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Ethel Smyth (1858 - 1944)

3: The Opera Writing Years

Wednesday 14 July 2004 12:00-13:00 (Radio 3)

Repeated: Wednesday 21 July 2004 0:00-1:00 (Radio 3)

Ethel Smyth's first two operas, Fantasio and Der Wald were very much in the German tradition. She found the inspiration in Britain for her third opera, The Wreckers, on a holiday to the Scilly Isles. It's probably her best known opera, and is the first work on which she collaborated with one of the most personally and professionally influential people in her life, Henry Brewster.

After the first World War Smyth's attitude to opera changed and she moved towards lighter subjects. The Boatswain's Mate, a comedy, was written in 1913-14 and followed by Fete Galante and her last opera, Entente Cordiale, described as a post-war comedy.

In this morning's programme Donald Macleod traces the line of development through these six operas with the help of the conductor and Smyth enthusiast, Odaline de la Martinez.

Duration:

1 hour

Playlist

Prelude to Act 1, The Wreckers
BBC Philharmonic, Odaline de la Martinez
Conifer Classics CDCF 250/1
CD1 Track 1
 
Excerpt from Act 2, The Wreckers
Anne-Marie Owens (mezzo soprano), Justin Lavender (tenor), Peter Sidhom (baritone),
BBC Philharmonic, Odaline de la Martinez
Conifer Classics CDCF 250/1
CD2, Tracks 5 to 8
 
Mrs. Water's Aria from the Boatswains Mate
Eiddwen Harrhy (soprano), Plymouth Festival Orchestra, Philip Brunelle
Virgin Classics 0777 7590222-8
Tracks 7 to 8
 
Two Interlinked French Melodies and the Interlude from Entente Cordiale
Light Symphony Orchestra, Adrian Boult
Dutton Laboratoris CDAX 8016
Tracks 13 to 14




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