ADVANCE NOTICE - BERLIOZ SOCIETY EVENTS 2019
4 April, 7pm - Society AGM at Francis Taylor Building, Inner Temple, London EC4. Details are being sent to members.
16 June - Summer Meeting at the home of Society Vice Chairman Sir Adam Ridley, west London. Details to be confirmed.
17 August to 1 September - La Côte Saint-André, Festival Berlioz - Le Roi Hector.
Full programme unveiled, bookings open on April 5. Please click here for details.
23 to 24 November, Art Workers' Guild, Queen Square, London WC1, 17th Annual Members Weekend.
Theme : Berlioz 150
Fuller information to be announced closer to the event.
BERLIOZ & POULENC AT NORWICH, 21 MARCH 2019
On Thursday 21 March 2019, 7.30-9.30pm at St Andrew's Hall, Norwich (The Halls, St Andrew's St, Norwich), the University of East Anglia Choir, Chamber Choir and Symphony Orchestra, conductor Stuart Dunlop will perform pieces by Poulenc, followed by magical Love Scene and the little-heard Finale from Berlioz’s dramatic symphony, Romeo and Juliet.
TICKETS: £4 - £12, available by phone or in person from St George’s Music Shop (Tel: 01603 626414, 17-19 St George's St, Norwich, Norfolk, NR3 1AB); online from www.uea.ac.uk/music-centre/events/tickets; or at the door (cash/cheque only).
HALLÉ ANNOUNCE BERLIOZ SESQUICENTENNIAL PROGRAMME
As part of its tribute to the life and works of the composer 150 years after his demise, Sir Mark Elder will be conducting the Hallé Orchestra in a performance of "The Damnation of Faust" on Sunday 10 February 2019 (for details click here) and three performances of Symphonie fantastique, on Thursday 16 and Sunday 19 May 2019, with a matinee performance on Wednesday 22 May.
In addition, Sir Mark will conduct the orchestra in two of Berlioz’s more rarely performed works, Overture: "Benvenuto Cellini" on Thursday 24 January 2019, and Overture: "Les Francs Juges" on Thursday 4 April 2019 - all concerts at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.
BERLIOZ WEEKEND CHORAL WORKSHOP AT MILTON COURT, 25-26 MAY 2019
In conjunction with BERLIOZ150 and the Berlioz Society The Guildhall School of Music & Drama Alumni Choir is to stage a Weekend Choral Workshop focussing on lesser-known works by Berlioz.
Date: May 25-26, venue: Milton Court, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DT, Rehearsal Room 2. If you are interested in participating but not a confident sight-reader, worry not. Once you are registered you will be given access to the music, online help and optional additional sessions before the weekend.
Assistance with French pronunciation, listeners also welcome. No charge. For further details & registration please contact Diana Bickley on firstname.lastname@example.org.
GRAMOPHONE MAGAZINE TO FOCUS ON BERLIOZ 150 IN FEBRUARY 2019 EDITION
In a special number in February, "Gramophone" is to explore how the composer's reputation has evolved since his death 150 years ago; a free cover disc along with the magazine will feature acclaimed performances drawn from Warner Classics' forthcoming complete Berlioz box set.
NELSON TO CONDUCT REQUIEM IN ST PAUL'S, 8 MARCH 2019
John Nelson and the Philharmonia Orchestra are to perform Berlioz’s monumental Requiem, ‘Grande Messe des morts’, in the historic setting of St Paul’s Cathedral to mark 150 years – to the day – since the composer’s death.
For more details please click here.
John Nelson, conductor; Michael Spyres, tenor; Philharmonia Orchestra & Chorus; London Philharmonic Choir
BLOMSTEDT TO PERFORM SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE AT RFH ON APRIL 11, 2019
Veteran Swedish maestro Herbert Blomstedt will conduct the Philharmonia Orchestra in a performance of Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique and Beethoven's Symphony No.6 (Pastoral) at the
Royal Festival Hall on April 11 at 7.30pm. For information and tickets please click here.
NELSON TO RECORD LA DAMNATION DE FAUST IN STRASBOURG, APRIL 25 & 26, 2019
In the wake of his acclaimed recording for Erato/Warner Classics of "Les Troyens" in 2017, John Nelson is to conduct and record two performances of Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust op. 24 in Strasbourg in April 2019, with members of the same team.
April 25 & 26, 2019 8pm, Palais de la Musique et des Congrès, Salle Érasme, Strasbourg
Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg, John NELSON conducting.
Joyce DiDonato mezzo-soprano
Michael SPYRES tenor
Alexandre Duhamel baritone
Nicolas Courjal bass
For more information, including bookings, please click here. Please note the website is in French, with an optional German translation available.
BERLIOZ 150 - SIR SIMON RATTLE TO CONDUCT SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE, 5 MAY 2019
Simon Rattle will conduct the LSO in the Symphonie fantastique at a Barbican Hall concert on May 5 2019 to mark the 150th anniversary of the death of Hector Berlioz in 1869.
For further details please click here.
DAMNATION DE FAUST AT GLYNDEBOURNE, MAY - JULY 2019
Robin Ticciati will conduct Berlioz's dramatic legend "La Damnation de Faust" in a stage version from 18 May to 10 July 2019 at Glyndebourne.
Cast: Allan Clayton (Faust), Julie Boulianne (Marguerite), Christopher Purves (Mephistopheles), production Richard Jones. Performances at 7.30pm. For more information please click here.
BERLIOZ 150 - "HAROLD IN ITALY" AT THE BARBICAN, 16 JUNE 2019
Principal Guest Conductor Gianandrea Noseda will conduct the LSO, withFrench viola soloist Antoine Tamestit, in a sesquicentennial concert performance of Berlioz's "Harold in Italy" Symphony at the Barbican Hall on June 16 2019 at 7pm.
For details of tickets etc., please click here.
ADRIAN BROWN TO CONDUCT BERLIOZ 150 CONCERTS
Our regular speaker, international conductor and Society Medal holder Adrian Brown will be celebrating Berlioz's work in 2019 with several concerts.
30 June - Les Nuits d'été song cycle. The Elgar Sinfonia, conductor Adrian Brown, vocal soloist Janice Watson. 7.30pm at St. John's, Waterloo, 73 Waterloo Road, Lambeth. For more details please click here.
15 September - Requiem (Grande Messe des Morts). At Pigott's Music Camp, North Dean, High Wycombe, Bucks. On at 3pm. Free - no tickets required.
9 November - Le Corsaire Overture. Bromley Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Adrian Brown. 7.30pm at Langley Park Centre for Performing Arts, Langley Park School, South Eden Park Road, Beckenham. Details will be posted on the Orchestra's website.
23 November - Roman Carnival Overture, Love Scene from Romeo & Juliet Symphony, Hungarian March. Southgate Symphony Symphony Orchestra, Adrian Brown. 7.30pm at St Stephen,s Church, Enfield. More details here.
BERLIOZ AT THREE CHOIRS FESTIVAL, GLOUCESTER, JULY - AUGUST 2019
To mark the 150th anniversary of Berlioz's death, the Three Choirs Festival at Gloucester is to perform three of the master's works:
July 27 2019 (evening concert): La Damnation de Faust with Sarah Connolly, Peter Hoare, Christopher Purves and David Ireland;
July 30 2019 (evening concert): Le Carnaval Romain Overture with works by Elgar and Joubert, perfprmed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales; and
August 1 2019 (evening concert): Les Nuits d'été Song Cycle, sung by Anna Stéphany (mezzo) with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Martyn Brabbins.
TILSON THOMAS CONDUCTS ROMÉO ET JULIETTE AT THE BARBICAN, 10 NOVEMBER 2019
Leading American conductor Michael Tilson Thomas will conduct the London Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Berlioz's Roméo et Juliette at the Barbican on Sunday November 10 at 7pm. Soloists: Alice Coote (mezzo-soprano), Nicholas Phan (tenor), Nicolas Courjal (bass), London Symphony Chorus. Tickets: Barbican.
For further details please click here.
TWO BOX SETS OF BERLIOZ WORKS RELEASED
In the 150th anniversary year of Berlioz's death, LSO Live and Warner Classics are both releasing box sets of his works.
The LSO live release comprises the recordings of Sir Colin Davis' Berlioz Odyssey concerts.
Warner Classics promise their release will be the Complete Works, gathered together for the first time. The release date is 1 February.
"BENVENUTO CELLINI" ON DVD
Naxos have released a DVD of the Terry Gilliam production of "Benvenuto Cellini", premiered at ENO in 2014 (in English) under the baton of Edward Gardner.
The production was mounted at Dutch National Opera and Ballet, Amsterdam on 15 and 18 May 2015, with the original French libretto, and these are the performances recorded on the DVD.
PERSONNEL - Benvenuto Cellini - John Osborn; Giacomo Balducci - Maurizio Muraro; Fieramosca - Laurent Naouri; Le Pape Clément VII - Orlin Anastassov; Francesco - Nicky Spence; Bernardino - Scott Conner; Pompeo - André Morsch; Le Cabaretier - Marcel Beekman; Teresa - Mariangela Sicilia; Ascanio - Michèle Losier.
Dutch National Opera Chorus, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Mark Elder, conductor.
For further details please click here.
NEW BOOK ON BERLIOZ BY FESTIVAL DIRECTOR BRUNO MESSINA
French publishing house Actes Sud has released Festival Berlioz Director Bruno Messina's new 208-page book "Berlioz", price 18€, available from November 2018 via the Actes Sud website.This volume is only available in French.
"EXPERIENCING BERLIOZ" PUBLISHED IN FEBRUARY 2018
Melinda O'Neal, choral-orchestral conductor and Professor of music at Dartmouth College NH, published her new book "Experiencing Berlioz - A Listener's Companion" in February 2018.
The link below goes into more detail, along with warm recommendations from fellow Berliozians, and includes a 30% discount offer.
NEW CAMBRIDGE BERLIOZ ENCYCLOPEDIA NOW PUBLISHED
The Cambridge University Press's new 420-page Cambridge Berlioz Encyclopedia - edited by Julian Rushton - was published on December 7.
For further information please click on the blue box below.
Members are advised that there is a special 20 percent discount
available to them on this encyclopedia - please use the discount code
‘Berlioz’ on the webpage below:
FESTIVAL BERLIOZ, LA CÔTE SAINT-ANDRÉ 2018
Please click the button below to read Chris Follett's report on this year's Festival.
ALASTAIR ABERDARE AND DAVID CAIRNS AWARDED MEDALS OF HONOUR BY LA CÔTE SAINT-ANDRÉ
At a ceremony in the Town Hall in early September during the Festival Berlioz 2017, Berlioz Society President David Cairns and Chairman Alastair Aberdare were presented with medals of honour by La
Côte Saint-André Mayor Joël Gullon.
Photograph below by kind permission of Festival Berlioz.
GLYNDEBOURNE "BÉATRICE ET BÉNÉDICT" NOW AVAILABLE ON DVD
The 2016 Glyndebourne production of Berlioz's late opera "Béatrice et Bénédict" - based on Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" - has been issued in DVD/Blu Ray format - the only official DVD of the work to date !
Available from Presto at £20 (£24 for Blu Ray).
Cast: Stéphanie d'Oustrac (Béatrice) ;
Paul Appleby (Bénédict);
The Glyndebourne Chorus & London Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Antonello Manacorda Stage director Laurent Pelly - Opus Arte: OA1239D DVD) / OABD7219D (Blu Ray)
BERLIOZ SESQUICENTENARY 2019
2019 marks the sesquicentenary - or 150th anniversary - of the death of Berlioz in 1869 and plans are already afoot in France and Britain to celebrate this event. The Berlioz Society's Chairman Alastair Aberdare is heading initiatives in Britain to stage major concerts of the composer's works, while in France, an International Conference is to take place in August 2019 at La Côte Saint-André, Berlioz's birthplace, in cooperarion with the Festival Berlioz and the Musée Hector Berlioz.
Please click the button below for more details (in French and English).
BERLIOZ LETTERS PUBLISHED BY ACTES SUD
This collection is available in French only.
Nouvelles lettres de Berlioz, de sa famille, de ses contemporains
Peter Bloom, Joël-Marie Fauquet, Hugh J. Macdonald, Cécile Reynaud (Editors)
Published by Actes Sud / Palazzetto Bru Zane, 792 pages, price 30 € (available from Musée Hector Berlioz - price includes postage and packing).
LES TROYENS WINS GRAMOPHONE'S 2018 RECORDING OF THE YEAR AWARD
John Nelson leads a cast including Joyce DiDonato, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Stéphane Degout and Michael Spyres in 2018 Recording of the Year.
‘A peach of a recording’ is how I signed off my original review of this account of Berlioz’s Les Troyens last December – ‘a thrilling new benchmark for this epic opera’. I completely stand by that assessment today – this set from Erato is an absolute stunner. I attended the second of two concert performances in Strasbourg last year from which the recording was taken (along with a patching session). Not only was it my outstanding concert of 2017, the resulting set was easily my disc of the year too.