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Last week we made our annual appearance at the BBC Proms, as part of the Glyndebourne Prom, a semi-staged performance of Handel’s Rinaldo. Here’s what the reviewers and bloggers made of it:

Guardian

Music OMH

Classical Source

The Times (subscribers only)

Gramophone

Seen and Heard

There are some pictures from the Prom on the Proms Facebook Page here.

I’ve set a timer for 60 seconds to write down everything i can think of about the orchestra’s trip to Warsaw now that we are almost half way through (this may be a test of how fast I can type!). Ready, steady, go:

Nice to have some good weather – makes a bit of a change from Edinburgh
Hotel is AMAZING – 5 stars
Enjoyed my swim in the pool this morning (had it all to myself)
Don’t jay-wallk in Poland!
Polish people are so weloming
… but boy do they seem to like those little rat dogs.
Concert venue is amazing – audience and orchestra are all on stage in the Opera House.

Ok, so that was 1 minute 13 seconds and a whole load of typos that I had to go back and change (although not as many as I originally thought as the spell checker seems to be in Polish!).

More when we are back, first concert with Vladimir Jurowski is tomorrow night!

Photos are: of the venue – acutally on the stage of the Opera House, with the safety curtain down sectioning off the auditorium; The Old Town Square; some loos that said ‘Toi toi’ on them!!! (Ed – traditionally you say ‘toi toi’ to someone to wish them good luck as they go on stage) ; the front of Polish National Opera

Megan Russell, Projects Manager

We’re really excited to be part of the Edinburgh International Festival and are taking our tour with the brilliant Vladimir Jurowski to the Usher Hall tonight where he’ll be conducting a programme of Weber, Liszt’s dramatic Faust Symphony and Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E with Alina Ibragimova.

Here’s a taster of what’s to come tonight, plus why the OAE can be compared to a very famous cat and mouse duo…

 

Tickets for the concert can be bought online or by phoning the EIF Box Office on 0131 473 2000.

Phone with knife in itDa-da-duh-duh, da-da-duh-duh, da-da-duh-duh-duuuh

Brrrrr-brrrr, brrrr-brrrrr

No I’ve not gone mad, I’m just re-enacting all the interruptions from the bustling audience in San Sebastian on Tuesday night. Having experienced this in the UK a number of times (we all remember the infamous incident at the BBC Proms a few years ago, when the bassoon solo at the start of the Rite of Spring was interrupted by the Nokia ringtone – and the conductor very rightly decided to start the piece again!), we experienced Tuesday night that Spanish audiences have the same addiction to being contactable for 24 hours a day. Personally, I just don’t get why people can’t turn their phones off for the 2 hours of a concert – would you leave your phone on in the cinema?  Plus once you’d seen how embarrassed the first offender was when their phone went off after the opening of Weber’s Der Freischütz Overture, why wouldn’t you madly check in your bag that your phone was well and truly silenced?  This must have happened about 5 times yesterday throughout the entire length of the concert! (To be fair the woman behind me did this, and spent at least 5 minutes loudly fishing around in her bag for it).

Other than the rude interruptions I can confirm that it was a stunning concert, and the orchestra did a herculean job after what must have been one of the most shattering travel days in recent history (Very early flight to Bordeaux, 3 hour coach journey, straight into rehearsal, concert, brief sleep, 6am coach back to Bordeaux…)

Let’s hope the Edinburgh audiences on Friday leave their phones at home!!

Oh and while I’m at it, why is it always the Nokia Tune?!

Ceri Jones, Projects Director

There are two weeks to go until our first ever Night-Shift-in-a-pub on 8 September. Here’s a little video preview. If you watch it and are subsequently desperate to buy tickets you can do that here. By the way, does anyone know what the background music is? It’s insanely catchy…

Better late than never, here’s the recording of our pre-concert talk from our 4 June concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. For this talk we were joined by Sarah Bardwell, director of the Handel House Museum, who talked about Handel, and musical life in London during his time.

Yesterday saw day three of rehearsal for our tour to San Sebastian, Edinburgh and Warsaw. We were at Henry Wood Hall in Borough, one of the busiest Orchestral rehearsal venues in London. It’s a beautiful building, a converted church in a perfect Georgian Square. We were there rehearsing the Mendelssohn concerto with violinist Alina Ibragimova, which we’ll also be going on to record once the tour is finished. Here are a few pictures from the rehearsal.

It seems appropriate to tell you now (as we are currently, as I type, rehearsing with him) that a DVD of the OAE and conductorVladimir Jurowski has just been released. If you’re a regular OAE-goer you may remember him kicking off our Beethoven series back in January last year with a blazing performance of Symphonies 4 and 7. We later performed No.7 at the Roundhouse as a Night Shift, but after those two performances we went on to Paris and gave the concert again. There it was streamed live and that recording has now been released on DVD. It’s shot (to my mind at least) in a a really exciting way, so you often feel like you’re really inside the Orchestra, and it’s fascinating watching Vladimir, his expressions  and his cues to the Orchestra – not something you often see when you watch a concert from the audience. You can get a taster of the DVD on the clip below:

 

The DVD is available now, from, as they say, all good shops. Of course, the BEST shop is the OAE website, and you can buy it through us here. Our shop will be much improved when our new website goes live. More on that soon…

William Norris, Communications Director

While on tour in Holland earlier this year we set OAE Projects Manager Megan Russell a challenge. She’d taken our little camera with her to take footage – but could she somehow find a complete A-Z of things in the tour?

Here’s the result, and we have to admit that its one of our favourite videos. Particular highlights include E for Enclosing Dyke and B for ‘is it Broken?’…

Enjoy!

Later this week we’re reunited with our Principal Artist, Vladimir Jurowski to start rehearsals for a tour with him. The first two dates of the tour take in San Sebastian and Edinburgh (for the festival), with a programme of Weber, Mendelssohn (the violin concerto with Alina Ibragimova) and Liszt’s epic Faust Symphony. While you may know the Weber and Mendelssohn, you may well not know the Liszt, so we’ve put together a Spotify playlist of the entire programme for your listening pleasure. More on the tour in due course…

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