There has been a change to our previously announced programme, which is that because of a scheduling conflict the 2015 Dr Tom Walsh Lecture will be given by Stephen Barlow, conductor of Koanga and Artistic Director of Buxton Festival, and not by John Julius Norwich.
OPERA: thriving hybrid of artistic collaboration, or constant battle of aspiration over experience?
Opera is the fusion or, more loosely, the collision of music, lights, scenery and narrative drama and surely doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously as artistic activity by anyone interested in music or theatre. ‘Music expresses nothing’, wrote Stravinsky, pure in itself but bereft of meaning. So why and how did composers wrangle their art into operatic shape? Does music become the servant of the word? Can conductor and director be interested in the same thing?
Maestro Barlow will be conducting Koanga at this year’s Wexford Festival Opera and his lecture will be a fascinating opportunity to hear from someone who is so intimately connected with the production. He is the Artistic Director of Buxton Festival and has an international opera and orchestra conducting career. His long association with Glyndebourne began in 1977 and he made his international debut as an opera conductor in 1989 with Vancouver Opera. As an opera and orchestra conductor, Maestro Barlow has worked throughout Europe, North America, Australia and South Africa.
He is also a pianist and composer. He has accompanied baritone Mark Stone on a number of CDs of English songs, including the complete songs of Delius, and as a composer, his works include Rainbow Bear for orchestra and narrator, which he recorded with his wife, Joanna Lumley, and a Clarinet Concerto for Emma Johnson. His opera, King, about Thomas Becket and King Henry II, was premiered in Canterbury Cathedral in 2006, and we are pleased to tell you of a connection with Wexford: according to legend, Henry II stayed at Selskar Abbey in Wexford in 1172 to do penance for Becket’s murder in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170.
Saturday 24 October | 11 a.m.
Tea and coffee will be served from 10 a.m. before the Lecture.
The Dr Tom Walsh Lecture is kindly supported by Victoria Walsh-Hamer in memory of her father.