City of Sheffield Youth Orchestra, conducted, as always, by Christopher Gayford brings classical music in the city almost to a halt for nearly two months. They present a big Romantic programme, including the Brahms Violin Concerto which is “arguably the most famous concerto in the violin repertoire,” as stated by the publicity for the concert given by one of the finest youth orchestras the country. Bruch particularly, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven may have something to say about that. Martin Cropper will doubtless be a wholly committed soloist in the work, an undoubted masterpiece in its own right, and the lush, epic sounds of Rachmaninov’s Symphony No 2 are also heard, at Ecclesall Parish Church, Thursday (July 24), 7.30pm – £12, £10 concessions, £4 students, available in advance from Sheffield Scene, Surrey Street; the Famous Sheffield Shop, Ecclesall Road; or by phone, 07763 128598.
Ends Sunday, 27 July.
•Only opera performances and music events listed – there is also a free, ten-minute Song at Six at 6pm every day, except Sunday, from the Pavilion Gardens Bandstand with members of the Festival Chorus.
•For details of a comprehensive, star studded Literary Series, see the Buxton Festival website- www.buxtonfestival.co.uk/literary-series/
•Each opera performance is preceded by a free, 30-minute Pre-Opera Talk at 6.15pm in the Pavilion Arts Centre unless otherwise indicated.
•Festival for a Fiver – ticket offer of £5 on all available seats for under-25s. http://www.buxtonfestival.co.uk/how-to-book/special-offers/
Scenes From an Opera, the understudies for Orfeo ed Euridice in the Festival Chorus get a chance to show what they can do. Palace Hotel, Wednesday (July 23), 12-noon – £12.
Fibonacci Sequence, following his solo recital 24 hours earlier, Serbian accordionist Djordje Gajic joins members of the distinguished London-based ensemble, the required forces for Brahms’s Op 54 piano quintet, after performances of Dohnányi’s Serenade for string trio and Dvořák’s Bagatelles for violin, viola, cello and accordion (instead of harmonium). Pavilion Arts Centre, Wednesday (July 23), 3.30pm – £19.
Gloria – a Pigtale, advertised as an opera but, in fact, a satirical music theatre piece, Gloria von Jaxtberg, penned 1992-1994 by the often zany (as here) Austrian composer, conductor, singer and bass player H (einz) K (arl) Gruber to a libretto after his own children’s story by Rudolf Herfurtner. It tells the tale of glamorous sow, Gloria, whose attitude gets her kicked out the pig-sty, almost ending up as sausage on a butcher’s hook before being rescued by her true love, Rodrigo, a wild boar – something along those lines, anyway. Gruber’s score for five singers, nine session musicians, plus harp, mixes jazz with Bavarian folk music. Wagner, operetta among other things and in this Mahogany Opera Group staging, sung in an English translation by Amanda Holden and directed by Frederic Wake-Walker, Gillian Keith is Gloria and Jessica Walker is among the four singers in a multiplicity of parts. Opera House, Wednesday (July 23), 7.15pm; Saturday, 2.30pm (pre opera talk 1.30pm at Opera House) – £15 –£49.
Rozanna Madylus/ Finnegan Downie Dear, resonantly named young mezzo-soprano and pianist with Oxford Lieder connections perform Goethe settings by Schubert – Suleika I, Gretchen am Spinnrade; Schumann – Kennst du das Land? Heiss mich nicht redden; Brahms – Die Liebende Schreibt; Loewe – Meine Ruh’ ist hin (Gretchen am Spinnrade!); and Wolf – Kennst du das Land? plus Dvořák – Love Songs Op 83; Rachmaninov – four songs; and Poulenc – Métamorphoses. Pavilion Arts Centre, Thursday (July 24), 12-noon – £15.
Scenes From an Opera, the turn of the understudies for The Jacobin in the Festival Chorus to show what they can do. Palace Hotel, Thursday (July 24), 3.15pm – £12.
Matthew Jorysz, the second of the two Oxbridge recitals given by an organ scholar from Clare College, Cambridge at St John’s Church, Thursday (July 24), 4.30pm – £10.
The Jacobin, an excellent production, staged by Stephen Unwin, of Dvořák’s unbelievably ignored operatic gem, sung in a faithful English translation by Rodney Blumer by an impressive cast of singers, including Anne Sophie Duprels, Anna Patalong, Andrew Greenan (unless an indisposed Matthew Best has recovered), Bonventura Bottone, Matthew Newlin, Nicholas Lester and Nicholas Folwell. Stephen Barlow is the conductor with the Festival Chorus and augmented Northern Chamber Orchestra. Opera House, Thursday (July 24) 7.15pm; Sunday, 3.15pm (pre-opera talk 2.15pm at Opera House) – £15 –£59.
See ‘A Jacobin in Bohemia’ under FEATURES and REVIEWS
Adrian Butterfield/ Julian Perkins, violin sonatas by Corelli –Op 5 No 1 and Op 5 No 7; Leclair – No 2 in C (premiere livre) and No 4 in A (second book) and Lotacelli – Op 6 No 2; plus three items from Rameau’s Pieces de Clavessin, from the violinist and harpsichordist in a programme entitled Angel and Archangel. St John’s Church, Friday (July 25), 12-noon – £17 unreserved, £19 reserved.
Symphonic Brass of London, a brass quintet of two trumpets, horn, trombone, tuba play arrangements of William Byrd – Gypsies’ Rownde; and Matthew Locke – Five-Part Things for the Cornetts; and, moving forward in time, Victor Ewald (1860-1935) – Quintet No 1 Op 5 (c1890); Janáček – an arrangement of the Kreutzer Sonata string quartet; Joseph Horowitz – Music Hall Suite; George Gershwin – a four-movement Porgy and Bess Suite. St John’s Church, Friday (July 25), 3.15pm – £17 unreserved, £19 reserved.
Orfeo ed Euridice, somewhat scarce staging these days of Gluck’s most popular opera in a production that you are likely to like or hate. With the presence of one of the world’s great countertenors Michael Chance as Orpheus and an impressive Italian soprano, Barbara Bargnesi as Euridice, it is sung in Italian (English surtitles), and with the conductor Stuart Stratford with the Festival Chorus and Northern Chamber Orchestra and Stephen Medcalf as stage director. Opera House, Friday (July 25), 7.15pm – £15 –£59.
Jazz Repertory Company, multi-instrumental sextet offer 100 years of jazz in 99 minutes from New Orleans to Be-Bop, Swing to Latin, Hot and Cool incorporating an A-Z of jazz’s biggest names from Louis Armstrong to Joe Zawinul. Pavilion Café, Friday (July 25), 9pm – £18- Sold Out.
Fibonacci Sequence, rather attractive concert from seven eminent members of the London-based group, including Ileana Ruhemann: flute, Gillian Tingay: harp, Julian Farrell: clarinet, Gina McCormack: violin, perform Mozart – Flute Quartet K285; Bax – Quintet for harp and strings; Crusell – Quintet for clarinet and strings; Debussy – Syrinx; Saint-Saëns – Fantasia for violin and harp Op 124; Ravel – Introduction and Allegro. St John’s Church, Saturday (July 26) 12-noon – £17 unreserved, £19 reserved.
Otello, concert performances sung in Italian (English surtitles) of Rossini’s ground-breaking operatic version of Shakespeare’s Othello in its Malibran Version which means a mezzo-soprano singing Otello, Sara Fulgoni, and the principal tenor becomes Alessandro Luciano as Rodrigo. Kate Ladner sings Desdemona and lesser, though important roles are taken by Nicky Spence (Iago), Carolyn Dobbin (Emilia) and Henry Waddington (Elmiro) with Stephen Barlow conducting the Festival Chorus and Northern Chamber Orchestra. Opera House, Saturday (July 26), 7.15pm – £15 –£45.
See ‘Taming Ferocious Shakespeare’ under FEATURES and REVIEWS
Peggy, Duke & Benny, the Jazz Repertory Company again with much the same sextet of musicians, though playing one instrument apart from the highly noted Georgina Jackson who again appears as trumpet player and vocalist, doubtless voicing some Peggy Lee numbers here. Pianist Nick Dawson should be prominent in Duke Ellington pieces while Pete Long has the task of representing Benny Goodman on clarinet. Pavilion Café, Saturday (July 26), 9pm – £18.
Festival Mass, with Victoria’s Missa O Magnum Mysterium performed by Buxton Madrigal Singers the choice, central music. St John’s Church, Sunday (July 27), 11.15am.
Psappha, first rate Manchester-based contemporary music group represented by Benedict Holland: violin, Sheffield-born Heather Wallington: viola, and Jennifer Langridge: cello, that specialises in performing music by living composers programme, although only one here, Penderecki – String Trio; plus works by Ravel – Sonata for violin and cello; and Beethoven – String Trio Op 9 No 3. Pavilion Arts Centre, Sunday (July 27), 12-noon – £15.
Gillian Keith, the soprano joins the Northern Chamber Orchestra for a Baroque final to the festival directed by artistic director Stephen Barlow, also harpsichord and organ, taking in Handel’s Concerto Grosso Op 6 No 11 and three Bach works, Cantata BWV 209, Sinfonia from Cantata BWV 146 and the Wedding Cantata BWV 210 – listen out for the oboe d’amore in this, it’s Adrian Wilson. St John’s Church, Sunday (July 27), 9pm – £17 unreserved, £20 reserved.
Festive Fancies, what looks like the final ‘Hurrah’ of the Sheffield Lydian Ensemble, director John Kilpatrick (award winners at the 2012 Fringe Festival with Humour in Harmony), a 15-member choir and eight-piece wind ensemble with percussion and keyboards. A little more serious than in 2012 – just! until proceedings arrive at a performance of John Kilpatrick’s Edward Lear suite, The Story of the Jumblies, which here includes Stravinsky’s setting of The Owl and the Pussycat from Jane Ginsborg and George Nicholson, no less. Before it is a miscellany of items: Stanford, Richard Rodgers, Purcell, Pearsall, folk song arrangements, etc, under the heading Reflections and Recollections, doubtless with a liberal sprinkling of light-heartedness and Bong Trees! Buxton Methodist Church, Saturday, 3pm – £7, £3 children, includes programme and post-concert light refreshments (approximately 4.30pm), including Bong Tree biscuits.