20th Birthday Concert
9 October 2017, 7.30pm - Barbican, London
Classical Opera celebrates the company’s twentieth birthday with an unmissable concert of works by the three greatest composers of the Classical era. This carefully sculpted programme explores themes of birth, renewal, humanity and aspiration, culminating with a performance of Beethoven’s extraordinary Ninth Symphony. Ian Page conducts a thrilling line-up of soloists and instrumentalists, and the choir is hand-picked from singers who appear regularly with the country’s leading professional choirs. There will also be a sequence of short readings, selected to reflect and enhance the musical works being performed.
“Typical generosity from Page and company; his programming always goes beyond the call of duty in bringing the obscure to light and offering true revelation.” THE ARTS DESK
The Representation of Chaos from The Creation
Handel / Mozart
“Leidenschaften stillt und weckt Musik” from Ode for St Ceceilia’s Day, K.592
“Exsultate, jubilate”, K.165 – 1st movement
March and Cavatina, “Accogli, oh re del mar” from Idomeneo, K.366
“Da stiegen die Menschen” from Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II
Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op.125
Ian Page is the founder, conductor and artistic director of Classical Opera. He began his musical education as a chorister at Westminster Abbey, and studied English Literature at the University of York before completing his studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London. At the start of his career he worked on the music staff at Scottish Opera, Opera Factory, Drottningholm and Glyndebourne, working with such conductors as Sir Alexander Gibson, Nicholas McGegan, Mark Wigglesworth, Ivor Bolton and Sir Charles Mackerras.
With Classical Opera he has conducted most of Mozart’s early operas, including the world premières of the “original” version of Mitridate, re di Ponto and a new completion of Zaide, as well as Le nozze di Figaro, Così fan tutte and La clemenza di Tito. He has also conducted the UK premières of Gluck’s La clemenza di Tito and Telemann’s Orpheus, and the first new staging for 250 years of Johann Christian Bach’s Adriano in Siria. In 2009 he made his Royal Opera House début conducting Arne’s Artaxerxes at the Linbury Studio Theatre, and his studio recording of the work was released in 2011 on Linn Records.
He also devised and conducted Classical Opera’s recordings of ‘The A-Z of Mozart Opera’ (Signum Classics) and ‘Blessed Spirit – a Gluck retrospective’ (Wigmore Hall Live), both of which were selected for Gramophone magazine’s annual Critic’s Choice, and he recently embarked on a new complete cycle of Mozart opera recordings with Classical Opera.
Internationally-renowned Swedish soprano Miah Persson has performed all over the world as a recitalist and concert artist as well as on the operatic stage. In 2014 she sang Aspasia on Classical Opera’s acclaimed recording of Mitridate, re di Ponto, and appeared with the company in recital at Wigmore Hall. Throughout her distinguished career she has performed many roles including Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel), Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte) and Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) at the Metropolitan Opera; Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) and Zerlina (Don Giovanni) at Covent Garden; the title role in L’Incoronazione di Poppea at La Scala; Fiordiligi, Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier) and Susanna at the Vienna State Opera; The Governess (The Turn of the Screw), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) and Anne Trulove (The Rake’s Progress) at the Glyndebourne Festival; Donna Elvira at the Théâtre Champs Elysées, and Fiordiligi at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Hamburgische Staatsoper, New National Theatre Tokyo, in Stockholm and for a Deutsche Grammophon recording at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden. In October 2018 she will appear in Classical Opera’s 20th Birthday Concert at the Barbican.
Anna Devin has performed regularly with the Classical Opera since first appearing with them on tour in Baden Baden in 2012, and she sings the role of Tamiri on the 2015 recording of Mozart’s Il re pastore. She is an alumna of the Royal Opera House’s Jette Parker Young Artist programme, Royal Irish Academy of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme and the National Opera Studio. Recent seasons saw her sing Susanna in Scottish Opera’s and Welsh National Opera’s productions of Le nozze di Figaro, débuts with La Scala and the Vienna Philharmonic, role and festival début as Galatea in Handel’s Acis and Galatea at Mozartwoche Salzburg, role début as Nannetta (Falstaff) at the Royal Opera house, Covent Garden, Michal in Glyndebourne Touring Opera’s production of Saul. This season she will make her début at Madrid’s Teatro Reale as Cecila in Lucio Silla, debut as Cleopatra in Handel’s Giulio Cesare with Early Opera Company, debut Semele at Karlsruhe Handel Festival, Debut Fiordiligi with Northern Ireland Opera.
British contralto Claudia Huckle studied at the Royal College of Music, London, the New England conservatory and the Curtis Institute of Music. She was the 2004 Grand Final Winner of The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and is a graduate of the prestigious Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera. Claudia is the 2013 winner of the Birgit Nilsson Remembrance Award at Plácido Domingo’s Operalia competition at Verona – the first female, and first British recipient. She was a member of the ensemble at Leipzig Opera for four seasons from 2009. Opera roles include Erda (Das Rheingold) and Schwertleite (Die Walküre) for Opera North, the title role in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia for Glyndebourne on Tour, Hippolyta in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Marfa in Graham Vick’s new production of Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina for Birmingham Opera Company, Hänsel for Garsington Opera, Smeton in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena for Washington National Opera, and Mérope (Oedipe) with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. She will make her début with Classical Opera singing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in its 20th Birthday Concert on 9 October 2017.
Stuart Jackson was a choral scholar at Christ Church, Oxford before completing his training at the Royal Academy of Music in 2013. He won second prizes at both the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition and at the Hugo Wolf Competition in Stuttgart. He was a Jerwood Young Artist at Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 2013, and during the 2013/14 season he joined the Stuttgart Opera Studio, where he performed the title role in Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice, Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Gastone (La traviata), Abdallo (Nabucco) and Second Priest (Die Zauberflöte). He is currently a Classical Opera Associate Artist, and with the companyhe has sung Osroa in J. C. Bach’s Adriano in Siria, Lucio Vero in Jommelli’s Il Vologeso, and Soliman on the company’s acclaimed recording of Mozart’s Zaide. He also appears in the title role on Classical Opera’s recording of Mozart’s Il Sogno di Scipione, due for release in October 2017.
Henry Waddington has sung regularly with all the major UK opera companies as well as with La Monnaie Brussels, Liceu Barcelona, de Nederlandse Opera, Teatro Real Madrid and Stuttgart Staatstheater. His repertoire includes the title role of Falstaff, Banquo (Macbeth), Colline (La bohème), Don Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Tutor (Le comte Ory), Geronimo (The Secret Marriage), Publio (La clemenza di Tito), Plutone (Orfeo), Valens (Theodora), Soljony (Three Sisters), Leporello (Don Giovanni), Don Magnifico (Cenerentola), Don Fernando (Fidelio), Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte), Pallante (Agrippina), Frère Laurent (Roméo et Juliette) as well as Quince and Bottom (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). Recent highlights include Spinellocchio (Gianni Schicci) for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the title role in Saul for Glyndebourne. He will make his début with Classical Opera in the company’s 20th Birthday Concert at the Barbican.
The Mozartists was launched in 2017 as an extension of Ian Page’s internationally renowned period ensemble Classical Opera. While Classical Opera continues to perform and record complete operas,
The Mozartists will present the company’s other concert work, enabling it to broaden its exploration of the works of Mozart and his contemporaries. ‘Perfido!’ is The Mozartists’ first recording.
Classical Opera and Ian Page are among the world’s leading exponents of the works of Mozart and his contemporaries, and they are particularly renowned for their vibrant, fresh and stylish performances, for their ability to discover and nurture outstanding young artists, and for their imaginative and illuminating programming. They have performed most of Mozart’s stage works, as well as operas by J. C. Bach, Gluck, Haydn, Arne, Telemann and Jommelli, and in 2012 they embarked on a major new recording cycle of the complete Mozart operas. The company’s discography also includes ‘The A-Z of Mozart Opera’ (Sony Classics, 2007, re-launched on Signum Classics in 2014), ‘Blessed Spirit – a Gluck retrospective’ (Wigmore Hall Live, 2010), Thomas Arne’s Artaxerxes (Linn Records, 2011), and ‘Where’er You Walk’, a programme of arias composed for the celebrated English tenor John Beard, featuring tenor Allan Clayton (Signum Classics, 2016). The company has presented staged operas at Sadler’s Wells, The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Buxton Opera House and the Schwetzingen Rokokotheater, and regular concerts at Wigmore Hall, the Barbican, Cadogan Hall and Kings Place. In 2016 they were invited to present the opening three concerts of the prestigious Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt.
In 2015 Classical Opera launched MOZART 250, a ground-breaking 27-year project following the chronological trajectory of Mozart’s life, works and influences, and this major initiative, aligned to an ever increasing expansion and commitment to concert work, has led to the creation of The Mozartists.