The Mozartists Launch Concert
18 September 2017, 7.30pm - Wigmore Hall, London
Classical Opera celebrates its twentieth anniversary with the launch of The Mozartists, the new brand under which it will present its ever-expanding range of concert work. The programme begins with Mozart’s glorious Sinfonia concertante for violin and viola, and concludes with one of his most serene and life-enhancing symphonies. In between, the exciting young British soprano Louise Alder – recent winner of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Audience Prize – performs the opening aria from Mozart’s first operatic masterpiece, and there is also a nod towards the company’s ground-breaking MOZART 250 project with a rare performance of a concertante aria from Gluck’s Il prologo, composed 250 years ago in 1767.
“Of course the orchestral playing under the ever-musical direction of Ian Page is incomparable.” LIMELIGHT
“[Louise Alder] turns in an incandescent, richly coloured and urgent performance, which confirms her as the brightest lyric soprano of the younger generation.” THE ARTS DESK
Sinfonia concertante in E flat major, K.364
“De’ sublimi augusti eroi” from Il prologo
“Quando avran fine omai… Padre, germani, addio” from Idomeneo
Symphony No.29 in A major, K.201
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.
Louise Alder studied at the Royal College of Music International Opera School, where she was the inaugural Kiri Te Kanawa Scholar. She won the Young Singer Award at the 2017 International Opera Awards and the Dame Joan Sutherland Audience Prize at the 2017 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. She also won the 2015 inaugural Young British Soloists’ Competition, is the recipient of Glyndebourne’s 2014 John Christie Award and took 2nd Prize in the 2013 Kathleen Ferrier Competition. She is a Classical Opera Associate Artist, and has appeared with the company in Handel’s Messiah at Middle Temple Hall and in concert at Wigmore Hall and St John’s Smith Square. Louise is a member of the Frankfurt Opera Ensemble where her roles in the 2016/17 season included Atalanta in a new production of Xerxes and her first Gilda (Rigoletto). She has also appeared in the roles of Zerlina (Don Giovanni) for Glyndebourne on Tour and Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier) in her her début with Welsh National Opera. Forthcoming engagements include Marzelline (Fidelio) at the BBC Proms.
Matthew Truscott is a versatile violinist who shares his time between period instrument music and ‘modern’ performance, appearing with some of the finest musicians in both fields. He is leader of the Orchestra of Classical Opera and The Mozartists, and is also concertmaster of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and one of the leaders of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. In demand as a guest leader, his engagements in this capacity have included projects with the English National Opera, Dutch National Opera, the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, The English Concert, Le Concert d’Astrée, The King’s Consort and Arcangelo. He is also leader of St James’s Baroque and the Magdalena Consort. A keen chamber musician, recent recordings have included a set of Purcell Trio Sonatas with Retrospect Trio, a disc of Bach chamber music with Trevor Pinnock, Emmanuel Pahud and Jonathan Manson, and one of Haydn Piano Trios with Richard Lester and Simon Crawford-Phillips. Matthew teaches Baroque violin at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Alfonso Leal del Ojo
Alfonso Leal del Ojo grew up and received his initial training in Seville. In 1998 he moved to London where he studied at the Guildhall School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music, where he specialized in period instrument performance. He performs regularly with Classical Opera and The Mozartists as principal viola. He has been principal viola of The English Concert since 2006 and tours extensively with them throughout Europe, East Asia and North America. In addition to his work with The English Concert, Alfonso is much in demand with other European ensembles, frequently appearing as a soloist or guest principal. Participating on numerous recordings, many of them award-winning, his recent recording of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 with the Dunedin Consort was selected as both Gramophone Editor’s Choice and Classic FM’s album of the week. Chamber music remains an important part of his life and he often collaborates with Trevor Pinnock, Rachel Podger and many other fine musicians. He plays on a fine English viola by Edward Lewis (1687).
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.