In This Programme
GILBERT & SULLIVAN
The mention of Gilbert and Sullivan provokes strong reactions. For loyal aficionados, G&S exemplifies the best in opera and music theatre. For others, the thought of enduring a production of the Mikado makes Chinese water torture seem appealing. Yet, amateur G&S societies continue to spring up all over the world, and professional performances are directed and conducted by top names in theatre and classical music, including Jonathan Miller and Sir Charles Mackerras.
So, what drives the continued success of this distinctive duo? The historian A.N. Wilson and fast-singing baritone patter-man Richard Suart explain the appeal. Members of the Kings College London G&S society share their enthusiasm as they prepare for their own amateur production of The Gondoliers. And Tom is joined by the author Philip Hensher and the G&S scholar Ian Bradley to discuss their conflicting perspectives on the enduring appeal of the Gilbert and Sullivan alchemy.
English National Opera's new production of the Gondoliers opens on Nov 18th at the Coliseum.
The New York-born conductor David Zinman makes his mark on the orchestras he works with. He turned the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra into a powerhouse of new American music, and since 1995, he has made Zurich's Tonhalle Orchestra into one of the world's most exciting ensembles through their critically acclaimed recordings of Beethoven, Strauss, and Mahler. Zinman's trailblazing series of 'Tonhalle Lates' for young people programmes classical concerts followed by DJs and bands for the under 30s. Tom talks with Zinman about his attitude towards audiences and his plans for concerts exclusively for OAPs.
David Zinman conducts the LSO with Alfred Brendel in Mozart's Piano Concerto No 25 and Mahler's Ninth Symphony at the Barbican on Sunday 19th November.
Volume one of John Tyrrell's new Janacek biography covers the first 60 years of the composer's life (1854-1914) and is a vast and detailed exploration of the connections between his life and music. Tyrrell cites the occasion of Janacek's daughter's death at the age of 20 as the point at which the composer completed his first great opera, Jenufa. Tom is joined by the composer Steve Martland and the Czech music specialist Jan Smaczny to assess Tyrrell's achievement, and extracts from the book are read by the actor Ivan Marevich.
Janacek: Years of a Life, The Lonely Blackbird, vol. 1. Pub. Faber. Hb. £60.