The first non-music, non-opera post since I revamped the blog. My blog isn’t the only thing to undergo a facelift, though hopefully my blog’s is for the better compared to this alternative example.
As I trundle up to Norwood Junction of a morning, and back of an evening, my bus takes me up Portland Road. You may know Portland Road, a once-bustling local high street which is now fallen on distinctly hard times. That gives it an immediate heritage interest: there are small traces of its busy commercial past to be found in a series of façades which look, at casual glance, scrappy and irregular. That’s local history. Recently, one of those façades has changed.
OK, so several people have beat me to the ‘yearning for Iernin‘ pun, so something more prosaic had to be drafted in for my reflections on Surrey Opera’s performance of George Lloyd’s 1934 opera. Once again, as with their Thelma last year, this thoughtful company have bravely ventured into relatively unknown repertory and done it proud. (more…)
A new departure, and a pleasingly local one: a sort of ‘insight’ evening held by the London Mozart Players to get the prospective audience for their 7 November concert (and any other interested individuals) ‘under the skin’ of Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No 5. Led by their charismatic conductor for the concert, Hilary Davan Wetton, and marketed under a slightly clunky series banner of ‘GET IN to classical music’, it consisted of just over half an hour of being taken through the parts of the symphony, with orchestral examples, and then a full performance. (more…)
It’s not often there’s an opera premiere in Croydon, particularly not of a lost romantic score by a composer considered to be ‘local’. On Thursday, Surrey Opera unearthed, dusted down, slightly re-worded and presented Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Thelma in the Ashcroft Theatre at the Fairfield Halls. I caught the second of three performances, and found it a bold performance of a musically interesting piece, based around a slightly bonkers plot and saddled with the worst libretto I can recall. (more…)