Gluck: Bauci e Filemone / Orfeo

Intro

We return to Southbank Centre for an enchanting pair of Gluck operas based on stories recounted by Ovid in his famous Metamorphoses. Both originally formed part of Le feste d’Apollo, a triple-bill composed 250 years ago to celebrate the wedding in Parma of Ferdinand, Duke of Parma and grandson of Louis XV, to Maria Amalia, Archduchess of Austria and daughter of the Habsburg Empress Maria Theresia.

The first of these one-act operas, Bauci e Filemone, portrays the god Jupiter rewarding a young Phrygian couple for an outstanding act of kindness, while the second is a reworking of Gluck’s celebrated Orfeo ed Euridice, considered by many to represent ‘the birth of modern opera’ and premièred in Vienna on the night before the six-year-old Mozart first came to the city in 1762. This intriguing 1769 revision adapted the role of Orfeo for a soprano, and is here receiving its UK première.

Cast List

Ana Maria Labin
Soprano

Ana Maria Labin was born in Romania but grew up in Switzerland, where she studied at the Conservatory in Zurich. She performed in Classical Opera’s 2015 'Mozart in London' Festival at Milton Court, and has also appeared with the company in the role of Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) at Cadogan Hall in 2016, and in concert in Prague as part of a Martin Randall Travel tour. Opera roles have included Valenciennes (La Veuve Joyeuse) for La Scala, Milan and Opéra de Paris Garnier, Arminda (La finta giardiniera) at Aix-en-Provence, La Contessa (Le nozze di Figaro) for Opera North, Prague National Opera and Opéra Royal de Versailles, Najade (Ariadne auf Naxos) for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Armida (Rinaldo) and Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) for Glyndebourne on Tour, Baroness Irene (La vera costanza) at Haydnfestspiele Brühl, and Donna Anna at the Drottningholms Slottsteater in Sweden, for Glyndebourne On Tour, and at the Opéra Royal de Versailles. In 2011 she sang in the prestigious Staatskapelle Dresden Silvesterkonzert (New Year’s Eve Concert) in the Semperoper Dresden, which was broadcast on the German TV channel ZDF and released on CD and DVD by Deutsche Grammophon.

Susanna Hurrell
Soprano

Susanna Hurrell trained at the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio. She has received numerous awards, including the Miriam Licette scholarship and the Peter Hulsen Orchestral Song, Countess of Munster and Sybil Tutton awards. In 2013 she was awarded the Grange Park Opera Aria Prize at the Hampshire Singing Competition. She made her Classical Opera début in 2013 singing the role of Cephisa in the UK première of Telemann’s Orpheus at the London Handel Festival, and has since appeared with the company in ‘La canterina’ at Wigmore Hall and at the 2016 Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria, and in chamber concerts in Eisenstadt and at Stamford Arts Centre in Lincolnshire. Other roles include Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi) at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Despina (Così fan tutte) at Opéra de Limoges, Norina (Don Pasquale) at Longborough Festival Opera, Cephise (Pigmalion) with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Nymph (Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo) with the Royal Opera at the Roundhouse, Erisbe (Cavalli’s L’Ormindo) with the Royal Opera at the Sam Wanamaker Theatre, Governess (The Turn of the Screw) in a co-production with Nevill Holt Opera, Northern Ireland Opera and Moscow’s Kolobov Novaya Opera Theatre, the title role

in Rodelinda, Rossane (Alessandro) and Amarilli (Il pastor fido) for the London Handel Festival, and Serpetta (La finta giardiniera) for Opera de Baugé. She appeared in David Starkey’s television documentary ‘Music and Monarchy’ for the BBC, and she has recorded songs by composer Gordon Carr with trumpeter Simon Cheney and pianist Sebastian Wybrew, which are featured on the album ‘An English Trumpeter’.

Rebecca Bottone
Soprano

Rebecca Bottone studied at the Royal Academy of Music, and was one of Classical Opera’s inaugural Associate Artists. Her appearances with the company have included Sabina (Adriano in Siria), Sifare (Mitridate, re di Ponto), Servilia (Gluck’s La clemenza di Tito), Melia (Apollo et Hyacinthus), Despina (Così fan tutte), Elisa (Il re pastore), Semira (Artaxerxes) and Worldly Spirit (The First Commandment), as well as numerous concerts at Wigmore Hall and Kings Place. She sings the role of Semira on the company’s recording of Artaxerxes and also appears on ‘The A-Z of Mozart Opera’. Other roles and engagements include Queen Tye (Akhnaten) for English National Opera, Blonde (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) for the Aix-en-Provence Festival and Scottish Opera, First Innocent (world première of Birtwistle’s The Minotaur), Maid (Ades’ Powder Her Face) and First Niece (Peter Grimes) at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Cricket and Parrott (world première of Dove’s Pinocchio) for Opera North and Minnesota Opera, Tytania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) for Garsington Opera, and Hugh Wood’sEpithalamion at the BBC Proms. Recordings include the role of Cis in Albert Herring with Richard Hickox and EMI, and two Rossini roles for Opera Rara: Eurice (Adelaide di Borgogna) and Cleone (Ermione). She appeared in the BBC documentary ‘The Genius of Beethoven’, David Starkey’s ‘Music and Monarchy’ and in Steven Poliakoff’s acclaimed film Capturing Mary.

Update on 3 July 2018

Rachel Kelly
Mezzo-soprano

Rachel Kelly is a graduate of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden’s Jette Parker Young Artist Programme where her roles included Zaida (Il turco in Italia), Javotte (Manon), Mercédès (Carmen), and Pisana (I due Foscari). She made her Classical Opera début in 2015, singing the title role in their acclaimed performance of Jommelli’s Il vologeso. Opera highlights include Mirinda in Kasper Holten’s L’Ormindo, Proserpina (Orfeo) at London’s Roundhouse, Idamante (Idomeneo) for Opera di Firenze, and Annio (La clemenza di Tito) for Glyndebourne Festival Opera. She also has an active concert career, and has appeared with the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, at the Internationale Händel-Festspiele Göttingen under Laurence Cummings, and at the Leeds International Concert Season. A native of Ireland, she studied at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, London’s Royal Academy of Music and the National Opera Studio.

Gwilym Bowen
Tenor

Gwilym Bowen has an established specialism in earlier repertoire, which has brought a number of significant débuts. Highlights on the concert platform have included Johannes-Passion with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and BBC National Orchestra of Wales under John Butt, Messiah with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra under Stephen Layton, Bach Cantatas at the Lincoln Centre with Masaaki Suzuki, and Monteverdi duets at the Edinburgh International Festival with the Dunedin Consort. Forthcoming engagements include Monteverdi’s Vespers at the Three Choirs Festival, Handel’s Brockes-Passion with Concerto Copenhagen on tour in Hamburg, Amsterdam and Utrecht, and Matthäus-Passion with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra under Stephen Layton.

Updated 3 July 2018

Gwilym Bowen website

Ian Page
Conductor

Ian Page is the founder, conductor and Artistic Director of Classical Opera and The Mozartists. He began his musical education as a chorister at Westminster Abbey, and studied at the University of York and the Royal Academy of Music. Before founding in Classical Opera in 1997, he worked on the music staff at Scottish Opera, Opera Factory, Drottningholm and Glyndebourne.

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, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte and La clemenza di Tito. He has also conducted the UK premières of Gluck’s La clemenza di Tito, Telemann’s Orpheus, Jommelli’s Il Vologeso and Haydn’s Applausus, 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 has devised and conducted numerous recordings for Classical Opera, including ‘The A-Z of Mozart Opera’ and ‘Blessed Spirit – a Gluck retrospective’ (both selected for Gramophone magazine’s annual Critic’s Choice), ‘Where’er You Walk’ with tenor Allan Clayton and ‘Perfido!’ with soprano Sophie Bevan (both shortlisted for the International Opera Awards in 2016 and 2017 respectively), and ‘Mozart in London’, which was recorded live during Classical Opera’s festival of the same name at Barbican’s Milton Court in 2015. In 2012 he embarked on a new complete cycle of Mozart opera recordings, aiming to record all of Mozart’s stage works over the course of twenty years . He is the creator and driving force behind MOZART 250, a ground-breaking 27-year journey through Mozart’s life, works and influences, and in 2017 he founded The Mozartists to facilitate the company’s ever-expanding concert work.

He is widely recognised for his work in developing talented young singers, and is in demand as a vocal coach. He serves on the coaching staff for the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House and for the Royal College of Music, and provides bespoke training to young singers through Classical Opera’s Associate Artist Scheme.

Updated 3 July 2018

Ian Page website

The Mozartists
Orchestra

Comprising some of the leading players from both the UK and further afield, The Mozartists have won widespread acclaim from public and critics alike. They play on period instruments, and perform symphonies and concertos as well as operas.

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