Cimarosa: Il Matrimonio Segreto

Cimarosa: Il Matrimonio Segreto
Popup Opera
London Museum of Water and Steam. 25 May 2017

IMG_20170525_204825350.jpgIn a rather stark contrast to the glitz and glamour of the opening night of Glyndebourne Festival Opera (reviewed here), a few days later saw me in the industrial surroundings of the London Museum of Water and Steam, near Kew Bridge. The event was one of the touring one-night performances by Popup Opera of Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segreto (The Secret Marriage), one of the most popular comic operas from the 18th century. It was first performed in at the Imperial Theatre in Vienna, and is famed for having the longest encore known, when Emperor Leopold II demanded that the whole thing be repeated from the start, feeding the musicians before their return. In contrast to the elaborate Posh Frocks & Picnics atmosphere of the other place, pre-event dining at this venue seemed to be restricted to eating something unrecognisable out of a cardboard box. The setting was a cleared floor area in the Steam Hall of what, since its construction in 1838, was once a pumping station supplying parts of London with water.  Continue reading

Innsbruck Festival of Early Music: 2016

Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik
16-19 August 2016

The Innsbruck Festival of Early Music celebrated its 40th anniversary this year, although its roots go back a further 14 years or so. After some preliminary events, the festival proper ran for the last two weeks in August. It usually features three fully staged operas, although this year the third of them was reduced to a one-night concert performance of the Ruhrtriennale festival’s production of Gluck’s Alceste, conducted by René Jacobs who until 2009 was artistic director of the Innsbrucker Festwochen and, incidentally, the singer at the first concert of the first festival on 24 August 1976.

Rather surprisingly, given the anniversary nature of this year’s festival, the theme was ‘Tragicommedia’ although the events that I saw were rather more ‘commedia’ than ‘tragic’. As with last year, I was unfortunately only able to attend Continue reading