Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Speed Interview – Kati Debretzeni

Thu 31 Jan 2013

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In the lead up to V4: The Seasons, we spoke with lead violinist Kati Debretzeni about her fears, her heroes and the challenges of combining period music with contemporary dance.

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Speed Interview – Rhiannon Morgan

Tue 29 Jan 2013

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V4: The Seasons will see the OAE in a unique event that mixes period performance with the contemporary choreography of Henri Oguike.  We met up with dancer Rhiannon Morgan at rehearsals to find out more about how she got in to dance.

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Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)

Composer

vivaldi

Vivaldi/The Man
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi was born in Venice.  He was baptized immediately after his birth by the midwife, which led many people to believe his life was somehow in danger.  The real reason is still not known for sure, some argue it was due to ill health while others state that an earthquake the same day led his mother to be in constant fear for her son’s life.  As a result, Vivaldi’s mother dedicated him to the Priesthood.

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V4: The Seasons: OAE & Vivaldi & Henri Oguike

Wed 16 Jan 2013

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On 8 February at the Southbank Centre, we’ll be giving Vivaldi’s legendary The Four Seasons a fresh twist, in a major new collaboration with renowned choreographer Henri Oguike and OAE leader Kati Debretzeni, fusing authentic performance with contemporary choreography.

Sounds intriguing? Well here’s a taster of what you can expect to see…

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Choreography, cake & collaborations: why you should come to an Insight Club

Wed 2 Jan 2013

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Have you stared longingly at our OAE Extras Pre-concert event series listing, and been gutted that you can’t make it along because a) you can’t get to the Southbank Centre by 5.45 because you have a full time job, or b) because in your hectic life it’s the choice between dinner before the concert and a bit of light learning, and quite frankly dinner always wins out?

Well, here’s your bit of New Year Luck.  The OAE runs a series of Insight Clubs, which we have helpfully scheduled at the weekend, so you won’t be fighting against your dinner to come along.  The sessions are longer, and we like to describe them as rather like a book club.  Interaction and discussion between the audience and the speakers is encouraged!

On Sunday 13 January, we’ll be meeting Henri Oguike the brains (and feet) behind our choreographed version of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons that will take place in February.  Henri will be joined by Dr Melissa Bianco Borelli, a lecturer in dance studies at the University of Surrey.  The two of them will discuss the forthcoming collaboration – Henri’s approach to creating a work, the planning, the rehearsals, selecting the dancers, and how he anticipates working with the musicians.  Hearing from the personality involved directly at the heart of the project brings an aspect of understanding and insight (hence the name of the event) far beyond what you may read in a concert programme. 

Do come along and be part of the discussion.  You even get a complimentary drink and a slice of cake to boot…

More information and booking can be found here.

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A Christmas challenge…

Wed 28 Nov 2012

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Here at the OAE offices, the excitement is building and the tension is mounting. 

Letters have gone out, social media and enewsletters are at the ready – and we are counting down the days: just over a week to go…

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New Insight Clubs now on sale

Tue 12 Jun 2012

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Our Insight Clubs for the 2012-2013 Season are now on sale. We’ve been running these events for a few years now, as a way of exploring aspects of what we do in greater depth. They’re very informal events, typically with around 30-40 people in attendance, and there’s always a chance for you to put your questions to the speakers. Tickets are just £10, which includes tea or coffee and a pastry.

Our events for the new season are:

Sunday 13 January 2013 at 2pm
Dancing Vivaldi – we talk to choreographer Henri Oguike about his upcoming collaboration with us.
Book / more info

Saturday 6 April 2013 at 2pm
The Mystcial Magic Flute – a session led by astrologer and opera enthusiast Shelley von Strunkel, exploring the mystical elements of Mozart’s masterpiece.
Book / more info 

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Previewing the Oguike Four Seasons

Mon 30 Apr 2012

Henri Oguike Four Seasons

One of my personal highlights of the forthcoming 2012-2013 season of concerts is our collaboration with choreographer Henri Oguike. He’ll be working with OAE leader (and soloist for this concert) Kati Debretzeni, on a very special presentation of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in which we’ll be adding new, contemporary choreography to Vivaldi’s masterpiece.

The idea was Kati’s, who had wanted to add a dance element to Vivaldi’s piece, but crucially wanted herself and the Orchestra to be a bit more than a backing band for the dancers – the idea is to have at least some of the musicians take a more active role in the dance.

Anyway, the actual performances are quite a while away, on 8 February of next year, but Henri has already been busy, and a few weeks ago I was excited to be asked to a special showing of some of the early dance ‘sketches’.

We saw elements of each season, and I can honestly say it was thrilling; both a real privilege to see something in such an early stage of development, and also to see such incredible dancers really up close, in the confines of a studio. I think we’ll be in for a real treat come next February, and it’ll be great to see a piece of music which is sometimes as regarded as perhaps a little ‘naff’ (of course, it shouldn’t be) re-imagined in this way.

My colleague Megan also came along to the showing, and as a budding amateur photographer, she took some great pictures of the event, so you can get at least some flavour of what went on.

Performances are on 8 Feb 2013 at 6.30pm and 8.30pm in the Queen Elizabeth Hall and tickets are already on sale.

We will of course be posting further updates as the project develops – so watch this space!

William Norris
Communications Director

 

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Canary Competition (win tickets!)

Thu 22 Dec 2011

Canaries

This New Year we’re at our Kings Place base, performing two concerts to mark the end of 2011 (on 31 Dec at 6pm and 1 Jan at 1pm). The programme contains Vivaldi’s evergreen Four Seasons, but also one real curiosity, Telemann’s Canary Cantata.  The piece was written as a tribute to Telemann’s pet song-bird, and its full title is ‘Cantata of funeral music for an artistically trained canary-bird whose demise brought the greatest sorrow to his master’. They were obviously very close! To make it even worse the beloved bird was murdered by a cat rather than dying of natural causes 🙁

Here’s a taste of the piece, in this English translation of one of the arias in the cantata:

“O woe! o woe! thrice woe!
My songbird is no more;
To whom can I my loss deplore
to whom can I my painful heartache declare?
Who will now with me my sorrow share”

Plus if you have Spotify you can listen to it here.

We have two tickets to give away to the New Years Eve performance of the concert (details here), which is at 6pm at Kings Place, London.

To be in with a chance to win, simply tell us about your favourite pet, and what you did, or would do, to mark their passing in a fitting style.  Add your entries below by midday on 29 December and we’ll announce a winner shortly after.

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Vivaldi Concerti CD

Vivaldi Concerti CD
Price: £9.99 Buy Now

Vivaldi Concerti CD

Concerto in F major for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, violin, cello and harpsichord “Il Proteo o sia il mondo al rovescio” RV 572
Concerto in D minor for oboe RV 454
Concerto in D minor for 2 recorders, 2 oboees, bassoon and 2 violins RV 566
Concerto in F major for 2 horns RV 539
Concerto in G major for cello RV 413
Chamber Concerto in G minor for flute, oboe, bassoon, violin and continuo RV 107
Concerto in G minor for flute “La Notte” RV 439
Concerto in D minor for lute and viola d’amore RV 540

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In the Green Room: Karen Robinson pics, part 1

Thu 17 Jun 2010

A while back, photographer Karen Robinson was commissioned by Southbank Centre to take pictures of the Resident Orchestras and their major artists, with a view to using the images for the Southbank Centre’s 2010-2011 Classical Music Season. You may well have already seen the photographs in the Southbank’s Classical Music Guide. As part of the project, Karen spent a day with the OAE as we rehearsed and performed Vivaldi’s L’estro armonico at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. The results are fantastic, and a wonderful glimpse into what happens backstage at a concert. Here’s an initial selection (from the afternoon rehearsal), and more will follow.

William Norris, Marketing Director

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Vivaldi review

Sat 20 Feb 2010

The first review of our Vivaldi concerts at the Queen Elizabeth Hall is now online to read.

For this complete performance of L’estro Armonico we split the music over two hour-long concerts at 6.15pm and 8.45pm, with a free talk at 7.45pm. If you were there what did you think of this arrangement? Would you like to see more short concerts like this, or varied start times? Initial reaction seems to have been positive, though obviously it works better with some better repertoire than others.

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Beethoven and Vivaldi podcast

Thu 28 Jan 2010

Another new podcast – this time looking at our upcoming concerts at Southbank Centre. Vladimir Jurowski talks about the Beethoven series and Symphonies 4 and 7, while OAE Leader Alison Bury also talks about Beethoven before moving onto our upcoming Vivaldi concert in April. Listen to the podcast here or download it on itunes.

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