Not one story but three lie behind The Vanishing Bridegroom. Judith Weir‘s latest commission. written specially for Scottish Opera in celebration ofGlasgow 1990. From Popular Tales ofthe W est H ighlamls of 1860 and ( ‘armina (iadeliea of 1900. she has taken The Inheritance. The Disappearance and The Stranger and woven them together to make a continuous piece with the theme of marriage at its core. A short work. only one-and-a-half hours long. The Vanishing Bridegroom is full of wonderfully inventive music. wit and quiet humour. and is immensely enjoyable as a result. Throughout. the score gives a real sense of story-telling. much ofthe text and action on stage being brought further to life in the orchestra pit below.
In the first story. the bride. in a parable on avarice. is robbed in a wood. but is taken home to her husband by one of the attackers. whose guilty conscience overcomes him. The couple become the central characters of the second tale. the one of the vanishing bridegroom. In keeping with the opera‘s blend of the supernatural world and the real world. he disappears into the hillside on the way to register the birth of their daughter. In the third. the daughter. now grown up. is almost married to the devil. but is saved by a passing clergyman.
As the bride/mother. Virginia Kerr
is in fine form. with bridegroom Peter Snipp a worthy partner. Smaller roles are also sung well with some particularly impressive ensemble work from the trio of brothers in The Inheritance. Conductor Alan Hacker. known primarily as a clarinettist. seemed to have the measure of the very busy score with its predominance of wind and brass and menacing timpani. (Carol Main)
The Vanishing Bridegroom is performed by Scottish ()pera at the Theatre Royal. Glasgow, on 26, 27 and 29 November and the Playhouse Theatre. Edinburgh. on 7.\'oi'ember.
ROCK 8: BLUES 31 JAZZ 40 LIGHT 40 FOLK & WORLD 42 CLASSICAL 43
Lillian Boutte's greatest asset as a jazz singer is herversatility. Born in New Orleans in 1949, she began singing in a gospel choir as a child, an important iormative iniluence which she has never lost in her mature style. After a spell studying music therapy at Xavier University in Louisiana, Boutte began her professional career working with rhythm and blues artists like Allen
, Toussaint in her native city.
Throw in the experience at cabaret and Broadway shows like ‘One Mo' Time', and it is easy to see where that versatility springs irom. All of these strands leed into hertraditional jazz work, a iield in which she proved good enough to become the iirst holder of the title ‘New Orleans Music Ambassador’ since the legendary Louis Armstrong, which is not bad company to be in.
l Boutte iormed her touring band The
1 Music Friends in 1983, which included
‘ the reed playerThomas L'Ettiene,
z whom she married the iollowing year.
They have periormed regularly on the international circuit ever since,
including the Edinburgh Jazz Festival, where her powerful voice and ebullient delivery made a strong impact.
, Over in Glasgow, lovers of traditional
jazz singing who can’t make the trip to
Edinburgh for Boutte’s Ferguson Jazz
concert might like to note the
considerable presence of a powertul singer irom a bit nearer home on the same night. Fionna Duncan will lead a concert iocusing on The Ladies oi Jazz at the Clyde Theatre with her own blues-laced version oi the New Orleans sound. See listings. (Kenny Mathieson)
Lillian Boutte, Oueen's Hall, Edinburgh, 2 Nov, 8.30pm.
young Edinburgh-based Leda Trio made up oi 360 players Peter Campbell-Kelly, violin, and cellist Kevin McCrae, along with Katherine Thompson on piano. Following the alter at a Scottish Arts Council grant, the ad hoc periormances since their iormation in Manchester in 1984 at the Royal Northern College at Music are now on a more secure looting, and the lirst of these can be heard on Sunday 4 in Edinburgh and Tuesday 6 in Glasgow, when they play Beethoven (Trio in E flat Op 1), Shostakovich (Op 67) and Schubert (Trio N01 in B ﬂat). ‘We've also got quite a iew ideas ior iuture projects,‘ says Campbell-Kelly, Missing lrom the Scottish chamber music scene over the past iew years has been a regular Edinburgh/Glasgow season irom a piano trio. That gap in the market is now set to be tilled by the
‘includlng making our lirst compact
disc in December, recording several oi
Kenneth Leighton's works and commissioning a new Trio by Edward
Harper, which should be very exciting.’ For 1991, the bicentenary oi Mozart's
death, Campbell-Kelly also has some interesting plans. ‘We're thinking along the lines oi maybe even having a mini-Mozart chamber music iestival, covering solo piano, violin/viola duos, violin sonatas, piano trios, piano quartets, et celera et cetera.‘ All they need now is additional business sponsorship, but with some highly iavourable press reviews and the continuation oi the high standard they have set themselves, the Leda's iuture is looking bright. (Carol Main)
The Leda Piano Trio play at the Queen's
Hall, Edinburgh, on Sun 4 and the Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, on Tue 6.
Poignant, mournful even, but always slow; Galaxie 500 are nothing ifnot consistent, and are championed as current indie greats, being the ﬁrst group to have a record released simultaneously by Rough Trade UK and their German and American arms. Their new LP, This is ()ur Music continues the mood of mesmerising stillness that hung around their debut. Today, and recalls. among others, Neil Young and The Velvet Underground.
The group started out in
Boston, where the large student population buoys up the city‘s rock scene, but singer and guitarist Dean still retains a strong Antipodean twang from his childhood in New Zealand and Australia. ‘There‘s more of the same on the new album. but it has a different sound toit. There’s a couple of different instruments on there, but it‘s not going to shock anyone, Idon‘t think. Some ofthem are slower, some ofthem faster. I‘d say it‘s a little more varied than the last record. But it still sounds like the same band. I think. We‘re stumbling along in the same way.‘
This is the third LP that's been produced by weirdness guru Kramer. who should be coming over to Britain to mix the live sound. Nevertheless. British audiences don‘t need the promise of Kramer's presence to flock to a show.
‘Initially. last year, we were taken aback by our first London Powerhaus show, which was sold out. We were shocked by that. [don't know how many people that is. 400 or so, but we‘d never sold out a show. Well. I guess we had. in Boston. but it was smaller than that. The fans here are very enthusiastic. I think. They buy T-shirts like crazy.‘ (Alastair Mabbott) (ialaxie 500 play the Venue, Edinburgh on Fri2
and Glasgow College of Building and Printing on Sat 3.
34 The List 3h ( )cloltcl' — 8 NM ember l‘Nll