There’s another chance to hear two highlights of our Little Greats season, Janáček’s Osud and Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, when they are broadcast as part of BBC Radio’s Opera on 3 strand on Saturday 30 December.
The Times styled the double bill, ‘Bad marriages, great operas’, and declared that ‘the two shows are too good to miss’. Both were recorded by the BBC at Leeds Grand Theatre on 14 October 2017.
Osud, Janáček’s ground-breaking, semi-autobiographical rarity, features some of the Czech composer’s most thrilling music. The Observer described Annabel Arden’s production as ‘essential listening’, adding that ‘the large ensemble cast and Opera North orchestra put the strongest case for this irresistible oddity.’
In Matthew Eberhardt’s brilliant new staging, Trouble in Tahiti ‘emerges as a small masterpiece’, according to The Daily Telegraph: ‘Wallis Giunta and Quirijn de Lang are perfectly cast as the hapless Sam and Dinah, and Tobias Ringborg conducts with the right insouciant panache.’ With its jazzy trio and parodic but electrifying big number ‘Island Magic’, Bernstein’s bittersweet 1952 dissection of the American Dream points the way to West Side Story, which followed five years later.
Presenter Tom Redmond is joined by Nigel Simeone, a leading authority on both composers and the ideal guide through the tangled histories of these two uncommon gems. Nigel is the editor of both Bernstein’s Letters and the mammoth Catalogue of the Music and Writings of Leos Janáček, and the biographer of Charles Mackerras.
Quirijn de Lang as Sam with Fflur Wyn, Nicholas Butterfield and Joseph Shovelton as the Trio, Trouble in Tahiti, Autumn 2017. Credit: Alastair Muir