Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Spring

Birds are singing and flowers blossom, trees becomes green and in some parts of the World is already very warm... So, long, cold and snowy winter is over and time of summer concerts is coming.
February and March been very busy and intensive, RLPO had a great success at home and away, CD’s and concerts got great reviews everywhere, all smiles like Hollywood movies! Plus another exciting period of concerts ahead: Till, Petrushka, Shostakovich 6th and Bruckner 7th within 10 days. Swiss tour went very well, and, instead of difficult schedule, quality of the concerts was extremely high (the best orchestra in Migros-serie by the words of organizers!). Beautiful historic halls, cities (particularly sunny Bern) and nature together with big emotional reaction on British music left very positive feelings from this week. Even if at some nights there has been very little time to sleep...
San Francisco is a rare US city with a lot of character in architecture and citizens, I’ve stayed in a hotel opposite Notre Dame de Paris de San Francisco or at least it looks like it. The same square had a copy of Romaine Fountains and a couple of blocks away some parts of Berlin... But altogether it looks very organic and somehow blends into special SanFranStyle. Had a lot of fun playing Grieg concerto together with Simon Trpceski and a lot of drama with Shostakovich 8 (by the way this symphony is next on release from Naxos). Met a lot of Russian members of audience – not surprisingly, because Fort Ross isn’t far away ))) And there are Russian Hill in San Francisco.
Atlanta gave me a warm Georgian welcome with 80-84 degrees during first 3 days; does anybody know how much it in Celsius? Work intensively in such a climate and blossom peach trees isn’t easy (unless you’re working outside!), but Atlanta Symphony had a lot of will to improve and Manfred was great as well as piano concerto. Was a great pleasure to meet Barry Douglas, who’s been many times in Liverpool in a last couple of years, and perform with him first time in Atlanta! By the way, it’s another city planning a new concert hall.
Now back to the Old World, in quiet and villa-geoise Hilversum, rehears for a concert in Concertgebouw this Saturday. Somehow in Netherlands I’m always so nostalgic, perhaps because it’s been a model for Peter the Great when he founded St.Petersburg and hired best Italian artists to build a city on Neva ))) Looking forward to this Saturday, then next week (next season is sealed and it’ll be even better than current one!), then Macbeth, Mahler 3, Shostakovich 5 plus many others...and to the end of July, when I’ll see my original home city again!

51 comments:

Robin said...

Hi Vasily

Welcome back to the old world – with sunshine, flowers and green leaves at long last – and I hope that the Concertgebouw concert goes well. I see you’re conducting something by Victoria Borisova-Ollas, of whom I’ve never heard before. I’ve been looking her up on websites and she sounds a very interesting composer, so I must try and hear some of her music.

Though I’ve never been there, a lot of friends like San Francisco and so I’m glad you enjoyed it because it does sound like one of the most civilized US cities. When you are conducting Eugene Onegin in Paris in September and October, you can think again about the Notre Dame de Paris look-alike in San Francisco. Interesting lives you international musicians lead when you have to conduct in Atlanta to meet Barry Douglas. I have noted what you say about Atlanta planning a new concert hall and hope that we can get some more open debate on the same idea for Liverpool, but the Phil isn’t being very helpful about open-ness.

I see you have about a month between the end of Macbeth at Glyndebourne and the start of Eugene Onegin, so I hope you manage to get all that time back in St Petersburg. You must feel it’s time for a bit of a rest, but before that there are great concerts with you in Liverpool, too, and the new season announcement very soon. Hope that, as you say, next season is even better than this one and the Phil continues to hit new heights, though a season just as good as the present one would be great anyway!

Looking forward to the next Naxos release of Shostakovich 8, which seems to be taking a long time to come!

Best wishes

jill said...

Vasily, fahrenheit to celsius = deduct 30 and divide by two (answer 26c for 82f). Celsius to fahrenheit - double it and add 30 This is approx, but is reliable and recommended by the Met Office.

Robin, the next Naxos CD is due in May, not sure of exact date.

more later

Jill

jill said...

Hi everyone
I thoroughly enjoyed the concert last night, hope those going this evening have as good a time.

There was a further article following Vasily's concert with SFSO in which the orchestra is urged to start courting Vasily now as the replacement for Michael Tilson Thomas, who finishes in five years time...
Did everyone manage to see the Bute Street Symphony on tv? I recorded it and have watched it a few times - it's just fantastsic and I do hope the funding continues.
re. Sefton, I have had a reply from the Labour candidate for MP and also from the Lib Dem local councillor, but not a peep from either of the Tory councillors (one of whom is standing for parliament) so guess who will not be getting my vote, in either election. It is a worry though and we will have to hope that culture in general and the Phil in particular have some very strong advocates who can make themselves heard in the clammer for funding.

Vasily, it will be great to have you back in Liverpool and there are some super concerts to look forward to. Your life is so hectic, I get tired just reading about it.

Jill

Robin said...

Hi Jill

Glad that you enjoyed last night's performances. Such a great programme and an engaging conductor, so I'm really looking forward to tonight and hope there'll be a last minute rush on the box office. Thanks for the date of the next Naxos release. I've tried to find something more precise, but can't, so I'll just have to keep my eyes open!

Didn't see that about courting Vasily as successor to Michael Tilson Thomas ... ominous, but I expect that there are lots of orchestras with capturing Vasily in mind. Can we keep him? We'll have had a good share of him by the time his contract finishes, but I hope that we can try. We'd stand a better chance with a wonderful new hall!

It's great that you keep on at the politicians and we may all have to join in. In Liverpool,we feel sure that they've got the cultural message, but in politics a year is a short time and Liverpool's funding for the Phil is only guaranteed to 2011. I expect the Phil is lobbying hard all the time, but we probably need to be very vigilant - as we head towards 2012, I expect the Olympics will take more and more of the available money.

Best, Robin

janet said...

Vasily -- we over here at Naxos of America are very much looking forward to working that next release, too! We've been talking about it in the office A LOT.

Robin said...

Hello all

Nice to see the support from Janet in Naxos US; I’m really looking forward to the disc.

The concert tonight was very enjoyable, even though I didn’t think that Robin Ticciati had quie got the hang of Tod und Verklärung and the Brahms could have been sparkier. Christopher Maltman was superb in the Kindertotenlieder.

jill said...

I didn't want to comment before you had been to the concert tonight, but I agree with Catherine Jones that Christopher Maltman's voice was drowned out by the orchestra, especially in the final song. The same thing happened a few weeks ago with Kate Royal. Someone needs to sit up in the circle when these singers are rehearsing, as they are clearly not being properly advised about acoustic and volume. I know the acoustic favours the soprano voice, but a problem drawing comment from local and national press needs to be addressed. Apart from that minor irritation, I thoroughly enjoyed the other two pieces and thought Robin Ticciati was excellent. Hopefully, my comment above is making the case for a new hall a little stronger!

The new CD is on the Naxos website, with a somewhat pensive Vasily on the front cover, but no specific date in May shown. I guess it's a good thing Vasily is not supposed to be here this weekend, as he might have to take to a boat to get back from Holland.

jill

Jane. said...

Dear Vasily,

I know its none of my business, but how are you getting to the UK? Its just that I have been watching the BBC News Channel about the volcano. One of the news reporters said that the UK air space might be restricted until Wednesday. On a selfish note, I was looking forward to your concert on Thursday (if its still on).

Good luck!

Robin said...

Jane

The Phil website says concerts are not affected by the flight problems and are going ahead as planned, so I suppose Vasily must have been able to get back from Amsterdam on crowded trains! Good for us, so we can enjoy Thursday's concerts. I'm also going on Sunday before the new season announcement.

Robin

Jane. said...

Hi Robin.

Thanks for the update.

Robin said...

Interesting interview of Vasily by Petroc Trelawney on R3 In Tune this evening. Anyone who didn't hear it may want to catch up on BBC iPlayer.

violin player said...

According to Gramophone Website Vasily has recorded Higdon Concerto with Hilary Hahn for release on DG.

jill said...

I was at that Higdon/Hahn concert at the Phil. The composition itself has won an award I believe, so that should help the CD too and consequently our orchestra and Vasily. Looking foward to tomorrow and the week ahead - very exciting time.
jill

Robin said...

It's great news about the Higdon Concerto recording - I really enjoyed the concert performance at the Phil. So many wonderful things since Vasily arrived!

For this season at the Phil, there are still some wonderful concerts to come (including tomorrow). And on Sunday we'll find out about next season, which Vasily says will be even better than this one. Feeling very impatient to find out!

Robin said...

Just seen on the Phil website that the Naxos disc of Shostakovich 8 is released this coming Monday and is available to pre-order on the Phil website. Vasily was telling Petroc Trelawney yesterday that they're recording the 6th symphony this weekend.

violin player said...

Prom announcment tomarow - wonder what Vasily and RLPO are doing..

Ruth said...

Hello Everybody,

Good to know that you are back on Merseyside Vasily after a very successful 'tour'- Congratulations!
Trust you didn't experience too many problems returning from The Netherlands.

Thanks for the link to Liverpool's Culture Strategy Jill. Although I can appreciate it's content I do not hold out much hope for the development of the Classical Music scene in Liverpool. Clearly, the Phil will continue to be supported but we all know more is needed - maybe,in the current economic situation, the Council cannot find more cash, but I feel that there are other things that could be done in terms of support. Some would argue that Classical Music has always struggled against Popular Culture and I think this is so but I feel we are not in a very good situation at the moment, partly due to the way children are introduced to (and taught) music within our Education System. I have recently met a young boy who is currently studying for his GCSE in Music (a year early). He is really keen to find out about classical music but there is nobody around him to support or develop his interest. I was really surprised to learn that he has never been to a concert, didn't know anything about the Philharmonic Hall and has only heard an Orchestra play over the internet. I understood that all children, especially those studying music, were given the opportunity to attend, at least, a schools concert at the Phil. obviously not. What a shame - could be an opportunity missed! So Robin, I too will be at both Thursdays and Sundays concerts, introducing this young boy to the concert hall on Sunday. I only hope I can get him home and be back in time for the 'launch' at 5.45!!.

I am looking forward to hearing Steven Osbourne play - would love to have heard him play Schubert Duets with Paul Lewis recently at the Wigmore. (of course it goes without saying that I look forward to hearing vasily and the Orchestra). Its good that Shostakovich is being recorded 'live'. By the way did you know the Jennifer Higdon has been awarded the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her Violin Concerto, the recording with Vasily, Hahn and the RLPO is due for release mid September.

Anybody heard anything more about the new hall/old hall debate?. I think there is a hugh cultural and business opportunity in developing a new venue - but you know my views so I won't go on!. Let's all enjoy the rest of the season and look forward to the next (whilst still pushing for a new venue!!!!)

Ruth

jill said...

Hi everyone. I did enjoy the concert this evening. Till the Terrible and Petrushka were definitely my sort of music, very descriptive and thoroughly enjoyable, as the applause at the end indicated. The orchestra were fabulous. I have never heard the piano piece before, I enjoyed it and Steven Osborne was pretty amazing, but it didn't really leave me wanting more. Perhaps when I hear it again on Sunday I will get more from it.

I saw a little of Sasha during the second half. He was watching you very closely, Vasily, and when you turned a page of the score, he turned a page in his own book. He obviously loves being 'you'.

I forgot to take my CDs to be signed, but I have ordered the new one and it will be posted on Monday, release day. Jane, it was great to see you again.

I still have not had a reply from either of the Conservative local politicians, so I can't see any further help coming from Sefton, financial or otherwise.

Ruth, nice to hear from you. I think there is some kind of pass (Young Musician?) for young people learning an instrument. I can't remember if they get in free, but there are certainly financial benefits. I think the Schools Concerts are organised via the school, so it would depend if your particular school was interested.

A new hall is going to need money from beyond Liverpool Council - Arts Council etc. and I don't think we can expect to see much until after the Olympics. Also, I think the Tories are going to abolish the local Development Agencies, so we'd all better vote Labour or Lib Dem!

Violin Player - I read somewhere that they are doing Manfred at the proms, will have to see if I am correct tomorrow. Will everyone be watching the BBC Young Musician finals?

Thanks again, Vasily and the orchestra, for the concert tonight. I really enjoyed it very, very much. Roll on Sunday!
Jill

violin player said...

Vasily is conducting BBC Welsh for BBC young musician final. Should be great.

Titus said...

The new Naxos Shostakovich 8, a symphony of which I already have several recordings, is superbly performed and recorded and really quite extraordinary value.

Looking forward to Vasily's Proms appearance in July with the RLPO and Simon Trpceski!

Jane. said...

Hello,

Sorry Jill that I missed you this afternoon at the preview. I hope you enjoyed your concert and the afternoon tea. I just briefly looked at new season guide and to my horror the student ticket policy has changed. It is now subject to seat restrictions. Have emailed customer services to get a fullier response before I book for the next season. Happy Birthday for Tuesday Jill.

jill said...

Hello. Thanks Jane, yes it was a lovely, although long, day. I had to finish afternoon tea after the season launch! I very much enjoyed the concert today, the Till piece I loved even more than Thursday, very reminiscent of Tom and Jerry! I also enjoyed the piano much more, I think the first time you hear a piece you can't really relax and enjoy it. Shostakovic 6 was excellent, I am really getting into his music now. I believe it was being recorded live.

The new season all looks very enjoyable and Dot and I have already selected 27 concerts at the hall - we'll be broke for six months while we are paying for them. I am furious that I am going to miss the European Opera on 9 April 2011. We met only last Wednesday to arrange our own choir dates for the next year and we chose the same date for our spring concert. Oh Dear (or something like that!) I so enjoyed the earlier performances by this group.
I'm looking foward to Brahms German Requiem in March - my favourite choral work to sing.

Back at the Phil next Saturday, but before then I have Supersing Jazz which starts next Thursday!

Hope you don't end up in the top circle for students, you will need some binoculars!

A funny thing happened today - I was coming up in the lift from Rubato and a lady asked me if I was Jill. I must have looked surprised, then she added "from the blog?". She said she had identified me through a process of elimination. I wasn't sure whether to be thrilled or scared, but she will be reading this, so "hello".
Thanks Vasily and orchestra for today - brilliant, as ever.

Jill

Robin said...

Hello all

It’s a while since I wrote, so some of this stuff will be going back ten days or so! First, I have to agree with Jill on what a pleasurable concert it was on 22 April and I really enjoyed Petruschka. Although Mozart’s not really one of my favourite composers, I’ve always been a fan of Stephen Osborne and it was a pleasure to hear him in Liverpool again after so long – I hope it’s not so long to the next time. We went again for the Sunday afternoon concert and heard Stephen again, but really to catch Vasily conducting Shostakovich’s sixth symphony, which was great of course, as Jill mentioned. It was good too to hear Shostakovich’s Festive Overture, which I didn’t know. Last night the Brahms was sublime and the Bruckner quite fantastic – I can’t get enough Bruckner and we don’t get it very often, so it was a great joy for me. Many thanks to Vasily and the orchestra for some spectacular performances, and still some great concerts to look forward to in the rest of the season as well as in the Summer Pops…

… and then to the next season, which has some incredibly wonderful things too. As Jill says, one of the highlights is the German Requiem, but there are lots, lots more, so my bank balance has taken a huge downwards dive! It will be worth every penny, of course, and as Vasily says, don’t wait to book and find you can’t get a seat! More on Vasily, by the way, in the current issue of The Gramophone.

It’s not just the concerts either. We also keep getting these phenomenal recordings from Vasily and the band, and I absolutely agree with Titus’s assessment of the new disc of Shostakovich 8. We’re joined, I’m glad to say, by the critics and there was an excellent (4*) review in the Financial Times, followed by yesterday’s 5* review by Geoff Brown in The Times. Like others, I have other recordings of all of Shostakovich’s symphonies and it’s interesting to compare them, but I have great difficulty doing that and picking a ‘favourite’. The performances commanded by Vasily, though, always stand at the top of the pile! And so many more to come, including the Higdon concerto some of you have mentioned, which will be a reminder of an excellent past concert.

Going back to Ruth’s message of the 22 April about music education, and Jill’s comment on it, it does seem a huge shame if there are young people who don’t get a chance to develop their interest in classical music or get to the Phil. I hope that the young boy Ruth mentioned enjoyed his concerts at the Phil and that they are the first of many! There are loads of opportunities for young people to get to the Phil now (massive numbers of kids now get to the Phil every year now and the Phil’s learning work is fabulous), but as Jill says a lot still depends upon the enthusiasm of individual schools. The funding issue skews things, of course, and I think that because Liverpool is the main local authority funder, there are much greater opportunities for Liverpool school pupils, Certainly, I think that the Young Musician’s Pass that Jill mentioned is only available to Liverpool residents, so let’s hope that the other local authorities eventually get wise – if more people like Jill would push them, that might eventually help. I don’t know where we are going to get to with politicians and money because none of the major parties has a lot to say about culture, except at the popular end, but we have to hope that funding will at least not be slashed when all these cuts start to happen.

I take Jill’s point about funding in relation to Ruth’s comments about the new hall possibility, but I’m absolutely with Ruth on this one and I think we have to push for it even if we lose. I think I’m going to try and open up the Phil management on this issue soon because it’s gone very quiet since they went public with the redevelopment option.

Best wishes

Ruth said...

Hello Everybody

Fantastic concert on Saturday night - what a Bruckner!. I too enjoy listening to Steven Osborne Robin and I also enjoy Mozart. I note from next seasons brochure that Paul Lewis will be performing all Schubert's solo piano works over the next couple of seasons together with the composers song cycles (with Mark Padmore) Wonderful! I wish they could add the piano duets, with Steven Osborne. Maybe the organisers of the next seasons concerts will read this blog!!.

I am looking forward to next season - some really exciting concerts. It'll be beans on toast for dinner for the next six months!!!.

Robin, the young boy I took to the concert on 25th April was thrilled. It was "absolutely boss", Steven Osborne was "the man" and the Orchestra and Vasily "amazing". He was facinated by Vasily's expressive left hand. I asked him if he would like to attend another concert, he said "absolutely defo"!!...He is not yet fourteen and is just coming to the end of his first year GCSE in Music. He is not learning to 'play' an instrument as such Jill but rather is being taught a couple of pieces on the keyboard ready for the exam. He loves playing Fur Elise (Beethoven) and is thrilled that the harder you'hit' the keys the bigger the sound, which is why I wanted him to hear Steven Osborne play - without 'hitting'! He understands beat and rhythm and is aware of the different periods in the development of classical music. He uses websites to look at instruments and to hear short excerpts of composers works, sadly there is nobody around hime likely to encourage or develop his interest in classical music. What is missing in our system, in my humble opinion, is "the basics" and young people often drift into the popular side of Culture without experiencing or knowing much different. The classical world is somewhat 'short changed' - if the rudiments were taught from an early age then pupils would be better informed when they come to make choices, but, unfortunately, this is the way things are these days. I'm grateful that when I did Music O and A levels centuries ago. things were different!!.

By the way Jill, were you in Rubato before the concert on Saturday - sitting at a small table in the middle and facing the door??.

Thanks Vasily, Orchestra and Choir for Saturdays concert.

Ruth

jill said...

Hi Ruth
I think your young friend should send a short thank-you note to Vasily for the concert and you might find a young musician's pass in the post. Vasily has done it before and as your young man is making great efforts to learn about classical music I am sure Vasily will agree that he is to be encouraged and rewarded with some concerts. The admission price with a pass is £2.
Yes, it was me in Rubato. I am not sure I am in favour of being recognised, I love the anonymity of the blog. I have met Jane but that is all. I do enjoy my quiet hour in Rubato before concerts, it has become part of a lovely evening out.

Robin, thanks for posting, I was wondering where you were. I was looking at the sponsors for the Liverpool show at the Shanghai Expo, all our local authorities except Sefton are in the list. Sefton really are miserable and if Debi Jones is elected as our MP I shall have to move!

I thought the Brahms piece last week was absolutely gorgeous, what lovely music.

I have written to Hope about the lack of handrail down the stairs in the Capstone building, I shall be interested to see what has happened when I attend the next 10:10 concert. How does a new building get passed when it is so dangerous for people with mobility problems?

Gemma Lynch, by the way, has just started maternity leave for a year. If you read this, Gemma, best wishes from all of us on the blog.

I attended the first session of SuperSing Jazz last week and it was fantastic, I had such a great time and Pete Churchill is a great teacher. I was one of 14 tenors, the smallest group (but very select!). I am really looking forward to the concert.

I have sent my subscription in for next season, but as you say, Robin, still some excellent concerts in the current season. I have seven more tickets including the Summer Pops and I am also seeing Harry Christophers' Sixteen at the Met Cathedral next month.

My choir is singing at a wedding on Saturday, five pieces plus hymns, so quite a big "do" and then the Parbold Choral Society in the evening (in the audience).

Thank you, Vasily, for a wonderful season so far and plenty to look forward to as well.

Hope you all get what you want tomorrow and hope it's the same as I want - money for culture!!!!!

jill

Robin said...

Hi again

I thought I’d write because I’m going away for a few days, but I’m looking forward to being back by Thursday for the Beethoven and Schubert concert, which should be really good (same night, I think, that the Classical Brit awards are announced). I went last week to the Hall of Fame concert, which was very enjoyable (though not specially ‘meaty’) with some lovely playing as usual by Jonathan Aasgaard. Is John Wilson the Ant or Dec of the music world?? Seems very pleasant.

Have greatly enjoyed playing the new Shostakovich disc by Vasily and the orchestra, which really is fantastic. Wonderful that it’s getting such acclaim

It was great to hear, Ruth, of the enjoyment that your young friend got from the concert on 25 April, so I do hope that there’s some way for him to carry on going to concerts. It would be terrible if such enthusiasm was lost. It was nice that he heard Steven Osborne so that he could hear non-‘hitting’ playing technique – if he’d heard Peter Donohoe, for instance, playing certain pieces, he might have become wedded to the ‘hit’ technique. Yes, when I was at school centuries ago we also learnt ‘basics’, even if there wasn’t a lot of encouragement to go further, but I’m afraid that these days most teachers I meet seem to have a great grounding in popular culture, but a great ignorance of anything else. That’s, of course, very sweeping and there are of course some wonderful teachers out there, but the British system really does have a deeply embedded bias against culture and not only in the music sphere.

Don’t feel too bad about Sefton Jill! They may be the only Merseyside authority not involved in the Shanghai Expo, but they are far from the only Merseyside authority with a miserable attitude to culture. I just hope that the new administration in Liverpool maintains support for culture and, of course, especially for the Phil. Warren Bradley, whatever his faults, was a key player in keeping up the support for the Phil. Though I’m a Lib Dem voter, I don’t think that Joe Anderson is bad, but what his attitude to supporting the arts is going to be is anyone’s guess and they do have a budget problem. This may be even worse depending on what we end up with for a national government and what level of cuts come in to sort out the financial mess the country’s in. We all know the cuts are coming and we have to trust the Phil management to help steer the Liverpool politicians in the right direction, and to wish them success in negotiations for financial support for the Phil from 2011/12. If it comes to it, we’ll need to start a public campaign.

I haven’t been to The Capstone yet Jill, but am thinking of going to the Turnage 10:10 concert. If I go, and there’s still no handrail, I’ll support your letter to Hope. It sounds very peculiar not to have a handrail.

Best wishes

jill said...

I tried twice today to send a message of good luck for tomorrow, but both were rejected for some reason. Anyway, third time luck, Vasily, so the very best of luck for the Classical Brits tomorrow. Hope you also have a great time conducting the BBC Young Musician final. I have no favourite for this award so I don't mind who wins, but all bets are on you for the Brits! Have a fantastic time at the Albert Hall, it should be a tremendous evening.

jill

Robin said...

Hi Vasily

Many congratulations on the Male Artist of the Year Award at the Classical Brits!! I hope that Jill's good luck helped a little - and may the wards keep flowing. Hope the BBC Young Artist finals go well.

Meanwhile, back in Liverpool you'll be pleased to know that we had another great concert tonight conducted by Leopold Hager, who really showed the tradition he's steeped in. The orchestra was on great form again with some excellent playing and Stefan Vladar gave a marvellous performance of Beethoven's 3rd piano concerto.

Looking forward immensely to your return to the Liverpool podium on 22 May for Mahler's 3d.

Congratulations again, and best wishes.

Ruth said...

Hi Vasily

Many congratulations on your Classical Brit award - well deserved!. Hope you enjoyed the evening.

Have just got in from a great concert from the Orchestra, Leopold Hager and Stefan Vladar; the Liszt encore by Vladar was breathtaking. Glad you also enjoyed the evening Robin.

Again Vasily, Congratulations!. We are very proud of you and your many achievements.

Robin said...

Hi again everyone

Quite a while ago there was a lot of discussion here about the lack of opera in Liverpool and I don't think anyone mentioned the Liverpool Italian Opera Company. I've only heard about it this week and thought some of you would be interested if you didn't already know about it.

The contact is nickhardy2000@hotmail.com and they have a concert of items from popular Italian operas at Liverpool Parish Church on Thursday 1 July at 7.15pm, with tickets at £9.00 (£7.00 concessions, £4.00 children). The organisers say that 'facilities are excellent with toilets in the basement accessible by lift and good on-street parking very close by'.

Luke Thomas said...

Privyet Vasily (and everyone else),

I've been pleased to discover (only recently) Vasily's interest in performing opera in Liverpool, and the interest of many other folk, including those of you posting here. By way of introduction and information, and not for advertising, I'm a semi-professional singer with a touring opera company named Heritage Opera http://www.heritageopera.co.uk. While we don't come into Liverpool I know the MD of the company (Chris Gill) has approached the concert room in St George's hall as a possible venue, but received little response.

Having been a member of both the Welsh Choral and Philharmonic choir (during the exhausting 08-09 season!), as well as the (probably infamous) amateur opera company Una Voce, I know of many professional and amateur singers in and around Liverpool (including the excellent Nick Hardy) who long for the opportunity to hear and be involved in more opera in the city.

Vasily, there are many of us who would support your intentions to bring more opera to Liverpool all the way!


Best wishes

Luke

Robin said...

Hi Luke

I'm sure Vasily will pick up your message sometime in his busy schedule. You probably know that he's busy at Glyndebourne this summer with Macbeth and in Paris in the early Autumn with Eugene Onegin.

Perhaps you've been to the European Opera Centre performances at the Phil, though you seem pretty busty singing and doing a job, and you'll know that next April Vasily's conducting Mendelssohn's Wedding of Camacho with the EOC. Something, but not much for a major city.

In 2008 the EOC's production of Emilia de Liverpool in St George's Concert Room was very enjoyable indeed and it's a wonderful venue that would be great for Heritage Opera. I don't know why Chris Gill didn't get anywhere with St George's, but perhaps it would be worthwhile if he approached Andrew Cornall at the Phil (and perhaps Vasily directly). Andrew's really worked hard and with great success with the Rodewald Society to boost the popularity of chamber music in the Concert Room.

Robin

Mrs H said...

Hi everyone

Just a follow-up to Luke's and Robin's comments about opera in our area. There is definitely a shortage of opportunities around. I can certainly recommend both Heritage Opera and the Liverpool Italian Opera Company, and have worked with Chris Gill and Nick Hardy on a number of occasions (and with Luke too!) Regarding the 'now infamous' Una Voce Opera Company, though, I have been member for about ten years, and there has been some uncertainty about the company of late. However, it is still very much up and running, and would welcome new singers at any time.Unfortunately, due to rising costs, the company is not able to stage a full opera at the present time. However, there are lots of concerts and fund-raising events planned with a view to producing an opera next year. The company is now under new management, and there are quite a few changes going on at the moment. Watch this space!!!!!!

Best wishes,

Clare

Robin said...

I hope these messages get some support for all these noble efforts to give opera a presence in Liverpool. Unfortunately, I'm a lousy singer, or I'd lend vocal support!

Excellent 10:10 concert last night and great to see a big audience, though the Capstone was almost unbearably hot. For those who don't know the venue, give 10:10 a try and I'm sure you won't be disappointed. The Capstone has a fabulous new garden.

If you read this, Jill, this was my first visit and I see your point about the lack of rails in the auditorium and will reinforce the point you made to Hope.

Can hardly wait for Saturday's concert at the Phil.

jill said...

Hi everyone. An exciting time for Vasily with awards and BBC Young Musician conducting. Did you all watch the final? I thought the winner was fantastic, such an accomplished pianist, yet almost a child away from the piano. Definitely a rare talent.

I heard from Hope, Robin, and there will be rails soon. I am advised it is to be done shortly as part of "amendments to finishes and associated cleaning works" so very clearly an add-on. How do buildings get past building regs with this terrible access? I agree about the heat last night, the poor guy on the percussion was rushed off his feet and clearly feeling the strain, he had his shirt sleeves rolled up before the end.

Una Voce are based in Crosby and I know some of the members, including Clare. The other problem for Liverpool, though, is the lack of the Neptune Theatre, once used regularly by amateur companies, including Crosby G&S. More and more Crosby groups are now going to Southport, either the Arts Centre or the Little Theatre.
Is the Neptune still closed or did Liverpool Council find a partner to help with the renovations - does anyone know?

I went to the subscribers' event last Monday and am pleased to say we have got our usual seats for next season. I am really looking forward to Saturday's concert. I hope Vasily does bring the Brits award with him - as requested by Catherine in the Echo! Assuredly another fantastic welcome awaits!

jill

Robin said...

Glad they are going to install the rails, Jill; I agree that it's pretty unbelievable that they weren't installed as a matter of course. Philip Duffy at Hope tells me that all the air conditioning switches were 'on' last night, but it just didn't function. Perhaps it's just a an early glitch that will be sorted out.

I don't know the up-to-date story on the Neptune, but the City Council did promise they'd get a partner and re-open before the end of this year. Of course, we need now to see what the new City administration is going to do, but I hope they don't neglect the Neptune where I remember attending G&S and other things. Like everyone else, they've got budget problems, but they have said they want to continue to build on the City's cultural successes.

An important person (well, we are all important, but you know what I mean) is attending Saturday's concert, so we all need to show even more than usual how much we value Vasily and the orchestra!

Jane. said...

Hello everyone.

It was nice to see Vasily's Classical Brit Award last night (that was very friendly- so thanks). I had such a terrible time getting to the concert that I couldn’t focus on the performance. I got a train near New Brighton which was full of drunks shouting, screaming and smashing the ceiling and the walls. By the time I reached Birkenhead Park, everyone was told to leave the train as one of the windows had been smashed. The next train came and that was so full- it was just awful.

When I got to the Phil- the café was so hot and uncomfortable that I felt so sorry for everyone who had to work in these conditions. After the concert (which got a standing ovation and everyone thought it was fabulous), I got on another Anti-Social train and went home only to find that the water has been turned off! I just wish the water will be back on soon.

It was lovely to see you Jill on Monday and thanks again for the coffee. I hope you enjoyed the concert? Good luck with the super sing in June! I hope the heat at the Phil was too much for you Jill?

Regarding the new hall debate- I would prefer to invest a couple of millions of pounds for a new air conditioning system and keep the hall as it is!

All the best.

Robin said...

Hi all

Sorry that you had such a nasty journey on the train yesterday and that you don't get a repeat of the experience. Hope you get your water back soon too! It's a great pity that you should have had your evening so badly spoiled and missed appreciating how wonderful the performance was.

Seeing Vasily's award was a bonus event at a truly wonderful concert - all of it, but the final movement was amazing. I can't say thank you enough to Vasily, the orchestra, Karen Cargill and the choirs. It's an incredible privilege to share music like this.

It was very warm last night - I always think it's too warm in the hall - but it was quite comfortable compared with The Capstone on Wednesday! The ideal would be a magnificent new hall and to have the present one renovated with adequate air conditioning and other improved features.

Many thanks again for last night's concert.

All best wishes

Robin said...

Was Tim Ashley (Guardian today) at the same concert as me on Saturday? Doesn't sound like it, or perhaps he was overcome by the heat. David Fanning in the Telegraph is decidedly
more appreciative and everybody I've spoken to was amazed by the performance.

Vasily said...

Hello everyone!
Please don't blame critics - their job is very difficult, they need to travel and come to the concerts almost everynight! They need to write something afterwards and show their personal view, which must be different as they think. Plus strict rules about format, language, uniquity, amount of praise/abuse, respect/disrespect and God knows what else! So, their life is very tough and we need to be respectful for them even if it's totaly opposite to what happend in our point of view.
At the end of the day, what we remember is emotional experience from the concert. And let's call Summer back, please!

Robin said...

Hi Vasily

I'm not exactly blaming the critics, but they so often puzzle me! For me, I shall remember the performance and I am greatly enjoying the Mahler journey with you and the orchestra - by the way, though it may not be fair to single people out, the off-stage trumpet and the Principal Tenor Trombone were brilliant last Saturday. Though they are some time away, I shall enjoy Mahler's 4th and 5th, but even more I am waiting for the 6th!

So, the summer's departed and we hope it returns quite soon, especially for your time conducting at Glyndebourne when I hope you'll get at least a little time to see the beautiful Sussex countryside and coast. Looking forward to the last concerts while you're away and to your brief return in July.

Robin

violin player said...

Looking foward to Susana's secret CD with European opera center next month!

jill said...

Hi everyone, just to explain my silence, have been in hospital for past week, but fine now. I have a pain relief device implanted and had a minor op 3 weeks ago to change the battery (for switching on/off) but unexpectedly needed a further op last Monday and then a week on intravenous antibiotics - hence the stay. Am home and fine now, everything working and healing well. I will catch up with the press and the blog and write again soon.

Had to miss Wednesday's concert, but will be at Phil next Saturday.

jill

Robin said...

Looking forward to that, too, Violin Player, as I greatly enjoyed the performance at the Phil. Monday the 7th is the release date I see.

Going back to the critics briefly, I see that The Observer today has a much better review of of Mahler's 3rd.

Sorry to hear of your hospital tribulations Jill; I thought that something must be wrong and am glad all is now well so that you can make the final concert of the season! Last Wednesday's concert (I went on Thursday) was, of course, no fireworks occasion. It was, though, all very pleasant and the Don Juan was most energetic.

jill said...

Hi, i'm sure you are not interested in the state of my health, but can tell you that I am recalled to hospital for yet more surgery, currently awaiting call from bed manager. Hey ho. The equipment is "compromised" so has to come out and then put back again in a month or two.

I didn't think the critics were too bad, I guess they run out of superlatives and we have just got used to high praise all the time!
I am missing this weekend's concert, plus reception beforehand and also missing Supersing Jazz which I am upset about because it is fantastic.

See you all soon. At least this time I am prepared and have enough stuff for about a month! Third time lucky, I hope!!!

Vasily, enjoy Glyndebourne. You certainly have a very busy summer, hope your week in St P in July is still secure!

jill

jill

Jane. said...

Oh Jill- what sad news! I had booked a ticket to see you at the supersing. Hope all goes well!

jill said...

Thanks Jane, I have a ticket for the supersing concert so hope to see you there.

Robin said...

Very sorry to hear about the complications, Jill, and hope that all is well soon.

Best wishes

Robin said...

I just thought I'd mention that last Saturday's concert was very pleasant - another season down, but some good Summer Pops concerts just around the corner - and thanks to Ludovic Morlot, Alina Ibragimova and the orchestra. I enjoyed hearing Barber's Medea: Meditation And Dance Of Vengeance because, though it's said to be one of the composer's most popular works, I'd never heard it before.

Robin

jill said...

Hi all, I am back! Not exactly raring to go, but at home at least. Will be at the Jon Lord and My Fair Lady concerts next week.
Vasily, hope all going well with Macbeth.
jill

Robin said...

Hi Jill

Glad to hear you're back and hope all is well. I'll be at the Jon Lord, but not My Fair Lady, and then White Knights the day after Vasily has conducted another performance of Macbeth!

Like Jill, Vasily, I hope that Macbeth season goes well and that this afternoon's first performance was good.

Robin