rare opportunity to hear George Macfarren's cantata, May Day (1856)
at Hayes Parish Church, Hayes St, Bromley, Kent BR2 7LH on Saturday, 25
April 2015 at 7.45pm. Sir George Macfarren was a leading English
composer who wrote the operas Robin Hood (recorded by Victorian Opera
Northwest) and She Stoops to Conquer was principal of the Royal Academy
of Music following Sterndale Bennett.
If you are interested in taking part then please see their website www.hayeschoir.co.uk or contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org, 07989 192928 or on twitter (@hayeschoir). Hayes is easily accessible from central and south London and north west Kent.
Shore & Sea
The recording of Arthur Sullivan's forgotten cantata, On
Shore & Sea (1871) together with the masque Kenilworth (1864) was released in July 2014 on
Dutton CDLX 7310, conducted by Richard Bonynge, AC CBE. Soloists Sally Silver,
Nico Darmanin, Louise Winter, Donald Maxwell are joined by the John Powell
Singers. See here for details of these
William Balfe's Satanella
This second Balfe opera by Victorian Opera
Northwest is being recorded in July 2014 with Sally Silver, Kang Wang,
Catherine Carby, Trevor Bowes, Anthony Gregory, Francis Church, Christine Tocci
and Elizabeth Sikora, with Richard Bonynge conducting.
The story is based on Cazotte's story Le
Diable Amoureauz which was first turned into a French ballet. The opera was
first presented by the Pyne Harrison Opera Company in London at the Royal
English Opera, Covent Garden in 1858 where it was well received by the critics and
audience for its fine melody: six encores were demanded on its first night.
Composed in the late period of Balfe's career as an opera composer, its
melodramatic story where evil is overcome by a strong religious faith was
particularly enjoyed by the Victorians. It is interesting to note that the
opera was followed a year later by Gounod's Faust, written on a similar
theme. Some of the ballads became firm favourites for many decades.
orchestra of Victorian
Opera Northwest under Richard
Bonynge have recorded a number
of Victorian English opera
overtures and they are now available
CD 0123 : British Opera Overtures.
More detail on the content
can be found here.
The Beauty Stone
This Chandos recording (CHAN 10794 (2))
with the BBC National Orchestra of
Wales under Rory Macdonald
is the first fully professional recording of the opera and features Elin
Manahan Thomas, Toby Spence, Rebecca Evans, Catherine Wyn-Rogers and Alan Opie.
for more details.
Opera Northwest's recording
of Macfarren's Robin
been released on Naxos
France in a MusicWeb
International review wrote
is a CD that all opera fans ought to have. Some people will ignore it
simply because it was written by an Englishman during Queen Victoria's reign.
They would be utterly misguided to do so. This is a great work; possibly the
composer's masterpiece and is a light opera (not operetta) that can hold its
best up against anything offered by the Italians and the French and the Germans
from the same period."
Further details on the recording may be found here.
Northwest are grateful for and rely on the contributions from sponsors who make
these ventures possible. A tremendous amount of work is necessary to resurrect
these works from oblivion and to create fresh scores and parts and sponsors and
subscribers are needed to help meet all the costs. Sponsors' details will be
printed within the CD booklet and they will receive advance complimentary
copies. Please contact
us if you are interested in contributing.
We are very happy to welcome soloists and conductors interested in this genre to join us and take part in the recordings.