Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Pre-concert talk: performing the St Matthew Passion without a conductor

Wed 8 Apr 2015

If you were at one of our recent performances of Bach’s St Matthew Passion you will have noted the absence of a usually ubiquitous figure – the conductor.

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Bach: Maybe not such a misery after all

Thu 19 Mar 2015

When asked to name their ideal dinner party guests, who would really say JS Bach?

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Struggling with Sound

Fri 29 Nov 2013

OAE

My ex-housemate has always liked Philip Glass, so I got us a couple of tickets to see him perform Music in Twelve Parts at Southbank Centre the other night.

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Sing the Passions

Fri 22 Mar 2013

Our Sing the Passions event at Kings Place is coming up tomorrow afternoon and we’re busy practicing our scales and warming up our vocal chords.

For those of you able to make it, here’s a bit about what we’ll be exploring in the workshop…

Our Principal keyboard player Robert Howarth will be joined by tenor Norbert Meyn, to sing the role of the Evangelist. Norbert is a specialist in language and will work with Robert and the audience to explore such matters as pronunciation and characterisation.  We’ll be looking at a mixture of numbers from both Passions with such choruses as Sind Blitze, sind Donner in Wolken verschwunden and Kreuzige, kreuzige!

If you already have a score of the St Matthew and St John Passion, then please feel free to bring along your copies to the session. If not, don’t worry as music will be provided. (We’ll be working from the Barenreiter Score.)

Get those singing voices ready and we’ll see you there!

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St Matthew Passion: Berlin

Wed 15 Apr 2009

It was an early start to the day, with half of the Orchestra arriving at Heathrow at 06:30 and that after not finishing a stunning performance in the Royal Festival Hall the night before until 10:30pm! But the OAE have grown used to this. International touring might sound glamorous but the reality of early morning check-ins and hotel rooms not being ready for you when you arrive are all par for the course!

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St Matthew Passion: more reviews

Tue 14 Apr 2009

A few more reviews from the London performance of the St Matthew Passion.

The Times
Independent
Classical Source

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St Matthew Passion: Valladolid

Wed 8 Apr 2009

Well it’s a couple of days since we got back from Spain now but I thought I would write a few lines about the second concert we did there in Valladolid. We had a very quick turn around after our mammoth coach journey and as soon as we had got off the bus, it felt like we were back on it and on our way to the concert venue. The Centro Cultural Miguel Delibes was very impressive, it is part of a new development on the outskirts of the city and the inside of the hall was almost completely made of wood and the audience seating seemed to go on forever.

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St Matthew Passion review

Wed 8 Apr 2009

Here’s a review in The Guardian from the Bristol performance of the St Matthew Passion.

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St Matthew Passion: Amsterdam

Fri 3 Apr 2009

The second leg of our tour took us to Amsterdam. This date of the tour was unusual in that it was only actually confirmed a few months ago. Usually tours like this are planned up to 2 years ahead. In this case the orchestra originally booked to perform at the Concertgebouw was unable to perform, so we were asked if we would be free, and luckily we were, although with the exception of mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotjin, who was replaced at this performance by Anna Stephany.

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St Matthew Passion: Bristol

Thu 2 Apr 2009

Monday was the first concert in our long St Matthew Passion tour around Europe in time for Easter, which saw the OAE journey to the west of England to St George’s Bristol. As I’m sure the St Matthew Passion is going to gain plenty of coverage in the blog in the next few weeks or so, I’d like to blog about the pre-concert event.  The title of the event was ‘The OAE’s look at the development of the Passion’ and we decided to do something a little bit different by combining a film showing of an Education project that had taken place in Bristol earlier in the Spring, with an insightful introduction from Mark Padmore about how he with the OAE has approached the performance of the Passion this time round, and the challenges of being without a conductor.

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Busy times…

Tue 31 Mar 2009

Having written a short while ago about a less busy period for the Orchestra, we are now currently in the midst of an incredibly busy few months.
Last week we started rehearsal for the St Matthew Passion with Mark Padmore, which had its first performance last night in Bristol. Prior to this project starting we had already started rehearsals for Dido & Aeneas and Acis & Galatea at the Royal Opera House. We had the dress rehearsal for that last Friday, and the first night is tonight. You can imagine that quite a lot of work goes into scheduling and dovetailing two projects like these!

The Passion is touring to Amsterdam, Spain, Paris and Berlin, and the double bill at the Royal Opera House is playing until 20 April. Then from 19 April we’re straight into our next two projects – Heiner Goebbel’s Songs of Wars I have seen and our Haydn concert with conductor Ed Gardner. Phew!

William, Marketing Director

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