Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Ask and You Shall Receive

I should make my wishes public a lot more often if this week is the yardstick of reality. No sooner than I'd had a moan than news filtered through that BBC Radio 3 would be broadcasting two WNO productions this autumn.

The first is Verdi's Rigoletto from the recent summer season with Simon Keenlyside making his role debut as the eponymous funny guy without humour. Joining him as the Duke is Gwyn Hughes Jones, Sarah Coburn making her WNO / UK debut as the jester's daughter (Gilda), Leah-Marian Jones as the psychotic tart with a heart (Maddalena) and David Soar as plain old psychotic Sparafucile. Conducting the performance was / is Pablo Heras-Casado. I thoroughly enjoyed this in the theatre with strong performances all round but as I missed Hughes Jones as the Duke I'm definitely recording this one when it's broadcast on the 2nd of October at 6pm UK time.

The second BBC Radio 3 broadcast comes on the 13th of November (6pm UK time) and is Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos. A strong cast is headed by Sarah Connolly as the Composer, Orla Boylan (Ariadne) and Gillian Keith (Zerbinetta). WNO's Music Director Lothar Koenigs will set the groove. I can't say much about this one as it hasn't been performed yet.

The broadcast times may change so I'll keep an eye out for any movings around. You can listen through the usual ways - Radio, Digital TV and via the Internet (even outside the UK). All of this means you can finally hear what it is I blabber on about for once.

Thanks to Hariclea Darclee of Opera is Magic! for the tip.


  1. I'm going to Ariadne on the WNO tour. Very much looking forward to it with this cast, and especially as none of the London companies are performing R. Strauss this season.

  2. I have to admit that I wasn't looking forward to Ariadne as much as Fidelio / Flute but the more I get to know the work the more I'm changing my mind. My reluctance was purely down to the snoozefest of Rosenkavalier.

    I think ROH have had a run of R Strauss in recent years - it could be that they may return to Ariadne themselves in the next season or two (that is if they can find the space among the different projects they have lined up).

    Out of curiosity are you booking the ROH Tannhauser tomorrow?

  3. Ariadne was the very first R.Strauss work I ever saw. TOooooo many years ago. With the right cast it is my favourite.

    Tannhäuser for sure, and Adrianna (taking a punt on which dates Angela may actually appear).

    I'm afraid the Flute is one work I would not care if I never saw it again. Papapapagena is the most irritating creature in all opera and Sarastro a sententious bore.

  4. The general rule of thumb with AG is to book for the first night, then it's a lucky dip for other performances.

    Sarastro and Papageno are at the extreme ends of pretentious babbling and idiocy. I can put up with Papageno, it's Sarastro who has me reaching for a Magic Trombone!

    Best of luck for tomorrow's booking!

  5. Ohh shhhh.... i can't listen to Ariadne on that day.... i am not only booked i am double booked! I went overboard with treating myself to music for that day and i am having a bday doremi bonanza with Brendel@Wigmore for lunch and Romeo@ROH for dinner... which actually leaves me with no time for even a crumb of cake! I am crazy! And now i am missing Ariadne... ugh!

  6. HM, VJ, other potential winning bets with AG are i think the day the radio broadcast is on, the 4th Dec and i think i read in the House that there was going to be some patrons party after the show on a Tuesday, must be the 30th Nov.. so i would maybe put my money on those two as potentials as well :-)

  7. I think I'll be able to pass on a recording of the Ariadne - and it'll probably be available via the i-Player for a week. But that is a bit of a celebratory bonanzafest!

    Hmmm - I think I've been a bit tardy in putting up the AG booking advice...

  8. You think it will be on iPlayer? I was so happy to see Keenlyside's Rigoletto among the operas that will be aired, and then I see it's on the one week I'll be entirely away from a computer!

  9. Hi Jordana - BBC Radio 3 Saturday Opera Broadcasts are usually available on iPlayer for seven days following the broadcast. I've emailed the Opera on 3 team to double check but I think it's safe to say you'll be able to catch it.

    If for some reason you can't listen to it let me know via my email address (hairmanattheopera@gmail.com) and I'll sort something out for you.

    I hope you enjoy Keenlyside's performance - despite my nitpicking he makes for a compelling Rigoletto.

  10. After grappling with Friend's on-line booking ( I dare not mention the *** after what has happened to poor Intermezzo) I joined the queue at 1854. After 80 minutes waiting I did get tickets for the night of Adrianna and my choice of dates for Tannhauser.

  11. It sounds as if you had an experience quite like my own - I was expecting to end up empty handed by the time I got in but was lucky to find tickets for what I want to see.

    The Intermezzo business has left me quite dumbfounded. She acts as a great point of free advertising and I only hope common sense prevails at the end of the day.