We have been performing with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra since 1936, over 80 years. In 2019 we will perform a diverse and exciting repertoire with four of the world’s best conductors:Donald Runnicles, Vladimir Ashkenazy, David Robertson and Simone Young.
Britten’s Peter Grimes in Concert – July 2019
David Robertson conducts a superb cast led by Stuart Skelton in Peter Grimes, one of the great operas of the 20th century.
Peter Grimes is a psychologically penetrating portrait of a tortured outsider antihero versus the cruelty of a small-town mob. Set in The Borough, a claustrophobic Suffolk fishing village, this tragic drama plays out against vivid musical seascapes. Nature is a character – beautiful, tender and savage. Grimes – wild, individual and visionary – hurls himself against the implacable forces of society and the sea.
David Robertson’s ‘driven, exacting’ conducting and a cast led by an extraordinary Grimes in Australian tenor Stuart Skelton bring this gripping and resonant opera to life in the concert hall, backed by the power of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Holst’s Planets – September 2019
The Planets is a must-hear event with Ashkenazy as your guide to the heavens, and virtuoso Alexei Volodin seduces with the Medtner’s piano concerto.
Russia comes to London with a concerto by Nikolai Medtner, the Russian virtuoso who settled there in the 1930s. Medtner’s music has long been overshadowed by that of his friend Rachmaninoff, but his first concerto revels in the sheer beauty of the piano, spinning fabulous melodies that seem to flow from the soul of the instrument.
And Alexei Volodin makes a seductive case for this opulent work. He’s a pianist in the muscular Russian tradition with the soul of a poet, displaying ‘magisterial mental and physical control that serve musical imagination and insight’.
Donald Runnicles conducts Fauré’s Requiem – October 2019
A journey through life, death and the beyond, with music by Richard Strauss and Fauré’s radiantly beautiful Requiem.
Richard Strauss harnesses music’s ability to express the inexpressible in Death and Transfiguration, a moving journey into a blazing eternity. And Strauss recalls this youthful work in the serene farewell of Four Last Songs. Strauss’s late masterpiece is sensuously in touch with the joys of life, even as life slips away. The songs luxuriate in the autumnal richness of an opulent orchestra and the beauty of the soprano voice, here the exquisite Erin Wall.
Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem for soprano, baritone, choir and orchestra remembers the dead and consoles the living with music of poignant elegance and heavenly beauty. It is one of the most beloved sacred works in the repertoire – timeless, contemplative and radiant.
Mahler’s Klagende Lied – December 2019
Simone Young and company close the 2019 season in legendary style.
The charismatic Simone Young is one of Australia’s finest musical exports, at home in opera theatres and concert halls. Her gift for shaping musical narratives and mustering huge forces are valuable assets in Gustav Mahler’s dark and theatrical fairy tale.
Enchanted horns usher into dark forests where two brothers vie for the queen’s hand, with dire consequences… Inspired by stories from the Brothers Grimm, Das klagende Lied (The Sorrowful Song) calls for singers, choir and two orchestras (one of them off-stage). It is Mahler’s astonishingly assured opus one, a preview of his epic, kaleidoscopic symphonies. Like those, it bursts with the magic and mystery of nature, and the joys and fears of childhood.