David Zinman, Khovanskygate, Army Bands, Rameau's Zais
Tom Service talks to conductor David Zinman as he moves on from the Zurich Tonhalle after nearly 20 years at the artistic helm of the Swiss orchestra. He travels to the midlands to review Birmingham Opera Company's 'Khovanskygate' a reworking of Mussorgsky's opera Khovanschina which raises strikingly modern parallels with a Russia divided by powerful conservative forces and growing Westernising influence. Following last summer's report into the future of the British Army Tom learns about the new Army bands which are being set up - the UK's first full-time professional brass bands! He also visits rehearsals and meets the team behind the first UK production of Rameau's opera Zais given by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment 250 years after the composer's death.
The American conductor David Zinman's career has been distinguished by his extraordinarily broad repertoire, strong commitment to the performance of contemporary music and introduction of historically informed performance practice. With a firm passion for teaching he is known for furthering the careers of young musicians and introducing new types of concerts – including some aimed at teenagers which turn into late night dance parties afterwards! As he heads towards the end of his nineteen year tenure as Music Director of the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich Tom Service talks to Zinman about his time with the Swiss orchestra and what the future holds.
More information: David Zinman
Photo: ©Priska Ketterer
BIRMINGHAM OPERA COMPANY: KHOVANSKYGATE
Birmingham Opera Company are renowned for their innovative productions in unusual venues involving members of the local community. Their latest venture is Mussorgsky in a tent in Cannon Hill Park. Director Graham Vick has reworked Khovanschina into Khovanskygate - A National Enquiry, which raises strikingly modern parallels. The story, originally set in 17th century Russia, is now updated to the present day in an unnamed country on the brink of collapse - torn apart by state corruption, religious fanaticism and social inequality. Tom travelled to Birmingham to meet the production team and members of the cast and reviews the production with the musicologist David Nice.
More information: Khovanskygate - Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham until Fri 2nd May
Photo ©Donald Cooper
THE BAND OF THE KING'S DIVISION - THE UK'S ONLY FULL-TIME PROFESSIONAL BRASS BAND
Earlier this month the UK got its first professional brass band. Following last summer’s major report into the future of the British Army a reshuffle of the provision of music within the military body has taken place – of which the introduction of professional brass bands is one element.
Over the next few years the army plans to set-up three brass bands – the first of which, the Band of the Kings Division, based near Preston, is now up and running and rehearsing for their first concert next week. Tom talks to the band’s musical director Captain Justin Matthews and the brass band expert Paul Hindmarsh.
More information: The Band of the King's Division
This year marks 250 years since the death of French composer Jean-Philippe Rameau. To mark this anniversary the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment are performing the British premiere of his opera Zaïs. Known today for its overture - a remarkable orchestral portrayal of chaos and the creation of the universe - Zaïs is an adaptation of Richardson’s scandalous novel Pamela transformed into a tale of romance in an enchanted world of myth and magic rings. The OAE’s performance will feature baroque choreography performed by Edith Lalonger’s Parisian dance troupe Les Plaisirs des Nations – demonstrating how Rameau’s operas featured extensive choreographic sequences. Tom visits rehearsals for this performance and talks to the conductor Jonathan Williams, choreographer Edith Lalonger, soprano Katherine Watson who sings the role of Amour and the OAE’s principal cellist Richard Tunnicliffe.
More information: Rameau's Zaïs - OAE at the Queen Elizabeth Hall - Sun 27th April
Photo: ©Joe Plommer
|Interviewed Guest||David Zinman|