Intermusica artists star in series of Shakespearean operas this November
Over 200 operas over the years have taken inspiration from Shakespeare's iconic plays, inspiring composers from Purcell and Britten to Rossini and Gounod.
This November, a number of Intermusica singers appear in a range of Shakespeare-based operas, including two different Hamlets on the same day! Read on to find out more.
Macbeth by Verdi (1847)
It is Verdi who most closely followed Shakespeare's original writing, translating the works directly from Italian. Macbeth was extremely well-received at its premiere in 1847, setting precedent for his works that followed.
Last month Craig Colclough jumped in at the Metropolitan Opera to make his house debut in the title role of Macbeth: “[it] will be remembered here as a ‘star is born’ sort of evening for Colclough” (Opera Metro)
> Read a Q&A with Colclough about his role in Macbeth (OperaWire)
This exciting start to the season builds on Colclough's debut in the role in June 2019 at Opera Vlaanderen. This month he returns to the production, opening 8 November in Luxembourg and 21 November in Ghent – click here for more information.
Lear by Aribert Reimann (1978)
On 21 November Gidon Saks (playing the King of France) and Michael Colvin (as Duke of Cornwall) return to Opéra national de Paris in Calixto Bieito's production of Aribert Reimann’s Lear.
The libretto, by Claus H. Henneberg, is based on Shakespeare's King Lear, the tragedy of a King who bestows his power and land to two of his three daughters, culminating in destruction and madness.
The production was first premiered in 1978 at the Bayerische Staatsoper.
Colvin’s 2019/20 season also sees him performing the role of Bob Boles in Peter Grimes at the Enescu Festival and The Witch in Joel Ivany's production of Hansel & Gretel with Canadian Opera Company. Upcoming engagements include a return to Canadian Opera Company and ENO, and an anticipated company debut with Bayerische Staatsoper.
Meanwhile the 2019/20 season sees Saks returning to Teatro La Fenice where he will perform the title role in a new production of Bartòk’s Bluebeard.
Lear runs until 7 December 2019 and is conducted by Fabio Luisi.
Hamlet by Brett Dean (2017)
“New opera doesn’t often get to sound this good” – so commented The Guardian about Brett Dean's Hamlet which has gone on to receive a number of awards since its premiere at Glyndebourne Festival in 2017.
24 November sees the German premiere of Dean’s Hamlet in a new production directed by Brett’s librettist, Matthew Jocelyn, at Cologne Opera.
David Butt Philip attracted major acclaim for his interpretation of the title role on Glyndebourne's UK tour in autumn 2017:
“He sings with uncompromising conviction and blazing intensity. He’s a superb actor, too. We really sense both his affection for Gavan Ring’s Horatio and his horror when he first sees his father’s ghost... It’s an exceptional, career-making achievement" – The Guardian
This month he reprises the role of the ill-fated Prince of Demark to make his company debut with Oper Köln. Performances run until 11 December – click here for more information.
Hamlet by Ambroise Thomas (1868)
Alongside Butt Philip, Jacques Imbrailo also appeared in the 2017 world premiere of Dean’s Hamlet at Glyndebourne, in the role of Horatio, where he was described as “a warm Horatio who also excels” (Bachtrack).
On 24 November, while Butt Philip sings Hamlet in Germany, Imbrailo takes on a rather different interpretation of Shakespeare's classic, performing the title role in French composer Ambroise Thomas’ 1868 opera of the same name with Washington Concert Opera.
A role and house debut for Imbrailo, Washington Concert Opera is known for presenting seldom performed masterpieces of the operatic repertoire in concert form.
Thomas' little-known opera came off the back of so-called 'Ophelia-mania', a craze sparked in 1820s Paris by Irish actress Harriet Smith's unique on-stage interpretation of Ophelia. Smith is best known in classical music history as the woman who inspired Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique.
Hamlet is one of a number of debuts for Imbrailo this season: he also appears for the first time at The Bolshoi Opera and performs Marcello in Barrie Kosky’s production of La Boheme at Komische Oper Berlin.
Watch Imbrailo discuss Thomas' Hamlet below:
Intermusica artists win in five categories at 2019 Gramophone Awards
In an electrifying night full of stunning performances and heart-felt speeches, six Intermusica artists walked away victorious in their nominated categories at the 2019 Gramophone Awards:
Recording of the Year – Emmanuel Krivine
The much-coveted Recording of the Year prize went to Saint-Saëns Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 5 on Erato with Orchestre National de France, conducted by Krivine, which also won in the Concerto category.
Instrumental Award – Yuja Wang
Yuja's The Berlin Recital on Deutsche Grammophon won the instrumental category, the ninth year running that a pianist has received the instrumental award. Watch her acceptance speech on Instagram.
Chamber Award – Antoine Tamestit
The recording of Debussy Les Trois Sonates (The Late Works) on Harmonia Mundi won the Chamber category and features Tamestit performing Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp.
The Gramophone Classical Music Awards were presented on 16 October at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in association with Apple Music, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and Medici.tv. Watch the full ceremony on Medici TV here.
Jacques Imbrailo sings Ein deutsches Requiem with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Jacques Imbrailo joins the BBC National Orchestra of Wales to perform Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem on 28 June 2019. Conducted by Nathalie Stutzmann, the other soloists include Elizabeth Watts (soprano).
Imbrailo has a great affinity for both solo recital and concert work, having performed with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and São Paulo Symphony Orchestra. Most recently, he performed a solo recital of Sibelius and Rachmaninov at the Wigmore Hall with pianist Alisdair Hogarth.
The performance in Wales marks the conclusion of a very successful 2018/19 season for Imbrailo. His upcoming highlights include a return to The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Albert in Werther and Alphonse XI in La Favourite with Houston Grand Opera.
Intermusica artists star in the Royal Opera House’s 2019/20 season
The Royal Opera House announced their 2019/20 season on 14 May 2019, unveiling a wide range of new commissions, world premieres and revivals, supported by a diverse range of ticketed and free daytime events, activities and festivals for people of all ages. The season is the first full season since the completion of Covent Garden’s three-year Open Up initiative and features 13 new productions (including two world premieres). Among the new works is the world premiere of Jules Maxwell The Lost Thing, an adaptation of Shaun Tan’s picture book. The production is staged in association with Candoco Dance Company, the commission features a cast of disabled and non-disabled singers, dancers and musicians.
>Click here to see full details of the Royal Opera House’s new season.
Following his critically acclaimed performances in Billy Budd in April, Jacques Imbrailo returns to the Royal Opera House to star as Albert in Massenet Werther from 17 September. Benoît Jacquot’s production is conducted by Edward Gardner and also features Stephanie Wake-Edwards, who begins her debut season as a Jette Parker Young Artist with the role of Käthchen.
Rhian Lois returns to Covent Garden on 25 September to perform as Jerusha in Gerald Barry The Intelligence Park at the Linbury Theatre. Conducted by Jessica Cottis, the production is the first of Barry’s opera in London since 1990.
On 14 October, Evelino Pidò conducts the premiere of a new production of Donizetti Don Pasquale from Damiano Michieletto. The production stars Bryn Terfel and is co-produced with the Opéra national de Paris and Teatro Massimo, Palermo. The performance on 24 October will be broadcast live to cinemas around the world as part of the Royal Opera House’s Live Cinema Season.
Leo Hussain made a critically acclaimed debut at Covent Garden in 2016 helming the Royal Opera’s first production of Enescu Oedipe. He returns to the Royal Opera House on 1 November to conduct David McVicar’s production of Die Zauberflöte, which also features Hongni Wu as Zweite Dame. Wu is currently a member of the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme, with other roles in the 2019/20 season including Flora in La traviata, Karolka in Jenůfa and Tebaldo in Don Carlo.
Tim Mead returns to the Royal Opera House to star in David McVicar’s new production of Britten Death in Venice from 21 November. Performing under the baton of Sir Mark Elder, Mead performs the role of Apollo opposite Mark Padmore and Gerald Finley.
Gregory Kunde performs one of his signature roles at Covent Garden from 9 December, starring in the title role of Verdi Otello under the baton of Sir Antonio Pappano. Keith Warner’s production also stars Freddie De Tommaso, who makes his Covent Garden debut as Cassio.
Pamela Helen Stephen, Vlada Borovko, Hongni Wu and Stephanie Wake-Edwards join the cast for Richard Eyre’s production of La traviata from 17 December. Stephen takes the role of Annina, while Borovko stars as Violetta on 1 February 2020. She also returns to star as Musetta in three performances of La bohème directed by Richard Jones on 7, 11 and 13 February. Wake-Edwards and Wu share the role of Flora.
Lise Davidsen sings her first lead role at the Royal Opera House from 1 March 2020 when she stars opposite Jonas Kaufmann in a new production of Beethoven Fidelio. The production is directed by Tobias Kratzer, who directs Davidsen in Wagner Tannhäuser at this summer’s Bayreuth Festival. The production will be broadcast live in cinemas on 17 March.
Hongni Wu and Stephanie Wake-Edwards join the cast of Janáček Jenůfa from 24 March 2020. Directed by Claus Guth and conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, Wu takes the role of Karolka while Wake-Edwards sings the Herdswoman.
Ruxandra Donose returns to the Royal Opera House for two productions next season. On 27 April, she joins Christof Loy’s production of Wagner Tristan und Isolde to sing the role of Brangäne under the baton of Semyon Bychkov. She then returns on 29 June to star in Don Carlo as Eboli. Nicholas Hytner’s production also features Hongni Wu as Tebaldo.
Stephanie Wake-Edwards continues her debut season as a Jette Parker Young Artist with the role of Kate Pinkerton in Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier’s production of Puccini Madama Butterfly from 22 June. This co-production with the Gran Teatre del Liceu is conducted by Dan Ettinger.
Hongni Wu and Stephanie Wake-Edwards round off the season alongside their colleagues on the Jette Parker programme with the Jette Parker Young Artists Summer Performance on 18 July.
Jacques Imbrailo performs in recital at Wigmore Hall
Jacques Imbrailo returns to Wigmore Hall on 26 May 2019 for a recital with pianist Alisdair Hogarth. Together they perform a selection of late-romantic repertoire by Sibelius and Rachmaninov, including Sibelius' Opus 37 songs (which the composer described as including his most beautiful song) and Rachmaninov In the silence of the mysterious night. The programme features on the duo’s critically acclaimed album for Linn Records, which was released in May 2018:
“an appropriately bold programme… a distinguished recital debut, and one looks forward to more.”
BBC Music Magazine
“a deeply satisfying two-part recital… this is exciting, heartfelt and moving singing”
Imbrailo comes to the Wigmore Hall fresh from his starring performance in Britten Billy Budd at the Royal Opera House. His performances in the title role have been met with huge public and critical acclaim – click here to read a selection of the reviews.
"The definitive Billy": Critical acclaim for Jacques Imbrailo as Billy Budd at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Jacques Imbrailo's performances in the title role of Billy Budd at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, have been met with universal critical acclaim. Deborah Warner's production opened on 23 April and was the first staged at Covent Garden for nearly 20 years. Imbrailo also starred in the production when it opened at Teatro Real in Madrid in February 2017 - watch a clip from the production below, courtesy of the BelAir Classiques label.
Imbrailo made his debut as Billy in Glyndebourne Festival Opera’s very first production of Billy Budd in 2010 and has gone on to perform the role around the world. Read a selection of the reviews from Covent Garden below:
"South African baritone Jacques Imbrailo has become the Billy Budd of choice, and he is in fine form, singing with a warmth and fullness of voice that embodies all this divine character’s strength and goodness"
"There’s one superb central performance: Jacques Imbrailo’s touchingly impulsive, properly athletic and nobly sung Billy."
"The range of colours and dynamics in the voice is now peerless"
"… we have the definitive Billy – he’s sung this part so often he virtually owns it"
"There is some magnificent singing… Imbrailo’s beautifully modulated delivery of Billy’s final monologue in the darbies"
"…he gives every inch of himself, conveying all the boy’s fatal unawareness of his own charm and his misplaced trust in his commander’s virtue. His desperate cry of ‘Captain Vere, save me’ at his drumhead trial and his final gesture of forgiving benediction are almost unbearably moving."
"This taut production of Benjamin Britten's all-male naval tragedy features a touching portrayal of the title role by the South African baritone Jacques Imbrailo. He brings beautiful tone and intense concentration to the inarticulate sailor Billy Budd"
"That Billy of Jacques Imbrailo is superbly assured; every nuance is carefully considered, lived in and lived with, and the cumulative effect is remarkable. I enjoyed Imbrailo’s Zurga (Pêcheurs de Perles, ENO, 2016) but this performance took him into a different league. Billy’s emotional journey is huge in this performance, from his press ganging through to his tragic end with myriad stages in between. Imbrailo’s ‘Billy in the Darbies’ was heart-stoppingly beautiful"
Seen & Heard International
There are further performances of Billy Budd at the Royal Opera House on 2, 7 and 10 May. Click here for more information.
BelAir Classique's Billy Budd starring Jacques Imbrailo wins BBC Music Magazine's DVD Award
BelAir Classique's DVD of Teatro Real's first ever production of Britten Billy Budd starring Jacques Imbrailo has been awarded the jury prize in the DVD category at the BBC Music Magazine Awards 2019. Deborah Warner's production opened at Teatro Real in January 2017 and was conducted by Ivor Bolton.
Imbrailo returns to the role later this month when Warner's production opens at the Royal Opera House on 23 April. Warner's production is once again conducted by Ivor Bolton and is the first at Covent Garden in nearly two decades. The performances run until 10 May.
Imbrailo made his debut as Billy in Glyndebourne Festival Opera’s very first production of Billy Budd in 2010 and has gone on to perform the role around the world. Most recently, he has taken his acclaimed interpretation to Den Norske Opera & Ballett where he continues to receive universal praise:
“Jacques Imbrailo is everything you could want in the title role, able to be young, strong and beautiful, but also vulnerable and deeply moving.”
Financial Times, February 2019
“It was a beautifully sung, total performance that alone was the soul of this evening”
Opera Today, February 2017
“Jacques Imbrailo is the finest Billy I have heard – lusty, virile, sensitive and moving.”
Financial Times, May 2010
Jacques Imbrailo stars as Billy Budd at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Jacques Imbrailo returns to the Royal Opera House on 23 April 2019 to star in the title role of Britten Billy Budd as Deborah Warner's acclaimed production opens at Covent Garden. Imbrailo also starred when it premiered at Teatro Real in February 2017. Warner's production was the first to be staged at Teatro Real, and is the first at the Royal Opera House for nearly two decades. It was filmed for DVD in Madrid by BelAir Classique and was named DVD of the Year at the BBC Music Magazine Awards on 10 April.
Imbrailo made his debut as Billy in Glyndebourne Festival Opera’s very first production of Billy Budd in 2010 and has gone on to perform the role around the world. His performances in Warner's production in Madrid were met with universal critical acclaim:
“Jacques Imbrailo – sensational from beginning to end - conveys the innate, spontaneous and non-imposed goodness of Billy"
El País, February 2017
“Jacques Imbrailo is now one of the great interpreters of the title role"
Forum Opera, February 2017
Billy Budd runs at Covent Garden until 10 May.
Mark Wigglesworth conducts new production of Billy Budd at Norwegian National Opera starring Jacques Imbrailo
Mark Wigglesworth conducts a new production of Britten Billy Budd for Norwegian National Opera with Jacques Imbralio in the title role.
Opening on 18 January, this production is directed by Annilese Miskimmon with a cast also including Peter Hoare as Vere and John Relyea as Claggart. Performances run until February 16.
Further highlights for Imbrailo this season include the same role in Deborah Warner’s production of Billy Budd at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and in future seasons, a return to Houston Grand Opera and the Teatro Real, and his debut at the Metropolitan Opera, the Komische Opera and Grand Théâtre de Genève.
Wigglesworth’s house debut in Oslo is at the centre of a busy season, which has already included Keith Warner’s new production of La Forza del Destino at Semperoper Dresden. On the concert stage, he has conducted Britten War Requiem with BBC National Orchestra of Wales with Allan Clayton and concerts with the Malaysian Philharmonic and Adelaide Symphony Orchestra where he is currently the Principal Guest Conductor.
Jacques Imbrailo sings Pelléas at Opéra National du Rhin
Jacques Imbrailo brings his acclaimed interpretation of Pelléas in Debussy Pelléas et Melisande to the Opéra National du Rhin this month. Imbrailo stars in Barrie Kosky’s production, which opens on 19 October 2018. The production is conducted by Franck Ollu, with performances in both Strasbourg and Mulhouse.
Further highlights in the 2018/19 season for Imbrailo include a return to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden for the title role Billy Budd in Deborah Warner's critically acclaimed production, conducted by Ivor Bolton, and his debut for Norwegian National Opera as the title role Billy Budd.
Pelléas has become a signature role for Imbrailo; of his 2016 performances of the role with Opera Vlaanderen, Der Neue Merker wrote:
“Jacques Imbrailo, with his lyrical, colourful baritone epitomised the strange sleepwalking essence of Pelléas.”
Der neue Merker, May 2016
Pelléas et Mélisande runs until 11 November.
Jacques Imbrailo, Dame Felicity Palmer & Matthew Best star in Pelléas et Mélisande with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Jacques Imbrailo, Dame Felicity Palmer and Matthew Best join Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for a concert performance of Debussy Pelléas et Mélisande on 23 June 2018. Imbrailo, Dame Felicity and Best sing the roles of Pelléas, Geneviève and Arkel, respectively. The concert is the culmination of the orchestra's Debussy celebration.
In Pelléas, Imbrailo returns to one of his signature roles. He has most recently sung it for Zurich Opera, Opera Vlaanderen and the Royal Swedish Opera to great success, and he returns to it again this autumn for Opéra National du Rhin. Further highlights next season also include the title role of Billy Budd at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and for Norwegian National Opera.
Felicity Palmer returns again this season to the role of Geneviève, again under the baton of Gražinytė-Tyla, before rounding off her season with a recital at the Wigmore Hall with pianist Simon Lepper on July 9.
Matthew Best’s season has included successes with English National Opera, as the King in Verdi Aida, and Arkel in Pelléas et Mélisande for Opera Vlaanderen, and Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg.
Jacques Imbrailo releases Sibelius & Rachmaninov Songs on Linn Records
Jacques Imbrailo releases his debut solo album for Linn Records on 25 May 2018, a recital of Sibelius and Rachmaninov songs with Alisdair Hogarth. The album features Rachmaninov songs Vesennije vody (Spring Waters) and the Sibelius song cycles Five Christmas Songs, Op.1, and Five Songs, Op.37.
In addition to his operatic engagements at many of the most prestigious opera houses throughout the world, Imbrailo has a great affinity for art song, and has given solo recitals at Wigmore Hall, St John’s Smith Square and the Het Concertgebouw, Amsterdam.
With a prominent background in both solo and song-accompaniment, Alisdair Hogarth is a versatile pianist combining a robust technique with a fresh, contemporary approach. He is the director and pianist of The Prince Consort.
Click here to purchase Sibelius & Rachmaninov Songs from Linn Records.
Intermusica at the Southbank Centre's 2018/19 classical season
The Southbank Centre launched its 2018/19 classical season on 30 January 2018, with Intermusica artists and performing throughout the year. Highlights include Marin Alsop continuing her relationship with the Southbank in concerts with the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Nicholas Collon and the Aurora Orchestra continuing their residency, and performances from Leonidas Kavakos, John Wilson, Kian Soltani and George Li.
Another major highlight of the season is the International Chamber Music Series, which Intermusica co-promotes with the Southbank Centre. This year it opens with a concert from Jordi Savall and his Hesperion XXI and features a concert marking the centenary of author Muriel Spark from the Nash Ensemble, and performances from Leonidas Kavakos and Yuja Wang, the Jerusalem, Artemis and Belcea quartets, and performances of Stockhausen by Southbank Centre Artist in Residence Pierre-Laurent Aimard.
Nicholas Collon and the Aurora Orchestra continue as Associate Orchestra with three concerts in the new season. The first, on 16 September 2018, pairs a memorized performance of Beethoven Symphony No.5 with HK Gruber's Frankenstein!! in a concert conceived and directed by Jane Mitchell. Their second, on 20 January 2019, is titled Songs from the Road and features Mahler's Songs of a Wayfarer, arrangements of folk ballads and the world premiere of Du Yun Where we lost our shadows. Their final concert takes place on 5 June 2019 and features works by Beethoven, Thomas Adès, a Max Richter world premiere and Mozart's Symphony No.41.
Kirill Gerstein renews his partnership with Thomas Adès when he joins the composer and the London Philharmonic Orchestra on 26 September to perform Adès' concerto for piano and orchestra, In Seven Days.
Geoffrey Paterson returns to the London Sinfonietta on 13 October to conduct them in a performance of Pascal Dusapin Passion, a collaboration with Music Theatre Wales.
Patricia Bardon returns to the role of Baba the Turk in a performance of Stravinsky The Rake's Progress with Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra on 3 November.
Lahav Shani and Francesco Piemontesi join forces for a concert of Brahms and Beethoven with the Philharmonia Orchestra on 4 November. Shani conducts Weber Oberon Overture, Brahms Symphony No.1 and Beethoven Piano Concerto No.5 'Emperor', with himself as piano soloist.
Marin Alsop makes her first visit of the season on 11 November, conducting the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in a performance of Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem. She then returns on 16 January to conduct the London Philharmonic Orchestra in a contemporary programme with Colin Currie giving the world premiere of Helen Grime's Percussion Concerto.
John Wilson returns to the Philharmonia Orchestra on 15 November for a concert of Gershwin and Walton. He is joined by Louis Schwizgebel, who performs Gershwin Piano Concerto. Wilson then brings his John Wilson Orchestra to the Southbank Centre on 15 December, leading them in a characteristic programme of music from Hollywood and Broadway. He returns on 18 April to lead the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in a special performance of Gilbert & Sullivan Trial by Jury.
Mary Bevan joins the Philharmonia Orchestra and conductor Brian Wright for a seasonal performance of Handel's Messiah on 16 December.
Leonidas Kavakos appears at the Southbank Centre's International Chamber Music Series on 18 January alongside Yuja Wang, performing a recital of Mozart, Prokofiev, Bartók and Strauss.
Martyn Brabbins joins the Philharmonia Orchestra on 20 January 2019 to conduct an English programme of Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Britten and the London premiere of Geoffrey Gordon's Prometheus, a concerto for bass clarinet and orchestra.
Jacques Imbrailo joins the Mozartists and conductor Ian Page on 29 January for the next concert in their Mozart 250 series, which is themed around the year 1769. Imbrailo sings arias by Gluck, Haydn, Arne, Gréty and Paisiello.
Susan Bickley returns to the Southbank Centre to sing Beethoven Symphony No.9 alongside the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Oliver Gooch on 16 March.
Kian Soltani returns on 23 March after his acclaimed debut at Southbank Centre with the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra. This time he joins Edward Gardner and the London Philharmonic Orchestra to play Elgar Cello Concerto.
George Li joins Vasily Petrenko and the London Philharmonic Orchestra on 27 March to perform Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1, part of a programme that also features Khachaturian Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia and Walton Symphony No.1.
Following a critically acclaimed London conducting debut with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain in 2017, Carlos Miguel Prieto returns to lead the young musicians in a concert on 12 April. Prieto conducts an exciting programme of Revueltas, Carlos Chávez and Copland.
Francesco Piemontesi returns to the International Piano Series on 2 May, performing a solo recital of works by Bach, Debussy and Rachmaninov.
Martin James Bartlett joins the Philharmonia Orchestra on 7 May to perform Ravel Piano Concerto in G, part of a programme that also features the world premiere of Cecilia McDowall Da Vinci Requiem.
Jacques Imbrailo, Leigh Melrose & Matthew Best star in Pelléas et Mélisande at Opera Vlaanderen
Jacques Imbrailo, Leigh Melrose and Matthew Best travel to Flanders this month to star as Pelléas, Golaud and Arkel in Opera Vlaanderen's new production of Pelléas et Mélisande, which opens on 2 February 2018. The production is directed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet and is conducted by Alejo Pérez.
Imbrailo takes the role of Pelléas, which he has sung to great acclaim around the world, most recently in a performance of "touching delicacy and entirely skilful empathy" (Neue Zürcher Zeitung) for Opernhaus Zürich. He returns to the role twice this season: for three performances in Hong Kong with Welsh National Opera and in concert with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. He also sings the title role of Britten Billy Budd at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma.
Melrose made his highly anticipated role debut as Golaud earlier this season at the Ruhrtriennale Festival and also performs the role later this season at Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg. Further highlights in the 2017/18 season include a return to Teatro Real with two appearances: as Cecil in Britten Gloriana in a new production by Sir David McVicar and Stolzius in Zimmermann Die Soldaten, a new production by Calixto Bieito. Further ahead he makes role debuts at Teatro alla Scala and Wiener Staatsoper as well as returning for new productions at Dutch National Opera and Opernhaus Zürich.
Best revisits the role of Arkel alongside Imbrailo later in the season with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. His Arkel follows a run of performances in English National Opera's production of Aida at the Colisseum.
Christopher Purves & Jacques Imbrailo perform in L'Enfance du Christ with DSO Berlin
On 17 December, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin presents Berlioz L’enfance du Christ at the Berliner Philharmonie, with Jacques Imbrailo and Christopher Purves singing the roles of Joseph and Herod respectively. The performance is semi-staged by Fiona Shaw and conducted by Robin Ticciati. Allan Clayton and Sasha Cooke take the tenor and mezzo-soprano roles.
The approach to Christmas is a busy one for both Imbrailo and Purves, with Imbrailo singing Count Le Nozze di Figaro for Minnesota Opera, and Purves performing Trinity Moses The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at Zurich Opera House. The Guardian wrote of Purves’s recent performance of Berlioz’s La Damnation du Faust with the London Symphony Orchestra:
“Baritone Christopher Purves was a late stand-in as Méphistophélès, but an ideal one – his devil was all charm, honeyed tones and veiled thuggishness, and every glance and gesture told.”
Guardian, five stars, September 2017
Jacques Imbrailo makes Minnesota Opera debut as the Count in the Le nozze di Figaro
Jacques Imbrailo makes his Minnesota Opera debut on 11 November 2017, singing the Count in Mozart Le nozze di Figaro. Conducted by Michael Christie and directed by Stephen Lawless, the performances run through until 19 November.
Imbrailo's previous Mozart roles have attracted high praise: following his Don Giovanni in June 2016 for Classical Opera, Bachtrack wrote:
“He was at his best in seductive mode; his pursuit of Zerlina in 'Là ci darem la mano' had a lingering, almost dangerous quality that brought the character to life. Imbrailo… really shone in the damnation scene, projecting well and bringing a frantic quality appropriate to the scene. His portrayal of the Don suggested a bored, but bold pleasure-seeker, dodging and ducking from encounter to encounter, where Imbrailo regularly deployed a wonderfully enigmatic smirk that was both enticing and repelling."
Imbrailo’s busy 2017/18 season also includes the title role of Billy Budd at Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Pelléas Pelléas et Melisande for Opera Vlaanderen , and the same role in a performance with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in June 2018.
Jacques Imbrailo sings Britten’s War Requiem with Marin Alsop & the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra
Jacques Imbrailo joins Marin Alsop and the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra this month for two performances of Britten’s War Requiem on 12, 13 and 14 October 2017. Conducted by fellow Intermusica artist Marin Alsop, Principal Conductor and Music Director of the Orchestra since 2012, the other soloists include Emily Magee (soprano) and Nicholas Phan (tenor). The performances take place at Sala São Paulo on 13 and 14 September.
Imbrailo’s affinity with Britten has elicited glowing praise internationally, particularly his interpretation of the title role of Billy Budd. Forum Opera wrote of his February 2017 performance in the Teatro Real:
“Jacques Imbrailo is now one of the great interpreters of the title role... physically and vocally, he is Billy Budd, able to sing while climbing a rope, able to make his stammer a poignant handicap, and above all to portray a farewell to life which is full of bitter-sweetness.”
The concerts in Brazil mark the start of a busy 2017/18 season for Imbrailo, who continues on to Minnesota to sing the Count in Minnesota Opera’s Le nozze di Figaro, followed by further engagements with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Opera Vlaanderen.
Programme and performers announced for Intermusica Charity Concert!
There’s now less than a week to go before Intermusica’s Charity Concert in aid of Pelican Cancer Foundation, and we’re delighted to announce our full programme and performers.
From the Renaissance strains of Monteverdi to the luscious sonorities of Elgar, this programme will showcase the unique talents of the Intermusica staff team, along with guest appearances from our esteemed artists.
Highlights include a piece composed by Intermusica’s Head of International Touring, Peter Ansell, as well as a performance of the late Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ unforgettable Farewell to Stromness by Intermusica Managing Director, Stephen Lumsden. The evening will culminate in Brahms’ stunning Geistliches Lied, originally written for choir and organ, and heard here in a special arrangement for string orchestra and choir by Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
Tuesday 26 September 2017
7 – 8.15pm, followed by post-concert drinks
St James’ Church, Islington
Stanford Beati Quorum Via
Crystal Wharf Singers* (Intermusica choir)
de Visée & Monteverdi Selected songs
Julian Gregory (The King's Singers**), tenor / Peter Martin*, theorbo
Maxwell Davies Farewell to Stromness
Stephen Lumsden*, piano
Elgar Chanson de Matin, Op.15 (arr. Shaw)
Rachel Walters*, piano / Katherine Walters, piano
Piano Duet – TBA
Martin James Bartlett**, piano / Roger Vignoles**, piano
Peter Ansell* Summer Night
Susanna Hurrell**, soprano / Roger Vignoles**, piano
Elgar Serenade for Strings, Op.20
Crystal Wharf Sinfonietta * (Intermusica string orchestra)
Brahms Geistliches Lied, Op.30 (arr. John Eliot Gardiner**)
Crystal Wharf Singers / Crystal Wharf Sinfonietta
* Intermusica staff / ** Intermusica artists
We are thrilled to be joined by a number of representatives from Pelican Cancer Foundation, including CEO Sarah Crane and Head of Community Fundraising, Tim Lockwood, who will tell us more about Pelican and the positive impact of fundraising initiatives such as these.
This concert has been reported in the Islington Gazette and Classical Music magazine, and has received support from the Association of British Orchestras.
Tickets can be purchased online here for a suggested donation of £10 or minimum donation of £5, or on the door (cash only). For those who cannot attend but would still like to make a donation, please visit Pelican's website here and type 'Intermusica' in the text box within the form; this will ensure that your donation is credited to our campaign.
We very much hope you will support Intermusica and Pelican by coming along on the 26th – we look forward to seeing you for a drink afterwards!
Jacques Imbrailo joins Danish National Opera for world premiere of Daníel Bjarnason's Brothers
Jacques Imbrailo travels to Aarhus this month for the world premiere of Daníel Bjarnason Brothers on 16 August 2017. Imbrailo takes the role of Michael, performing alongside Marie Arnet as Michael's wife Sarah and Joel Annmo as Michael's brother Peter. Bjarnason collaborated with librettist Kerstin Perski (a Reumert Prize winner for The Confessional) for the adaptation, which is directed by Kaspar Holten and designed by Steffen Aarfing.
Based on Susanne Bier’s film of the same name, Brothers tells the story of two brothers and a love triangle. Michael has a successful career in the army, a beautiful wife and two daughters. His younger brother Jannik is a drifter living on the edge of the law. When Michael is sent on a UN mission to Afghanistan and returns after a traumatic imprisonment, the balance between the two brothers is changed forever. Bjarnason's adaptation is performed as part of Aarhus Concert Hall's series focusing on the works of Susanne Bier.
Imbrailo's highlights in the new season include the title role of Billy Budd for Opera di Roma, his debut for Minnesota Opera as Count Almaviva The Marriage of Figaro, and Pelléas Pelléas et Mélisande for Opera Vlaanderen. On the concert platform, Imbrailo performs Britten War Requiem with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop, Berlioz L‘enfance du Christ with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Robin Ticciati, and Pelléas Pelléas et Mélisande with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.
There are further performances of Brothers on 18, 20 and 22 August.
Brett Dean's Hamlet receives world premiere at Glyndebourne Festival Opera
Brett Dean’s operatic setting of Hamlet receives its world premiere at Glyndebourne Festival Opera on 11 June 2017. Hamlet is an opera in two acts with a libretto by Matthew Jocelyn after William Shakespeare, and the production is directed by Neil Armfield and conducted by Vladimir Jurowski.
The cast for Hamlet includes three Intermusica artists, with David Butt Philip as Laertes, Jacques Imbrailo as Horatio and Rupert Enticknap as Rosencrantz. Also performing are Allan Clayton as Hamlet, Barbara Hannigan as Ophelia, Sarah Connolly as Gertrude and John Tomlinson as the Ghost of Old Hamlet.
Hamlet is commissioned by Glyndebourne Festival Opera and is the latest in a series of Dean's works to be inspired by the play, including String Quartet No.2 'And Once I Played Ophelia', From Melodious Lay (A Hamlet Diffraction) and Rooms of Elsinore. Speaking about taking on one of Shakespeare’s most enduring plays, Dean commented:
“I was attracted by the sheer wonder and beauty of the text and the endless theatrical – and to my mind, musical – possibilities of its characters and themes. Now emerging at the other end of the compositional process, I do think that the almost sacred nature and familiarity of the text may well have put composers off over the centuries, especially when contemplating Hamlet's über-famous soliloquy.”
Hamlet runs at Glyndebourne until 6 July before transferring to the Glyndebourne Autumn tour. The final performance on 6 July will be broadcast live to cinemas across the UK.
Intermusica at the 2017 BBC Proms
The BBC announced the line-up for the 2017 Proms on 20 April 2017, and as ever Intermusica artists and orchestras play a leading role in the festival. Every Prom is broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and on the BBC website, with select concerts broadcast on BBC television live or at a later date.
Simon Halsey’s Proms Youth Choir give the opening concert of the Proms on 14 July, performing John Adams Harmonium alongside the BBC Symphony Chorus and BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Edward Gardner.
Joshua Weilerstein makes his debut at the Proms on 19 July, conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra at 7.30pm the Royal Albert Hall. Weilerstein conducts a programme of Rebel Les élémens – le chaos, Berlioz Symphonie fantastique and Pascal Dusapin’s cello concerto Outscape, for which he is joined by his sister, cellist Alisa Weilerstein.
Nicholas Collon and his Aurora Orchestra return to the Proms to perform another symphony from memory at 7.30pm on 22 July. This time, they perform Beethoven Symphony No.3 ‘Eroica’, preceded by an introduction from Tom Service accompanied by excerpts from Collon and the orchestra. The programme for the concert also includes Strauss Metamorphosen.
John Wilson makes the first of two appearances at this year’s Proms at 6.30pm on 25 July when he performs with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Wilson, the orchestra’s Associate Guest Conductor, leads the orchestra in a programme of Vaughan Williams Symphony No.9 and Holst The Planets.
Christopher Purves also makes two appearances at the Proms this year, with his first coming on 27 July. Purves joins Juanjo Mena, the BBC Philharmonic and the Crouch End Festival Chorus to perform the London premiere of Mark Simpson The Immortal, an oratorio inspired by Victorian séances.
Mark Wigglesworth is joined by pianist Stephen Hough and the BBC Philharmonic at 7.30pm on 29 July to perform Brahms Piano Concerto No.1, David Sawyer The Greatest Happiness on Earth and Haydn Symphony No.99.
Sir James MacMillan’s European Requiem receives its European premiere at the Proms at 7pm on 30 July from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and conductor Xian Zhang, with Jacques Imbrailo performing as the baritone soloist.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner returns to the Proms on 2 August with the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, this time for a late night Prom at the Royal Albert Hall at 10.15pm. Gardiner conducts his ensembles in a performance of cantatas by Bach and Schütz.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner makes his second Proms appearance of the year at 7.30pm on 8 August, this time conducting the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique in a performance of Berlioz La damnation du Faust.
Lise Davidsen makes her debut at the Proms at 7.30pm on 10 August with the BBC Philharmonic and John Storgårds. Davidsen joins the orchestra to perform Sibelius Luonnotar and extracts from Grieg Peer Gynt.
John Wilson’s second Proms appearance this year comes on 11 August when his John Wilson Orchestra returns for its annual concert. This year, Wilson leads the orchestra in two performances of Rogers & Hammerstein Oklahoma!, at 2pm and 7.30pm.
Christopher Purves joins the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle for a performance of Schoenberg Gurrelieder at 7.30pm on 19 August. Also performing are three of Simon Halsey’s choruses – City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Chorus and Orfeó Català. Halsey also leads a Gurrelieder Proms Extra Sing Day at London Imperial College earlier that day.
Tim Mead returns to the Proms alongside John Butt and the Dunedin Consort for the third concert of the Proms’ Reformation Day at 7.45pm on 20 August. Mead follows last year’s Bach Mass in B minor with Bach St John Passion, singing alongside a cast that also includes Sophie Bevan, Nicholas Mulroy, Matthew Brook and Andrew Tortise.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Beyond the Score® appears at the Proms at 7.30pm on 23 August, with a performance of Dvorák Symphony No.9 ‘From the New World’ given by the Hallé Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder alongside a multi-media exploration of the symphony directed by Beyond the Score founder Gerard McBurney.
Leonidas Kavakos reunites with Riccardo Chailly at 6.30pm on 25 August, as Intermusica bring the conductor and his Filarmonica della Scala to the Proms to perform Brahms and Respighi. Kavakos joins the orchestra for Brahms Violin Concerto, which is followed by Respighi Fountains of Rome and Pines of Rome.
Joélle Harvey returns to the Proms as Glyndebourne’s production of Mozart La clemenza di Tito comes to the Royal Albert Hall at 7pm on 28 August. Harvey takes the role of Servilia, with accompaniment from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Robin Ticciati.
Intermusica is delighted to bring the Oslo Philharmonic and Vasily Petrenko to the Proms at 7.30pm on 29 August. Petrenko conducts the orchestra in an all-Russian programme of Stravinsky The Firebird (1919 version), Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.4 and Shostakovich Symphony No.12.
The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra bring an all-Mendelssohn programme to the Proms this year from 1pm on 3 September. Conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado, the orchestra perform Mendelssohn Hebrides Overture, Violin Concerto with Isabelle Faust and Symphony No.5
Ben Johnson joins Sakari Oramo, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and an international cast of soloists for the Last Night of the Proms on 9 September. The Last Night begins from 7.15pm and will be broadcast live on BBC Two, and Johnson sings Kodály Te Deum.
Jacques Imbrailo makes debut at Teatro Real, Madrid as Billy Budd
Jacques Imbrailo travels to Spain this month to make his house debut at the Teatro Real, Madrid in the title role of Billy Budd on 31 January 2017. Conducted by Ivor Bolton, the cast for Deborah Warner's new production also includes Brindley Sherratt, Toby Spence, Thomas Oliemans, David Soar and Christopher Gillet.
Imbrailo has regularly performed the role around the world, and gave a critically-acclaimed performance in Michael Grandage's production at Glyndebourne Festival Opera:
“Jacques Imbrailo's Billy, conversely, pulls off the feat of personifying goodness while maintaining a vivid, three-dimensional reality: the scene where Budd comes to Vere's cabin believing he is to be promoted, only to discover the heinous accusation made against him, is almost unbearably moving.”
"Imbrailo’s Billy is as honest and open and trusting as ever, and his final lilting lament more devastating.”
Further highlights this season for Jacques include a return to Glyndebourne for the world premiere of Brett Dean Hamlet.
Jacques Imbrailo makes his role debut as Zurga in Bizet's The Pearlfishers at English National Opera
Jacques Imbralio makes his role debut as Zurga in Bizet The Pearl Fishers at English National Opera this month on 19 October 2016, his first appearance with the company.
Imbrailo sings alongside Claudia Boyle as Leïla, Robert McPherson as Nadir and James Creswell as Nourabad in Penny Woolcock's production, which is conducted by Roland Böer.
The Pearl Fishers plays at English National Opera until 2 December. Imbrailo then begins 2017 at Teatro Real, Madrid, where he sings the title role in Britten Billy Budd in February.
Jacques Imbrailo makes house debut at the Shanghai Grand Theatre in Pelléas et Mélissande
Jacques Imbrailo makes his house debut at the Shanghai Grand Theatre on 8 September 2016 as Pelléas in Debussy Pelléas et Mélisande with the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra. Conducted by Tang Muhai, the performance is a co-production between Shanghai Grand Theatre and Xinchan Centre for Theatre Arts, directed by Yi Liming.
Pélleas is becoming one of Imbrailo’s signature roles, his Shanghai debut follows his critically acclaimed performance of the role in Zurich earlier this year:
“Jacques Imbrailo as Pelléas has a wonderfully soft voice, his baritone is velvety and formative with sympathetic emphasis.”
Oper aktuell, May 2016
Future season highlights for Imbrailo include his debut at English National Opera as Zurga in Bizet The Pearl Fishers and the title role in Britten Billy Budd for Teatro Real, Madrid.
Jacques Imbrailo makes his Edinburgh International Festival debut
Jacques Imbrailo makes his Edinburgh International Festival debut on 14 August in a performance of Elgar The Apostles. The performance will feature the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, conducted by Edward Gardner.
Other artists include Sophie Bevan, Karen Cargill, Allan Clayton, Marcus Farnsworth and John Relyea.
Next season Imbrailo’s highlights include a return to English National Opera to perform Zurga in Bizet The Pearl Fishers, and to the Teatro Real for the title role in Britten Billy Budd. Imbrailo will also make his debut with Shanghai Oriental Performing Centre where he will perform Pelleas in Debussy Pelléas et Mélisande.
Jacques Imbrailo stars in Don Giovanni with Classical Opera at Cadogan Hall
Jacques Imbrailo performs the title role of Don Giovanni in a concert performance with Classical Opera at Cadogan Hall on 17 June 2016.
Conducted by Ian Page, the cast for this production includes Ana Maria Labin, Helen Sherman, Ellie Laugharne, Stuart Jackson and Darren Jeffery.
Imbrailo previously sung the role for Scottish Opera to great critical acclaim:
“Jacques Imbrailo was an authoritative Giovanni, tall, aquiline and with a lightness of voice that was full of charm, little hinting of the danger that lurked below.”
"It is Giovanni’s mission to seduce all around him – not only his women but also his audience. This Imbrailo proceeded to accomplish with some aplomb. His baritone voice brought a polished and suitably aristocratic air to this Giovanni and there was no doubt that he was always one step ahead of everyone around him."
"Jacques Imbrailo is darkly compelling as the Don"
Future highlights include Elgar The Apostles at the Edinburgh Fetsival and Zurga in Bizet The Pearl Fishers at English National Opera.
Jacques Imbrailo & Corinne Winters star in Pelléas et Mélisande at Opernhaus Zürich
Jacques Imbrailo and Corinne Winters make their debuts for Opernhaus Zürich in the title roles in a new production of Pelléas et Mélisande by Dmitri Tcherniakov from 8 May 2016. Conducted by Alain Altinogu, the cast for this production also includes Brindley Sherratt as Arkel and Kyle Ketelsen as Arkel.
Imbrailo reprises the role of Pelléas following his critically acclaimed portrayals for Stockholm Opera and Welsh National Opera:
“Especially outstanding are the titular hero and heroine, ideally sung and played by the South African baritone Jacques Imbrailo…. Both look their parts to perfection and sing their music with thrilling ease"
Sunday Times, June 2015
"No one will argue with the musical quality of this production, which is superb. Jacques Imbrailo inhabits Pelléas' shy tenativeness, with his high baritone finely deployed."
Guardian, May 2015
Future highlights include Elgar The Apostles at the Edinburgh Festival and the title role of Don Giovanni at Cadogan Hall with Classical Opera.
Winters recently made a successful debut as a “stunning, intense and heart-breaking” Desdemona in Verdi Otello for Opera Vlaanderen. Next month she debuts as Fiordiligi in Mozart Cosi fan tutte for Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, a role she reprises next season for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
“….Musically the show is dominated by Winters, whose sound is far bigger and more burnished than her waif-like frame might suggest.”
Times, October 2015
Performances of Pelléas et Mélisande run until May 29, 2016.
Jacques Imbrailo sings Pelléas in new production of Pelléas et Mélisande at Royal Swedish Opera
Jacques Imbrailo sings the role of Pelleas in Keith Warner’s new production of Pelléas et Mélisande at the Royal Swedish Opera from 19 March 2016. Imbrailo joins a cast that also includes Kerstin Avemo as Mélisande and Fredrik Zetterström as Golaud. Franck Ollu conducts.
Following this, Imbrailo travels to Switzerland to sing the same role at Opernhaus Zürich in a new production of Pelléas et Mélisande directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov.
Danielle de Niese & Jacques Imbrailo in world premiere of Bel Canto at Lyric Opera of Chicago
Daneille de Niese leads the world premiere of Jimmy Lopez’s Bel Canto at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on 7 December 2015 alongside Jacques Imbrailo, conducted by Sir Andrew Davies.
Based on the novel by Ann Patchett and inspired by a real-life event, De Niese performs the role of American diva Roxane Coss. Coss travels to Peru to sing at the vice president's home for a visiting Japanese mogul, only for an international crisis to explode when terrorists storm the mansion and take everyone hostage. Isolated for months, unlikely alliances form between captors and captives as fear and anger mingle uneasily with desire and even love.
Alongside De Niese and Imbrailo are J’nai Bridges as Carmen, Jeongcheol Cha as Hosokawa, Andrew Stenson as Gen and Anthony Roth Costanzo as Cesar in this new production by Kevin Newbury with a libretto by Pulitzer Prize winner Nilo Cruz. Renée Fleming curated this project for Lyric Opera.
De Niese began the 2015/16 season with a double header at the BBC Proms, singing at the Last Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall opposite Jonas Kaufmann, broadcast worldwide, and at Proms in the Park in Hyde Park. Her operatic engagements include a return to Theater an der Wien to sing Poppea in Robert Carsen’s new production of Handel Agrippina, and Rosina in the new production of Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Glyndeboure Festival and BBC Proms.
Highlights for Imrailo this season include Pelléas Pelléas et Mélisande at Opernhaus Zürich and the title role of Don Giovanni at Cadogan Hall.
Performances of Bel Canto continue until 17 January.
Jacques Imbrailo & Christopher Purves in a new production of Pelléas et Mélisande at WNO
Jacques Imbrailo reprises the role of Pelléas in Debussy’s symbolist masterpiece Pelléas et Mélisande at Welsh National Opera on 29 May 2015, with Christopher Purves singing the role of the prince Golaud.
Imbrailo reprises the role of Pelléas following a critically acclaimed role debut in Essen in the 2012/13 season:
“Baritone Jacques Imbrailo’s Pelléas is a virile, romantic heartthrob, with fine voice to match.”
BBC Music Magazine
“Flawlessly sung, with the required smoothness of tone and persuasiveness in textual delivery…There’s an unforced sweetness of demeanour and…Imbrailo’s face registers every shade of emotion.”
International Record Review
“Jacques Imbrailo delights the eye and ear as Pelléas, with the technique, youth and beauty of line to convey both innocence and impetuous passion.”
This is his second role at WNO this season, having made his role debut there as Papageno The Magic Flute in February 2015.
Following his tremendous success singing the title role in Puccini Gianni Schicchi at Opera North, Christopher Purves revives his critically-acclaimed Golaud:
“Soaring above all this is Christopher Purves's pained, tragic Golaud: beautifully sung and acted, this Golaud's failing is simply that he is all too human.”
This summer, Purves can also be heard in the title role of Handel Saul at Glyndebourne, and the role of Protector in George Benjamin Written on Skin at Lincoln Center.
Pelléas et Mélisande runs from 29 May until 06 June, conducted by Lothar Koenigs and directed by David Pountney.
Jacques Imbrailo makes his debut at Teatro Real singing Britten’s War Requiem
Jacques Imbrailo makes his debut at the Teatro Real, Madrid, in two performances of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem on 12 and 14 March.
The performances are conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado and also feature soloists Susan Gritton and John Mark Ainsley.
Jacques Imbrailo returns to Houston Grand Opera for Così fan tutte
Jacques Imbrailo returns to Houston Grand Opera this month to sing the role of Guglielmo in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, opening on 31 October 2014. Imbrailo’s performances as Guglielmo at both Opera North and Glyndebourne Touring Opera have been widely praised, with the Times describing his interpretation of the role as “outstanding”. Imbrailo made his Houston Grand Opera debut in 2012, when he sung Tarquinius in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia.
For this production, directed by Harry Silverstein, Imbrailo is joined by Rachel Willis-Sørensen (Fiordiligi) and Melody Moore (Dorabella). Performances run from 31 October to 15 November.
Jacques Imbrailo makes role debut as Valentin in Gounod Faust in Baden-Baden
On 6 June, Jacques Imbrailo makes his role debut as Valentin in Faust, in a brand new production by Bartlett Sher at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden. The cast also includes Charles Castronovo in the title role and Erwin Schrott as Méphistophélès, as well as Sonya Yoncheva as Marguerite, Angela Brower as Siébel and Derek Welton as Wagner.
The production, conducted by Thomas Hengelbrock, opens on 6 June and runs until 12 June, with a concert performance on 15 June at the Internationales Musikfest Hamburg.
Jacques Imbrailo sings Billy Budd for first Glyndebourne Festival tour to New York
Jacques Imbrailo reprises the title role of Billy Budd for Glyndebourne on 7 February as the Festival tours to the US with its resident orchestra and chorus for the first ever time. Imbrailo has sung the role of Billy in this celebrated production by Michael Grandage several times before to great critical acclaim:
“Jacques Imbrailo is the finest Billy I have heard – lusty, virile, sensitive and moving.”
Financial Times, May 2010
“Jacques Imbrailo makes a marvellously youthful innocent sounding Billy Budd, and his lyrical singing of Billy’s solo scene before his execution is heart-rending.”
Gramophone, March 2013
“[Imbrailo] pulls off the feat of personifying goodness while maintaining a vivid, three-dimensional reality … almost unbearably moving.”
Guardian, five stars, August 2013
“You still want to weep for Jacques Imbrailo’s Budd.”
Gramophone, August 2013
“The original Billy…returns, his gleeful energy radiating out among the dull greys and browns of the sailors, and bringing a vocal sophistication to match his dramatic innocence…”
The Arts Desk, August 2013
This production at the Brooklyn Academy of Music will feature the entire cast from the revival at Glyndebourne’s 2013 Festival, along with the Glyndebourne Chorus and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Mark Elder. After opening on 7 February, further performances of Billy Budd take place on 9, 11 and 13 February.
Jacques Imbrailo makes role debut as Don Giovanni in new Scottish Opera production
Jacques Imbrailo will sing the title role of Don Giovanni for the first time on 15 October, starring in a new production of Mozart’s opera at Scottish Opera. Directed by Sir Thomas Allen, the opera is a co-production between Scottish Opera and Boston Lyric Opera.
Imbrailo regularly sings Mozart roles, including Il Conte Le nozze di Figaro (Royal Opera House, Welsh National Opera and Opéra de Lille).
Don Giovanni opens on 15 October and runs until 23 November, and is conducted by Speranza Scappucci.
Live recording of Elgar’s The Apostles featuring Jacques Imbrailo wins BBC Music Magazine award
The Hallé’s live recording of Elgar’s The Apostles featuring Intermusica's Jacques Imbrailo, has won the BBC Music Magazine’s Recording of the Year award. Imbrailo, who sang the role of Jesus, was conducted by Sir Mark Elder in a performance last year at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, which was recorded live for The Hallé’s own label.
A jury member of the BBC competition commented:
"Right from the start this recording reveals the imagination, originality and radiant beauty of the score."
Other performers on the album include Rebecca Evans, Alice Coote, Paul Groves, David Kempster and Brindley Sherratt.
Click here for further information about the 2013 BBC Music Magazine Awards.