Tuesday, March 27, 2018

And a nice long draught from the Glyndebourne Opera Cup

Samantha Hankey, winner of the Glyndebourne Opera Cup, with Dame Janet Baker
Photo: Richard Hubert Smith

You've heard about the journey home, so now here is a view from the inside on the Thing Itself, i.e. the brand-new Glyndebourne Opera Cup. I've written about it for The Arts Desk and you can find it here: https://theartsdesk.com/opera/glyndebourne-opera-cup-view-inside-0


I was on a panel of six critics convened to choose the winner of a special ‘media award’ at the Glyndebourne Opera Cup on Saturday evening. What follows is therefore not a review, but rather a chance to chew over the concept and its highs and occasional lows. And you may be intrigued to hear that our panel and the main jury picked the exact same top three winners.

From its first season in 1934, Glyndebourne has been inextricably associated with the music of Mozart. Having decided to devote every edition of its new contest to the works of just one composer, Wolfgang Amadeus was therefore the natural choice for the inaugural event. Mozart suits young voices, as the competition’s founder, ex-Glyndebourne CEO Sebastian Schwarz, pointed out (all the finalists were aged 21-28). But also, as any professional musician will tell you, his music is the ultimate challenge. There’s nowhere to hide. His writing is so streamlined, precise and exposed that if performers are able to draw out its subtle shadings of meaning, with gorgeous tone and sincere emotional expression, you know about it fast. And if they don’t, you know about that too. It’s magic hidden in a minefield...

Read the rest here (£).

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