All tagged David Butt Philip
This one act seven scene version of modest Musorgsky’s Boris Godunov is incredibly powerful in its own right, but when it is cast with an outstanding group of singers the musicality is hugely enhanced, as was the case on this night – even if there was not a complete Russian born cast.
In 1958, Benjamin Britten was asked to write a work for the consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral – the old one had been bombed and destroyed in 1940 and hundreds of people had died. Britten decided that this work would commemorate the dead of both World Wars and his text combines the traditional Latin Mass for the Dead, with fairly dour poems by Wilfred Owen. After its premiere in 1962, Shostakovich regarded Britten’s War Requiem as ‘The greatest work of the 20th century’ and indeed it was universally hailed as a masterpiece.
If this is how the Royal Opera House is starting 2018, then we are in for a vintage year.
Oscar Wilde’s original French play Salome, translated into German all in one Act, is just under 2 hours of intense brutality and unyielding musical brilliance, built on a theme of eroticism and murder. It was first performed in Dresden in 1905 and Gustav Mahler himself wanted to conduct the opera in Vienna, but in fact the censors refused consent and did not relent until 1918. It was initially banned in London until performed at Covent Garden under the baton of Thomas Beecham in 1910.