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Dates for Your Diary

A Butterfly from China at Cadogan Hall

Wang Beibei

The East-West Arts Initiative will present a semi-staged production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at the Cadogan Hall, London, on Friday July 22nd at 7.30pm.

The title role will be sung by acclaimed Chinese operatic soprano Beibei Wang, who, having trained professionally in China and then in Italy, Manchester and London, is amongst the many talented singers and instrumentalists from all over the world who have benefitted from the high level of training and performance associated with London.

The aim of the Initiative is to widen the appeal of opera and classical music and to make available artistic productions such as this to promoters in the Far East and other areas of the globe.

The opera is conducted by Peter Knapp, who has a long history of presenting opera on the open stages of concert halls, including, in London, the Queen Elizabeth and Barbican Halls and whose London International Sinfonia will accompany the performance.

 

Alistair McGowan to headline 24-hour Satie piano marathon at Cheltenham Festival

Alistair McGowan

 Actor, comedian, writer and Satie champion Alistair McGowan will lead a 24-hour relay performance of Eric Satie's Vexations from midday Friday July 15 lasting till the morning of Saturday July 16 as the centrepiece of Cheltenham Music Festival's celebration of Satie's 150th Anniversary.

Premiered in 1963 by 12 pianists including John Cale and John Cage with Andy Warhol in the audience, Satie's Vexations comprises one sheet of music lasting approximately 90 seconds in duration – repeated 840 times in succession, very slowly.  Satie composed Vexations in 1893 immediately following the break-up of his first and last-known relationship with a woman. 

Alistair McGowan continues his life-long obsession with Satie by leading this rare performance of Vexations at St. Paul’s Church in Cheltenahm. He will share the stage with pianists and composers Lucy Parham, Anne Lovett, Christina McMaster, Alex Wilson and Mary Dullea as well as fellow Satie enthusiasts willing to take on Satie’s challenge.

Meurig Bowen, Director of Cheltenham Music Festival, said, "Putting on Satie's Vexations is a very festival kind of thing to do; quite 'pop-up', quirky and - like Satie himself - distinctly un-normal.  In a programme that celebrates Satie's life, work and legacy for his 150th birthday, it would certainly have been perverse not to include this remarkable piece of proto-conceptual art.  I'm really looking forward to seeing how it unfolds, and how audience and performers react to it in real time."

The 72nd Cheltenham Music Festival, running from July 1-17, features more than 20 world premieres as well as performances by Nicola Benedetti, Evelyn Glennie, Christian Lindberg, Vasily Petrenko, the John Wilson Orchestra and Norway’s Barokksolistene.

 

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