Sunday, 18 May 2014

Classical Journey 10am Tuesday 20 May 2014

Rebecca Willson
Gypsy Swing Jazz Night
Globe Inn Newtown
Wednesday 14 May
(2nd Wednesday of every month)

joined by
Double Bass
Favino Guitars
(Margaret Aagesen-Hughes!)
Two more violins (Patrick Hughes)
Clarinet and Flute

Rebecca Willson and David Jones' inaugural "Gypsy Swing Jazz Night" at the Globe in Newtown (Exeter) was an unqualified success. A simple 'Facebook' appeal (plus some radio exposure) drew in a swarm of talented musicians, all skilled in and enthusiastic about the Swing Jazz of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. The night was a musical masterpiece.

Contrary to expectation, there were no banjos. However, three Favino guitars in one room must be a record for Devon. Also Rebecca was joined by two other violinists and there were two more virtuosi there, with flute and clarinet respectively. Last, but by no means least, they were joined by the new Chairman of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, Margaret Aagesen Hughes, playing - the accordion! (Margaret's husband Patrick brought his violin - and was perfectly rigged out as a 30s jazz musician.)

More please! For those who enjoyed this Wednesday's Swing Night, there is not long to wait for more Gypsy Jazz. Rebecca and David will book the Globe again on Wednesday 11 June. Wednesday's guests are highly likely to come along for another session, and everyone is welcome to take part.

Please take a look at their Facebook page to see what might be on the 'menu' in June. Whatever your level, check out the chords, or melody, of a piece or two on your respective instrument, come along, and take up the open invitation to join in - from the sidelines, or centre stage!


English Touring Opera
bring three operas to the Exeter Northcott Theatre
Staff Director, Dafydd Hall Williams
gives a succinct and informative introductory talk
in the Northcote House Conference Centre
before each opera
And introduces a new friend
The 2014 Olivier Award
Dedicated to English Touring Opera
for Outstanding Achievement in Opera
particularly, for the collaboration by
James Conway and Michael Rosewell
on two great twentieth century works
Benjamin Britten's "Paul Bunyan"
Sir Michael Tippet's "King Priam"
Well Deserved!
Michael Rosewell
conducts the third performance of
Mozart's "Magic Flute" (Thursday 15 May)
and a rare performance of
Tippett's "King Priam" (Saturday 17 May)
Philip Sunderland
conducts an equally rare performance of
Britten's "Paul Bunyan" (Friday 16 May)
The Magic Flute
Thursday 15 May
Back Row: Accolytes, including the incomparable bass, Piotr Lempa
Front Row: Papagena (Caryl Hughes), The Queen's 'three ladies',
The Queen of the Night (Laure Meloy), Pamina (Anna Patalong)
Conductor: Michael Rosewell
Tamino (Nicholas Sherratt), Papageno (Wyn Pencarreg)
Sarastro (Andrew Slater), Monostatos (Stuart Haycock)
& 'three boys' (two sopranos & a mezzosoprano)
Paul Bunyan
Friday 16 May
Hel Helsen (Wyn Pencarreg), Johnny Inkslinger (Adrian Dwyer)
Tiny (Caryl Hughes), Hot Biscuits Slim (Ashley Catling)
King Priam
Extreme Set Design
(Anna Fleischle)
King Priam
Saturday 17 May
Young Guard (Adam Tunicliffe), Old Man (Andrew Slater)
Nurse (Clarissa Meek), Helen (Niamh Kelly), Paris (Nicholas Sharratt)
Queen Hecuba (Laure Meloy), King Priam (Roderick Earle)
Andromache (Camilla Roberts), Achilles (Charne Rochford)
Hector (Grant Doyle), Patroclus (Piotr Lempa)
Conductor Michael Rosewell
Congratulates the Orchestra

This weekend we found out what it takes to win the Society of London Theatre's 'Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera'. Following on from three different and delightful interpretations of Mozart's "Magic Flute", English Touring Opera presented two little known, and rarely performed, operatic creations by twentieth century English composers.

As the Second World War reached apparent impasse, conscientious objectors Benjamin Britten and Wystan Auden sought asylum in the United States. There, they went native with a creditable analysis of American origins in a reworking of a previously commercially revived folk myth, "Paul Bunyan". Their opera is a splendid allegorical interpretation of the cultural and political implications and consequences of the opening up of the 'Wild West'. In 1941, however, Americans were not amused by the way their history and culture was represented in the opera.

Thirty years later, after a successful performance of extracts from "Bunyan" at Aldburgh in the seventies, Britten was finally persuaded to relaunch the opera in edited form. The result strangely pre-dates and post-dates Britten's discovery of a personal style of music. Who could pull all these complex impressions together in a a truly representative and convincing way? James Conway's new production, conducted by Philip Sunderland, does full justice to the original - and Britten's later redaction.

Hammering home the importance of English Touring Opera's contribution to modern opera, James Conway took the opportunity of this spring's tour to showcase a work he has aspired to produce throughout his career. In 1961, Michael Tippett (later Sir Michael Tippet, but not to be knighted for another five years) was commissioned to create a new opera for a festival to celebrate the consecration of the newly rebuilt, and thoroughly redesigned, Coventry Cathedral.

Tippett, fired by Jungian interpretation of classical myths as genetic memory, and dreams as the resurfacing of inherited ideas, revisited Homer's "Iliad" to trace the Trojan wars from the perspective of the Trojan King Priam. In a plot transparently reminiscent of the Oedipus tragedy, Priam, acting on the advice of an arbitrary 'Old Man' who predicts that Priam's son will inevitably cause the King's death, submits to his wife Hecuba's will and orders the murder of the infant Paris.

Guess what? Paris is not killed. Later, as an adult, he seduces, and elopes with Helen, the wife of the Spartan King Menelaus. The ensuing war between Greece and Troy is indeed disastrous - for all concerned. Predictable? Far from it! Tippett manages to combine the inevitable with the agonising quandary of individual choice.

This polemic against war - in particular the recently concluded European war - premièred back-to-back with Britten's "War Requiem" at Coventry. The classical mythology was perhaps esoteric, and the Jungian psychology even more so, and the work itself was very much a one-off. Suitable opportunities for appropriate subsequent productions seem to have been few and far between.

However, the possibility of producing the opera as a piece of classic theatre in its own right has long been the dream of the English Touring Opera Director, James Conway. As General Director of English Touring Opera for over a decade, James has been in charge of many unique, inspired and successful opera productions. Now, at last, in the centenary year of the outbreak of Europe's devastating Great War, the full force of the opera company has been brought to bear on this singular work.

From obscurity, Tippett's image of war looms large. Every cast member's performance, from lowly guard to mighty King, has been imbued with extraordinary potency. The orchestra, working with the discordant modernism of postwar composition, wring every ounce of emotion from the music. The actors, often constrained to guttural shrieks or compulsive repetition, terrify the audience with their commitment to realism.

The story, so predictable, so obvious, nevertheless drags all involved - willing or not - to its inevitable and painful conclusion. This is all done through music. Anna Fleischle's set, although inspired, is simple and unobtrusive. Anna's costumes - even those of the King and Queen - are unintrusive. (Priam and Hecuba's deer skull crowns are intriguing, but even these are not overly elaborate.) What matters is what is said, and sung.

Saturday's performance left no confusion about why English Touring Opera were chosen for this year's award. Full marks for ambition and tenacity. Full marks for execution and style. Even in the context of English Touring Opera's well established reputation for theatrical and operatic excellence, "Paul Bunyan" and, to an even greater extent "King Priam", have established their reputation for unequivocal dedication and performance.


Alex West
Music at St Michael's
St Michael's Mount Dinham
Wednesday 21 May 7.30pm
Organ: Alex West
Admission FREE

Exeter Alternative Theatre

Exeter Barnfield Theatre
Thursday 22 - Saturday 24 May 8pm
Gaston Leroux (author of "Phantom of the Opera"):
"The Man who saw the Devil" 1908
Translated and Adapted by Frank Morlock
William Wymark Jacobs: "The Monkey's Paw" 1902
Frederick Witney: "Nuit de Noces" 1945
Malcolme Littler (Exeter Drama Company)
after Francine Winham"A Dangerous Love" 2014
Tickets: £11 (student £9)
Box Office: 01392 271808
(10am-4pm Monday to Friday)
Book Online  Exeter Alternative Theatre Website

A Message From . . .

The Westbrook Trio
Exeter Barnfield Theatre
Friday 23 May 8pm
Piano: Mike Westbrook
Saxophone: Chris Biscoe
Voice: Kate Westbrook
Tickets: £12 (musician/NUS £10)
Box Office: 01392 271808
(10am-4pm Monday-Friday)
Book Online  Westbrook Trio Website

Counterpoint Choir
Buckfast Abbey
Saturday 24 May 7.30pm
OF 13th TO 17th CENTURY
  1. Tomás Luis de Victoria - "O Quam Gloriosum"
Tomás Luis de Victoria - "Missa pro Defunctis"
      - Excerpts:  a) "Taedet " b) "Graduale"
        c) "Versa est in Luctum"  4. "Libera Me"
Cristóbal de Morales - "Peccantem me Quotidie"
  4. Alfonso X (el Sabio) - "Virgen Santa Maria"
       (Tambourine: Clive Dickinson)
  5. Mateo Flecha (el Viejo) - "Riu, Riu, Chiu"
       (Tambourine: Clive Dickinson) Verses 1-4 only
         Baritone Solo: Julian Rippon
  6. Francisco Guerrero- "Ave Virgo Sanctissima"
Tomás Luis de  Victoria- "Ave Maria" à 8
  8. Francisco Guerrero - "O Domine Iesu Christe"
Sebastián de Vivanco - "Oquam Suavis"
Juan de Esquivel Barahona - "Gloria in Excelcis Deo"
11. Alonso Lobo - "Versa est in Luctum"

Conductor: David Acres
Tickets: £10 (advance £8)
By Post: Counterpoint
Summercourt, Lodge Hill, Exeter  EX4 4AB
WebsiteCounterpoint website

Philharmonia iOrchestra
iOrchestra Re-Rite
     Come and join in . . .
(Details & video on the iOrchestra Website)

Torre Abbey Meadow, Torquay
Monday 26 May - Saturday 7 June 12-8pm
Saturday Guided Tours: 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm
Live Open Air Philharmonia Orchestra Concert (!!!):
Torre Abbey Meadow: Sunday 8 June 7pm
Audio-Visual experience of a full orchestra.
Walk through a performance of
Igor Stravinsky: "Rite of Spring"
by the Philharmonia Orchesta
Admission FREE
Tours FREE
School Groups Welcome
Torbay Project Co-ordinator:
Laura Forster: 07943 376893
Re-Rite Website  Paul Rissman's Video
Don't forget to take a look at the fabulous
Orchestra Unwrapped Resource Pack

Peter Lea Enterprises

Richard Lennox (back row right)
at a celebration of wonderful music
in Weston Super Mare in April
Mandy Starr 2nd from left
Johnny Tudor far right
Exeter Barnfield Theatre
Wednesday 28 May 3pm
Flanagan & Allen, Vera Lynn
The Crazy Gang
Director: Richard Lennox
(See piano concert below)
Song & Dance: Johnny Tudor
Comedy: Bob Webb
Singing: Mandy Starr
Tickets: £10.50 (student/child £8.50)

Box Office: 01392 271808
Book Online  

Flute Cake
(seen here at Courtlands 6 Sept 2013)
Flute Cake
Exmouth Library
Wednesday 28 May 7pm
Flutes: Sophie Brewer
             Jennifer Campbell
Flute & Alto Flute: Ruth Molins
Classical, popular & folk
music for flute trio.
Tickets: £3 on the door
(possible repeat performance
  on Thursday at Sidmouth

     check Ruth's Website for details)

Richard Lennox
Richard Lennox
Exeter Barnfield Theatre
Wednesday 28 May 7.30pm
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Johannes Brahms
Franz Schubert
Leonard Bernstein
Alberto Semprini
Russ Conway
Władziu Valentino Liberace
Les Dawson (!)
Tickets: £12.50 (child £10.50)
Box Office: 01392 271808

Duo Poniente
Voice: Michael Solomon Williams
Classical Guitar: Jesse Sebastian
Duo Poniente
Moose Hall, Bowden Hill
Crediton  EX17 3EJ
Thursday 29 May 8pm
Classical Guitar: Jesse Sebasatian
Voice: Michael Solomon Williams
Tickets: £8
Nicola King: 01363 877748
Beech Hill, Morchard Bishop
Poniente Website

Ruth Molins
The Eloquent Guitar
Lympstone Parish Church
Sunday 1 June 4pm
Guitar: David Cottam
Flute: Ruth Molins
Tickets: £7 (U16 £1)

All Four Concerts: £20
( 6 April / 4 May / 1 June / 29 June )
Demelza Henderson: 2 Brook Cottages
01395 272243  07516 322853
John Welton: 01395 271915

'Cello ricochet: Elie Fruchter
Trumpet sampling: Tim Sayer

(October Jazzlab 2013)
The Bay Horse Totnes
Sunday 1 June 8.30-11pm
Piano: Sam Richards
Soprano Saxophone: Andy Visser
Flugelhorn/Electronics: Tim Sayer
Double Bass: David George
Admission FREE

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