Strauss’ Salome

BICS 2015/16 – Strauss’ Salome

Part of Birmingham International Concert Season 2015/16 Concert Package,

SoundBite, Birmingham International Concert Season 2015/16 and Opera highlights

Friday 2nd October 2015

Symphony Hall

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Kirill Karabits conductor
Joe Austin Director

Lise Lindstrom Salome
James Rutherford Jochanaan
Kim Begley Herodes
Birgit Remmert Herodias
Andrew Staples Narraboth
David Soar 1st Nazarene
Oliver Johnston 2nd Nazarene
Anna Burford Herodias’ Page
Andrew Greenan First Soldier
Alan Ewing Second Soldier
Hubert Francis First Jew
Paul Curievici Second Jew and Slave
James Edwards Third Jew
Alun Rhys-Jenkins Fourth Jew
Andri Bjorn Robertsson Fifth Jew & Cappadocier

Strauss Salome Op 54 109’

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From shimmering, silken opening to shockingly decadent denouement, Richard Strauss’s Salome is quite simply one of the most overwhelming experiences in all opera. And in Symphony Hall you’ll hear every last shiver and sigh of Strauss’s extraordinary score, as Kirill Karabits brings the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and an all-star cast to Birmingham for one unforgettable night.

6.15pm Pre-concert conversation with Kirill Karabits.

Choir and stalls front four rows not available.

Please note there is no interval in this concert.

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Review by Richard Bratby, TheArtsDesk:

Click here for full review

…     “Lindstrom seemed to pull the drama in around her in every scene in which she appeared. She stalked the platform, her movements calculated and taut, her eyes wary: Salome as wounded predator. Her tone wasn’t especially lush. What her voice had in abundance was focus and a sort of concentrated sensuality, just as potent and expressive whether hurling soaring arcs of sound at the back of the hall, or whispering a lethal threat. In the space of the one phrase “Gib mir den Kopf des Jokanaan” (“Give me the head of John the Baptist”, it modulated from luminous sweetness to a curdled snarl; and then again, and again – changing from sinister to savage as the Princess repeated her demand.

Around a figure as compelling as Lindstrom, the limitations of the concert format hardly seemed to matter. Joe Austin directed, making effective use of basic coloured lighting and a few telling details of characterisation – James Rutherford’s hellfire-preacher hand gestures and blustering delivery as Jokanaan, Kim Begley’s self-satisfied manspreading as Herod – to lift this performance away from stand-and-deliver. Begley was very nearly as watchable as Lindstrom (the two pictured below). His wiry tenor fits Strauss’s brutal writing as comfortably as anyone’s ever could. He strutted complacently about the stage, eyes glinting with lust: a gloriously sleazy Tetrarch and – for once – a plausible match for Herodias. Birgit Remmert sang with such lustre in that role that at times she almost made her character seem likeable – then banished any thoughts of sympathy with the hissing malice of her low notes, as Salome pressed home her appalling final demand.

Begley and Lindstrom in Bournemouth SalomeThe BSO played as if they were loving every single note – as well they might. Initially, there were balance problems (Staples and Burford were almost inaudible at times), and a tendency for the richer textures to become congested – both familiar issues when guest orchestras overcompensate for the Symphony Hall acoustic.

Karabits quickly got that under control, and then let his team play out: a firm, satin-finished string section (the decision to split the violins revealed some usually unheard details), exuberantly characterful woodwinds and a tuba player who deserved a solo bow in his own right.”     …

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Review by Alexander Campbell, ClassicalSource:

Click here for full review

…     “It was great to hear the score without the confines of a pit, Kirill Karabits and his Bournemouth forces making every felicity ring out, clean of texture and wide of dynamic range. Tempos felt unerringly right and appropriate to dramatic context.

The cast was vocally and theatrically strong. Salome was sung by Lise Lindstrom. Her voice is ample but not over-heavy, lending credibility to the girlish aspects of the character. It also has a silvery quality, but she can turn on a metallic edge which enhanced the projection of Salome’s petulant and implacable utterances. Only in the lower ranges was an occasional lack of punch evident, particularly at “Ich achte nicht auf die Stimme meiner Mutter…”, which felt unduly forced. Her colouring of the text was otherwise exemplary – and the surtitles really helped here. Her performance culminated in as intense a ‘final scene’ as could be heard today; she brought Salome’s misguided innocence to the fore, eliciting some sympathy for the character.

James Rutherford was an imposing and charismatic Jokanaan, sounding as well off-stage as on. His aloofness from the action was powerful. Kim Begley proved that having a more-heroic voice for Herod is vastly preferable to that of a whining character-tenor; his was an excellent performance with lots of textual nuance and vivid characterisation of this vacillating, unhappy and vain man somewhat out of his depth politically. Birgit Remmert delivered the vocally ungrateful role of Herodias with authority, her manipulative side to the fore.

In the smaller roles there was some superb singing notably from Anna Burford’s rich-voiced page, Andrew Staples’s romantic Narraboth and from David Soar’s charismatic First Nazarene. This was a rewarding evening.”

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Reviews for performance in Poole

Review by Ian Lace, SeenandHeard, MusicWeb Click here for full review

Review by John Allison, TelegraphClick here for full review

Review by Andrew Clements, GuardianClick here for full review

The Importance of Being Earnest

Saturday 28 April 2012 at 7.00pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121-780 3333

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
Thomas Adès conductor
Barbara Hannigan Cecily Cardew
Peter Tantsits John Worthing
Joshua Bloom Algernon Moncrieff
Katalin Karolyi Gwendolen Fairfax
Hilary Summers Miss Prism
Alan Ewing Lady Bracknell
Benjamin Bevan Lane / Merriman

Gerald Barry: The Importance of Being Earnest (sung in English with English surtitles) 90′

21st Annniversary Symphony Hall“A Handbag?!” Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest is surely the single wittiest play in the English language. Thomas Adès conducts Birmingham’s world-renowned BCMG and a stellar cast in this definitive concert performance of Irish composer Gerald Barry’s brilliant new opera. “My favourite living composer finds the hilarious musical equivalent for Oscar Wilde’s perfect absurdist paradoxes inhis riotously outrageous and funny new opera.” Thomas Adès

“The opera is hysterically funny. The score is highly sophisticated and indescribably zany… The world now has something rare: a new genuinely comic opera…”Los Angeles Times, 8 April 2011

Click here to find out more about composer Gerald Barry and his music.

Stephen Fry, Fiona Shaw, Thomas Adès and Gerald Barry discuss Barry’s new opera ahead of the upcoming European premiere performances.

The performance will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on May 19th 2012

Article by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post

“Turning Oscar Wilde’s “Earnest” Into an Opera”

Click here for full article

Article by Ivan Hewett, Telegraph:

“Gerald Barry talks about his new opera The Importance of Being Earnest”

Click here for full article

 

Review by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:

Click here for full review

…     “Orchestrally, Barry’s score is fascinating, fizzingly through-composed, winkingly allusive at times (including Janacek and Wagner, and the first two acts ending with references to the “Auld Lang Syne” with which the opera, in Barry’s own car-crashing arrangement, begins), and rich in imaginative touches, such as a duet for wind-machines, a seemingly endlessly prolonged brass trill, and two elegantly choreographed plate-smashing cameos.

 

Thomas Ades conducted with generous commitment, enthusiastically reciprocated by all concerned onstage, and most of a pleasingly sizeable audience.”

 

 

Review by Hilary Maddocks, Observer (at Barbican)

Click here for full review

Review by Andrew Clements, Guardian (at Barbican)

Click here for full review

Review by Rupert Christiansen, Telegraph (at Barbican)

Click here for full review