It was the first time I was seeing this children opera by Britten. When I left the Blackheath Hall I was even more convinced of the genius of Britten. He managed to compose an opera for children to be made by children, putting them in the very center of the musical creation experience. The production presented here by Blackheath Opera was smart. While exposing the story in a clean way it manages to tell a subtext enriching the biblical narration.
This was my first encounter with this Britten church parable. And I totally loved it. Half of it is because the music is genius (so atmospheric!) and the other half because it was presented by Ante Terminum Productions in a perfect way. The stage, St Bartholomew the Great, was just perfect. This work was composed to be performed on a church and this one has a aura of mystery perfect for it.
This was my first visit to a London Chamber Music Society series at Kings Place. I was mostly attracted by Britten Les Illuminations song cycle in the programme. This resulted to be a very nice concert. Camerata Tchaikovsky is a well sized string orchestra made up with Russian players (some living in London and some of them probably joining from Russian for these concerts). It was clear, from they way they played that they invest a very good amount of time in rehearsal of each individual work, so each of the sections learns how to listen to each others and play accurately.
All Russian composers, except for the Britten but all Russian themed works. Beforehand it was a very interesting programme with new (as newly heard) works, works of stunning beauty, not-so-frequent-works and spectacular works that are better listened live. It started with Stravinsky’s Funeral Song, one work just rediscovered and “premiered” less than one year ago in Russia. It was a very nice work, less stravinskian than expected and maybe too academic but full of great ideas.