The Music Workshop Company Blog 

Each month the Music Workshop Company publishes two blogs. One blog, written by the MWC team addresses a key issue in Music Education or gives information about a particular genre or period of music. The other blog is written by a guest writer, highlighting good practice or key events in Music Education. We hope you enjoy reading the blogs. 
 
To contribute as a guest writer please email Maria@music-workshop.co.uk 

Posts tagged “OPERA”

1920 was a busy year for Stravinsky and Diaghilev with the premiere of the ballet Le Chant du Roissignol on 2nd February and the premiere of Pulcinella on 15th May. 
 
Stravinsky first worked with Diaghilev on L’Oiseau de Feu (The Firebird) in 1910.  
 
The work is of interest both as Stravinsky’s breakthrough piece and as the beginning of one of the most well known collaborations in the ballet world. 
Acclaimed for the high quality of its operatic performances, Opera North also boasts one of the country’s finest orchestras. The Orchestra of Opera North plays at each of the Company’s operas and regularly performs at concerts in the region. An important, and enjoyable, additional strand of its work however, is ensuring that the next generation of young musicians are given valuable support, guidance and inspiration as they build on their playing expertise. 
 
This month, the team at Opera North share their vision with MWC… 
Has the name of a singer, heard in a particular opera, ever escaped you? Or are you interested in the history of an opera or singer? If the answer is “Yes,” the growing number of online databases can help. MWC caught up with Peter Fraser, one of three founders of OperaScotland, to find out more… 
 
Launched in 2009, OperaScotland is led by three brothers who had no idea that what to them seemed such an obvious need – developing an archive of the live performing arts – had also been addressed elsewhere. For example, AusStage offers a fantastic resource for Australians: elsewhere such activity tends to focus on work within an individual venue or city. 
April 2016 is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was a poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as one of the greatest English writers ever. Widely known simply as The Bard, his plays are some of the most commonly performed to this day. In a new book titled The 101 Greatest Plays, Guardian theatre critic Michael Billington finds room for three of Shakespeare’s works, depite going as far back as Aeschylus and Aristophanes. 
 
Many composers have been inspired by Shakepeare’s gift for storytelling. Songs, incidental music and film music has all been influenced by the plays, and there are about 400 works, many of which are operas, plus songs and symphonic pieces based on Shakespearian tales. 
Last month we looked at the relevance of classical music in education, following violinist, Nicola Benedetti’s comments about the value of introducing young people to subjects that they may at first find difficult. This month we look at the world of opera – a sticking point even for some music lovers. 
 
Maria Thomas, Founder and Artistic director of the Music Workshop Company, is passionate about opera but is also aware that it has a particular reputation within the classical genre for being inaccessible. She tells us about her recent experiences as an opera lover, discusses the role of opera within the Arts and asks whether opera companies are heading in the right direction to encourage new, young fans… 
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