Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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BBC Proms

Thu 23 Apr 2015

The sun is shining and that means – for us at least – three things are crawling out from their winter hibernation: opera festivals, the Proms and ice-cream van drivers.

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BBC Proms with Marin Alsop – Reviews

Fri 4 Oct 2013

As the summer draws to a close and our new season begins, we look back at some of the reviews form our appearance at the BBC Proms with Marin Alsop.

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OAE at the BBC Proms

Mon 23 Apr 2012

BBC Proms 2012

One of the most closely guarded secrets in the classical music world is always what’s going to be on at the BBC Proms, so even though our appearances are planned some way in advance, no one aside from us in the office knows what we are doing until the big Proms announcement and launch. This year that launch took place last week, so we can now safely tell you that this year we’ll make not one but two appearances this year.

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Rinaldo at the BBC Proms: Reviews

Wed 31 Aug 2011

Last week we made our annual appearance at the BBC Proms, as part of the Glyndebourne Prom, a semi-staged performance of Handel’s Rinaldo. Here’s what the reviewers and bloggers made of it:

Guardian

Music OMH

Classical Source

The Times (subscribers only)

Gramophone

Seen and Heard

There are some pictures from the Prom on the Proms Facebook Page here.

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Rinaldo: last performances and podcast

Wed 17 Aug 2011

Rinaldo 2011, photograph taken by Bill Cooper

Our run of Rinaldo at Glyndebourne is now drawing to a close, with just three performances left (tonight, Saturday 20th and Monday 22nd). If you’re lucky though you might just get a return, or be able to get a seat for the semi-staged performance of it at the BBC proms at the Royal Albert Hall next Thursday. Glyndebourne have a put together a series of podcasts for their operas this summer, and you can listen to them, including one on Rinaldo here.

The production has split opinion, to say the least… If you’ve seen it you can add your pennies-worth over on the Glyndebourne website here.

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Back-Row Blogger: Temporary vagrancy

Wed 27 Jul 2011

Asleep on train

‘Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head’. Neither, from time to time, do musicians. During the Proms for example, morning rehearsals are held in the Albert Hall and the players are then released to roam the streets until the evening concert. If you visit Tate Modern, one of the cinemas in Leicester Square or a West End department store at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon, as like as not you will be rubbing shoulders with an oboist or a tuba player. Some take the opportunity to fit in a few hours teaching – and there is always The Pub. Why not go home for an hour or two? It is a common misapprehension that London musicians live in London. Either through choice or necessity, many live beyond the M25, and orchestral schedules frequently result in this temporary vagrancy.

On the last day of the OAE’s tour with Simon Rattle a 6am start (the third in as many days) brought the orchestra back to Heathrow at 10 am for a rehearsal in the Festival Hall at 5 pm followed by a concert and live broadcast. Of course a 6am start is the norm for many workers, but consider that musicians are expected to perform at the height of their powers between 7 and 10 pm, more than 12 hours after the alarm has interrupted their innocent dreams. It is not surprising that the search for an afternoon nap often features prominently in a musician’s day. Indeed, if some enterprising person were to invent a violin case that could convert into a comfortable inflatable mattress, they would be sure of a market, and one OAE double bass player has admitted to curling up inside his womb-like, padded case. On the morning in question a member of the Back Row hit upon an ingenious solution. Having gone to Liverpool St station to buy an advance ticket for her homeward journey after the concert, she noticed that the Norwich train was due to leave in ten minutes. Purchasing a day return to Colchester, she boarded the train, and was soon sleeping soundly. At Colchester she caught the next train back to London and was able to sleep for another hour. On reflection it is quite likely that she is not the only musician to have used the railways in this way. Next time you see someone asleep on a train in the middle of the afternoon, tap them on the shoulder and ask what instrument they play. You may be surprised at the answer.

Back Row Blogger

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Ingrid: One month in

Tue 17 Aug 2010

I can’t say I expected to have been to 3 such brilliant concerts within my first month as the OAE intern. The highlight of my first week here was trotting off to Glyndebourne to see how everything works backstage from the orchestra’s point of view. I had duly prepared myself by watching the recent BBC series about Gareth Malone putting together a youth choir for the Knight Crew opera, so I at least had an idea what it was all about. I had heard of Glin-de-born back in New Zealand (I purposely waited in my intern interview for Ceri and Megan to say it first) and knew it as one of the top opera places in the world, but didn’t realise it was in the country-side and in such a beautiful setting. Fortunately I was ushered into a free seat behind a tv camera about 10 seconds before it began and was able to watch the show.

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Our Prom: listen again + reviews

Tue 3 Aug 2010

Well, our Prom on Sunday was a bit of an event. It’s not every day you get the OAE playing Berlioz and Wagner, and also not often that you get over 85 OAE players on stage! Plus, the Royal Albert Hall was packed to the rafters. If you couldn’t be there then you can still listen to the performance online, until this coming Sunday. Listen to it here.

The critics were out in force and here’s what they said

Guardian

Tom Service Guardian Blog

Evening Standard

Telegraph

Independent

Musical Criticism

Classical Source

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Rattle in rehearsal

Tue 3 Aug 2010

Here’s a few pics we took while in rehearsal at the Royal Albert Hall for our BBC Proms performance last Sunday. In the last couple you can see our Melgaard OAE Young Conductor Eduardo Portal on the podium – he probably took over for a bit so that Sir Simon could check the balance further back in the hall. On the night Eduardo conducted the off stage horns in Tristan and Isolde.

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