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Evil black poodles, electrifying Beethoven and DNA. Our top OAE moments of 2010

Thu 23 Dec 2010

As has become customary at this time of year we asked around the office and orchestra for people’s top OAE moments of 2010. There are definitely a few trends in the below… and we’d love to know what your top OAE moments of the year were too.

It’s difficult for me to decide whether Beethoven with Iván Fischer or Bach with John Butt wins my best moment of 2010? I’vedecided it’s John Butt because I have not worked with him as a director before. John is a leading Bach scholar and there were constant pearls of wisdom and humour (always a good thing in rehearsals). He is such an open and physically uninhibited musician. One of my favourite moments was when he asked us to be like evil black poodles—- all I could think of was Cruella de Vil! Not very 18th century but it worked.

Martin Kelly, Viola and Vice-Chairman

It was definitely Don Giovanni at Glyndebourne which I had the pleasure of watching twice; firstly on our annual office trip and the next time with my mum when we were caught in the worst downpour of the summer. The poor dressed up Glyndebourne-dwellers were darting, bubbly in arms, into any available shelter possible during the interval and it was a sorry, soggy lot of us who trudged back into the performance. It was my mum’s first visit to Glyndebourne though and she didn’t care at all. Don Giovanni was amazing all the way through but I especially loved the very end. Those dramatic scales over the descending bass line plus the Commendatore bellowing ‘Don Giovanni!’ certainly made for a spine tingling death scene!

Natalie Chivers, Education Projects Manager

I loved the Creation education project.

The chaos of moving 800 children that preceeded and followed the event was quite something; the silence and concentration of all those pupils watching and engaged during the performance in a packed Queen Elizabeth Hall was striking. I had great fun and learnt a lot about DNA!

The Night shift at the Roundhouse in January was amazing too.

Isabelle Tawil, Development Manager, Individual Giving

Without a doubt, the Iván Fischer Beethoven concerts in March – particularly at the Lincoln Center in New York where we gave two concerts as part of a complete cycle of the Symphonies with Iván’s “other” Orchestra, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, which gave two concerts as well.  The audience reaction and Iván’s inspiring and totally unique conducting style produced electrifying musical moments of the year.

Stephen Carpenter, Chief Executive

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New Night Shift podcast

Thu 14 Oct 2010

Ahead of The Night Shift next week we have a new podcast – in it we speak to violinist Kati Debretzeni about the music in the concert, listen to your views on the last event at Wilton’s Music Hall, find out about the history of the Southbank Centre and lastly talk to band the Silvermoths who support the OAE at the next event. Enjoy!

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Speed interview: Kati Debretzeni

Tue 12 Oct 2010

Next Wednesday, Kati, one of the OAE’s four leaders, will direct two concerts at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, one at 7pm and a following Night Shift at 10pm. We caught up with her to ask her a few questions…

What do you fear the most?
Debilitating illness of a loved one.

Which mobile number do you call the most?
The wonderful Hungarian-speaking babysitter’s of my 15 month old Alma. And I keep trying my husband’s knowing he won’t hear it – I inflicted the phone on him…

What – or where – is perfection?
In our minds. But no harm in trying!

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?
I like anti-heroes better then heroes. Sancho Panza or Leporello are so much more interesting then the protagonists – they are human, and frail, and have real emotional depth and complexities.

What’s your favourite ritual?
Not a person of rituals really. If pressed – going to a cafe and reading the newspaper by myself. Sad…

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In the Green Room: Karen Robinson pics, part 5

Wed 1 Sep 2010

The final instalment of backstage pictures of the OAE by Karen Robinson. See some featured around the Southbank Centre site soon as part of a campaign highlighting the new concert season.

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In the Green Room: Karen Robinson pics, part 3

Fri 2 Jul 2010

Continuing our series of pics by Karen Robinson…

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In the Green Room: Karen Robinson pics, part 2

Mon 28 Jun 2010

Here’s a second set of pics taken backstage around our performance of L’estro Armonico earlier this year, taken by Karen Robinson. This set is from the afternoon rehearsal.

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A "sunny" afternoon in the country

Wed 1 Jul 2009

A sunny June afternoon managing an OAE concert in the Kent countryside?  Or so I thought…  Blazing, humid sunshine accompanied the majority of the car journey down to beautiful Boughton Aluph church near Ashford in Kent last Saturday for the OAE’s appearance at the Stour Music Festival, where one of our OAE Leaders Kati Debretzeni was directing a small programme of Italian Baroque music.  As the Church was not in Boughton Aluph and more in the middle of nowhere (which I’ve now discovered was due to worry about the spread of the Plague) the festival organisers had a well thought out audience and artist hospitality.  Two huge Marquees (and deluxe portaloos) were erected in the neighbouring fields for the duration of the festival – with one for sole use of the artists, and filled with lots of yummy home made food which more than filled our growling stomachs in-between the afternoon rehearsal and concert – thank you Stour Music Festival and all the cooks for providing such a feast.  Can I have that summer pudding recipe please??

Who would have guessed that the second the rehearsal started the heavens would have opened, (I think most of June’s rainfall then fell in the next 3 hours), and that the roof would start to drip.  Cue Ceri running around looking for buckets, a mop and a golf umbrella.  Luckily when the rain stopped the dripping stopped too, and with a fine blue sky for the evening concert the only sounds to be heard was the superb playing of the OAE and the fine singing of Lorna Anderson.

Concerts in non-concert Hall set-ups always prove to be a challenge on the set-up front, and I did have a little chuckle to myself to see that there was a Policeman guarding the entrance.

Ceri Jones, Projects Manager

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