l CITY OF BIRMINGHAM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA The orchestral coup otthe Festival. Four programmes hom the (2680 underthe Inimitable Simon Rattle. Thelrmini-residency kicks ott with Haydn's Creation and includes such gems as Brahms' Fourth Symphony, Usher Hall. Lothian Road (Festival) 225 5756. 22, 23, 25. 26 Aug. 8pm. 26—216.
Carol Main makes her selection ofthe best classical music.
a selection of reviews.
I PAUL OALBRAITH Hot to he missed. Two recitals by this young. Edinburgh-Dom
I OSLO PHILHARMOHIC ORCHESTRA A sure-lire combination—the
guitarist. hailed as -. ,7. ' impeccable Oslo .magnilicenrbythe _ . .o‘gn'dym.‘ MM My % I Philharmonicunder legendaryAndres Segovia. ’ .42.“! - t'r'i..- principalconductorMariss His pmgrammes include 3 V. .I "at" f7 Jansons performing Oovtland galliardsand 4‘ a _ ‘5 .1 5%., 1‘1} fag...” ,;":r;t51\,’.;, .' . Tchaikovsky's Fourth hventy-lourpreludes by “ - y in ‘i?._.;i,:&gl'~z&3} fl"; , ",3. f. ' Symphony and Stravinsky's Manuel Ponce. “‘ ‘ -.. ‘t; "2- «5‘ ‘ Petrushka.
Oueen's Hall. Clerk Street (Fringe) 666 2019.22.23 Aug 6.30pm. £5.50 (£4.50).
Usher Hall. Lothian Road (Festival) 225 5756. 20 Aug. 8pm. 26-9218
Menotti on the Fringe
Penny Ham turns the spotlight on one of Scotland’s lesser-known musical residents.
Who is this century's most performed operatic composer after Puccini? Who is the first composer to have produced operas on Broadway? The answer to both these questions. 2 you may be surprised to hear. is Gain Carlo Menotti. the Italian-born composer who has spent most ofhis working life based in the USA. Having enjoyed considerable success during the Forties and Fifties with operas such as The Medium, The Consul. The Telephone and.
perhaps the best known. Amahland the Night Visitors, in 1958 Maestro Menotti turned his attention to a small bankrupt town in Umbria. Central Italy where he devoted his considerable energies to staging the first Spoleto Festival. This event has gone from strength to strength nurturing international young talent. In fact many of today’s well-known stars have made their debut at Spoleto and the long list of participants over the last thirty-three years reads like an international ‘Who‘s Who‘ of the
Performing Arts. From Spoleto Festival (now called ‘Festival ofTwo Worlds‘) grew ‘Spoleto Festival USA‘ in Charleston. South Carolina, and Menotti continues to be Artistic Director of both events.
It may seem strange then that Gian Carlo Menotti. a household name in Italy and the USA. is still relatively unknown here. Stranger still when you consider that for more than a decade he has lived only half an hour's drive from Edinburgh. Well. we will probably be hearing more about Menotti in the near future because he now has plans to convert a stable block into a theatre school at his home in Gifford. . . Watch this space!
Don‘t miss the chance to see two of Menotti‘s short operas performed by the London based company Opera Shop. a dynamic new force on the chamber opera scene.
I The Medium/The Telephone (Fringe) Opera Shop. Hill Street Theatre (Venue 41). 225 7294. l4~26 Aug (not Suns) 10.45pm—12. 15am. £4.50. £4. £3.50.
This is a stunning production from the same team that gave us the splendid Magic Flute. Aida and Turandot in recent years.
Composed in 1904 in response to Oscar Wilde‘s play. the opera examines the conflicting and uncontrolled emotions of Salome and their effect on those that surround her. Musically. Strauss exactly mathes these emotions. and the whole is magnificently caught in this production.
The Opera‘s main characters are sustained by a combination of consistently excellent singing and acting; special mention must go to Susan Bisatt's Salome. John Rath’sJochanaan and Kenneth Woollam‘s Herod.
The cast is strongly supported by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra which. under Musical Director Kirsten Nerbc. has equally caught the moods of this music and
‘ ‘ ._ created some often superb effects.
It is from Director. Claes Fellbom. however. that the overall drive and impact of the production
3 comes. lleightened bythe . setandlighting.differing and often disturbingideas
are thrown at the audience in a variety ofways. Salome‘s lust for Jochanaan and the horror of her macabre demands are realistically portrayed
— be prepared to be and the Festival Chorus shocked! (Alison Prain) rose to the occasion
I Salome (Festival) splendidly. with never a Festival Folkopera. Leith Morningside accent in any
Theatre. until 19 Aug. 7.45pm.£3—£9.5().
NATIONAL ORCHESTRA 0F SPAIN
After the second ever performance of Manuel de Falla‘s unfinished (.‘wttata A rlantida. a rather tame curiosity. it was a concert performance of his opera La Vida Breve which provided a night oftruly Spanish passion and a suitably festive curtain raiser to this year‘s Festival. Ifat times a little over-eager. the orchestra was kept admirably in check under the authoritative baton of Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos. a commanding figure who conducted the entire evening from memory. All-Spanish soloists conveyed the nuances of the tragedy with verve and passion
oftheir peasant outbursts. However. it was the virtuoso castanet playing and stunning Flamenco dancing of Lucero Tena. a lady with an accomplished sense of the dramatic. which brought resounding bravos from a delighted audience. (Stephen Strugnell) Run ended.
MASTER PETER’S PUPPET SHOW
Returning after the interval. audience and reviewers alike are accosted by members of the cast. replete in the gloriously grotesque masks (such a feature of this production) extolling both the virtues ofthe show and the beauty ofthe usherettes. Falla originally conceived the work as a puppet opera. with larger puppetstaking the singing roles and smaller puppets for the play within the play. Here though. the National
Youth Music'l‘heatre replace puppets with children.
In a brilliant production gambit by directors John Wright and Jeremy Taylor. a chorus ofolder children in half-masks are set alongside a fully masked chorus ofyounger children. The idea works superbly well. and results in a lively. colourful and above all highly entertaining show from an
excellent group of extremely versatile youngsters. Present in the first night audience. Madame de Falla. the composer's niece. was
entranced. (Stephen Strugnell) l Master Peter's Puppet Show (Festival) National Youth Music Theatre. George Square Theatre. 225 5756. Until 26 Aug 4. 15pm. mat 20Aug. 2pm. £6(£3).
Viennese classics including QUARTET Following the Hardn’s Seven Last Words triumphant success at last and Schubert's Death and year's visit when they the Maiden quartets. per‘lormed the complete : Oueen's Hall. Clark Street Shostakovich cycle. the 5 (Festival) 558 2019- 15.17. Ouartet return with a varied I 184.108.40.206 M10118"). diet of Russian and l SIS-£8.
The List 18 — 24 August 198941