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As you may have seen, inbetween performances at Glyndebourne this summer we have been jetting off to particpate in another of Europe’s great summer music festivals – the Salzburg Festival. There we’ve been performing Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, with conductor Robin Ticciati – with the run finishing this weekend just gone. Here’s what some bloggers made of the production and performance:

Intermezzo

Jamilton

I Hear Voices

When I tell people that I work for an Orchestra and occasionally get to accompany them on tour, they often get very excited and say, ‘ooh isn’t that glamorous’…

Erm… well in a word, not always!  (editor – that’s two words!) This past weekend I was lucky enough to accompany the OAE on one of their 4 trips out to Salzburg to play in the festival’s production of The Marriage of Figaro. I definitely drew the short straw with this one – one of those blink and you’ll miss it 24 hour trips, but I did get to enjoy some stunning opera in one of the worlds classiest and distinguished music festivals so it can’t have been all bad.

Do the negatives cancel out the highlight?  What do you think to this chain of events??

The glamour scale…

Saturday morning aka usually my weekend.  Alarm fails to go off so I have approximately 5 minutes accompanied by sheer panic to get dressed and leave the house (minus).

Arrive at Heathrow Terminal 1, along with the rest of the UK as it’s the first day of the school summer holidays.  Spend ages queuing to check in, then helping to sneak OAE players to the front of the queue and the bag drop so we don’t miss our plane (minus).

Finally, through security and time for a coffee with our orchestra manager, Philippa, Press Manager Katy and the 2 Tony wind players (plus).

Onto the plane, jam my bag in the overhead locker and settle in to my seat, with my free copy of the Daily Mail…(editor – double minus) I’m sandwiched in the middle of a 3. Surrounded by screaming children (minus).

Offered a skanky egg sandwich (minus). Read the rest of this entry »

The OAE is currently in the middle of a run of Don Giovanni at Glyndebourne, the first of two operas we are performing there this season (the other being Rinaldo). The production of Don Giovanni premiered last summer when it was conducted by our Principal Artist and Glyndebourne Music Director Vladimir Juorwski. This season Robin Ticciati has taken over conducting duties, but we thought you might still be interested in this video from Glyndebourne in which Vladimir talks about the opera and which also includes some exclusive rehearsal footage.


Wow, Glyndebourne always arrives sooner than you expect – hard to believe we are now three performances in there, with the fourth tonight. Our first opera there is a revival of last season’s production of Don Giovanni. Last year’s performances were conducted by Vladimir Jurowski (we’ll post a video of him talking about the piece soon), but this year Robin Ticciati is at the helm. Here’s a selection of reviews from the opening night.

Guardian
The Arts Desk
Independent
Observer
Financial Times

A few pictures snapped by our Intern Georgina of the OAE in rehearsal last week with two conductors – Roy Goodman rehearsing us at the Queen Elizabeth Hall for that evening’s performance of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, and Robin Ticciati at the helm in rehearsal for Glyndebourne’s Don Giovanni.

With a rather tired team back in the office today it seems like an appropriate time to point you in the direction of this old p0st.

The Orchestra is really extraordinarily busy at the moment, so they’re also probably feeling a little tired – here’s a run-down of what we’ve been up to this week:

Monday: Rehearse for Fidelio performance at the Brighton festival
Tuesday: More rehearsals for Fidelio
Wednesday: Afternoon rehearsal, and then 7pm and 10pm concerts with Roy Goodman and Artur Pizarro at the Queen Elizabeth Hall
Thursday (today!): First rehearsal for Glyndebourne’s Don Giovanni with conductor Robin Ticciati, plus our AGM
Friday: More Don Giovanni rehearsals
Saturday: Fidelio Rehearsals
Sunday: Fidelio Rehearsal and performance at the Brighton Dome

Phew! And then the following week we have more Don Giovanni rehearsals, plus rehearsals for and performance of Mozart Requiem with the Bach Choir…

William Norris, Communications Director

We seem to have done a few of these ‘smash and grab’ dates, as this type of trip is affectionately known, to New York recently. Those of the orchestra who really can’t stand the jet lag seem to avoid the trip so those who do go take it for what it is and we realise we are very lucky to be taken to exciting places, something most working people never do. And for me personally, my view is that I’ve done trips away to all kinds of undesirable places, so a(nother) chance to spend some time in this amazing “city that never sleeps” (with an Orchestra that hardly sleeps) is absolutely fine by me.

Anyway, as someone with young children it sometimes feels as though I’m in an extended state of jet lag. So if the worst bit is a couple of films and some kip then fine by me. On the outward flight I even got to sit next to a cello which didn’t fall asleep on me or even want to get out to go to the loo.

Read the rest of this entry »

A selection of recent reviews:

23 April, The Night Shift, Queen Elizabeth Hall
Guardian

5 May, A Midsummer Nights Dream, Middle Temple Hall
Time Out
Evening Standard

15 May, Bonduca, Kings Place
The Times

20 May, Romantic Connections, Queen Elizabeth Hall
Classical Source

One Concert in the Life of a Touring Musician

So – how have we weathered these last eleven days?

To summarise: four concerts in three venues: Kings Place, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and St. George’s Bristol; three days of ‘Giulio Cesare’ at Glyndebourne; two days of rehearsals at Maida Vale studios, rounded off with a one-night dash to Perugia. Perhaps the deafening silence during the four-hour coach journey from Perugia back to Bologna airport on Monday morning speaks for itself.

The Italian bit began on Sunday with an alarm call at 5.30 a.m. in a hotel near Gatwick. Those awake enough to think of it, boarded the airport bus last in order to get to the check-in desk first, ahead of the double basses, timps and cellos. For, without such tactics, the best-laid plans for a leisurely breakfast and a strong cup of coffee, prior to take off, can fade slowly into a distant dream as time drips by in the first of the interminable queuing procedures that are the hallmark and curse of air travel. Even getting through security can induce moments of character-building restraint. For, on various memorable occasions in the past, instrumentalists have been ordered to hand over tuning forks, hundreds of pounds worth of spare strings and vital, expensive reed-making knives and pliers – packed into suitcases nowadays. As musicians, possibly the most profound question to be asked during the whole tedious business is: “Any sharp instruments in your hand luggage?” Read the rest of this entry »

So we decided to dip our toes into the world of podcasts with this trial one, during which you can find out more about the music featured in our concerts with Robin Ticciati next week (20 May at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and 23 May in St George’s Bristol). Let us know what you think!

OAE Podcast No.1

If you are so moved as to book tickets for the concerts you can do so here for London and here for Bristol.

OAE on Twitter

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