ADVANCE NOTICE - BERLIOZ SOCIETY EVENTS 2019
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.
FANTASTIQUE! BERLIOZ AT THE V&A, 4 MAY 2019
Berlioz 150, in collaboration with Love2Sing and conductor David Lawrence, will be presenting a performance of Berlioz pieces at the Victoria & Albert Museum on Saturday, 4 May. For details please click here.
"BERLIOZ AND LONDON" TALK AT THE BRITISH LIBRARY, 21 MAY 2019
Researcher Dr Joanne Cormac, University of Nottingham, gives talk on Berlioz's relationship with London, which he visited five times between 1847-55.
At British Library, Foyle Visitor & Learning Centre, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 on May 21 at 1300-1400h.
Admission is free.
BERLIOZ 150 AT THE 2019 BBC PROMS
There are 5 concerts of music by Berlioz at this year's Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, London. General booking opens on May 11 - see https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/r3j38g/series.
August 11 11am PROM 32 : Les Nuits d'été Song Cycle, mezzo Joyce Didonato/Antonio Pappano/National Youth Orchestra of USA
August 14 7pm PROM 37 : L'Enfance du Christ Holy Trilogy, Allan Clayton, Sarah Connolly, Neal Davies, Roderick Williams/ Mark Elder/Halle Orchestra & Choirs
Sept 2 7pm PROM 59 : Benvenuto Cellini opera/semi-staged. Michael Spyres, Sophia Burgos/ Orchestra Révolutionnaire et Romantique/ Monteverdi Choir/John Eliot Gardiner.
Sept 12 7pm & 10.15pm: PROMS 72 & 73 : Symphonie fantastique performed from memory with orchestral theatre staging/Aurora Orchestra/Nicholas Collon.
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.
"BERLIOZ & NICE" EXHIBITION, TO 8 NOVEMBER 2019
Exhibition relating to the three stays of the composer in Nice on the French Riviera. At Terrace Tour Bellanda (Bellanda Tower), Parc du Château - Escalier Lesage - 06300 NICE
Berlioz visited Nice three times - in 1831, 1844 and 1868 - composing several of his best overtures there and staying in 1844 in the Bellanda Tour with its stunning views over the Mediterranean.
"Ô Nice ! Je n’ai rien trouvé de plus beau que cette colline inspirée, j’ai trouvé ma ville, c’est Nice."
BERLIOZ 2019 INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE IN FRANCE, AUGUST
The Musée Hector Berlioz in La Côte Saint-André, south-east France is to host a major international conference on Berlioz to mark the 150th anniversary of the composer's death in 1869 from August 23-25.
The event coincides with the Festival Berlioz due to take place in the town from August 18 to September 1, its aim being to assess the status of Berlioz today. Attending the conference - to which the public are invited - will be a bevy of international musicologists and experts.
FESTIVAL BERLIOZ 2019, LA CÔTE SAINT-ANDRÉ, 17 AUGUST 17 - 1 SEPTEMBER
For full details of programme and bookings, please see below.
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.
OPERA IN DEPTH: 10 LECTURES BY DAVID NICE, 29 APRIL TO 15 JULY
Music critic and author is to give a series of Opera in Depth lectures on Berlioz's Damnation de Faust (and Dvorak's Rusalka) from 29 April to 15 July in London's Bloomsbury quarter. For full details please click the button below.
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.
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.
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 three performances of Symphonie fantastique, on Thursday 16 and Sunday 19 May 2019, with a matinee performance on Wednesday 22 May.
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. This concert will be preceded at 5 pm by at talk from Professor Hugh Macdonald, one of the pre-eminent Berlioz scholars worldwide (tickets available from 23 April - please click here for booking details);
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.