conductor Peter Manning join us for thoughts on the master's Fifteenth Symphony. This has been a rare time, and the fact that I've been able to live and breathe the music of both courses in between classes has been an extra boon,