Entries by Clare

Haydn’s doctor’s diagnosis confirmed

Fascinating news today about John Hunter, husband of Haydn’s collaborator Anne Hunter, who worked with him on his two books of Canzonettas. John Hunter, physician to King George III, was a pioneering surgeon and his 200-year old diagnosis of osteosarcoma in a patient has recently been confirmed by modern technology. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38409086

Happy birthday to the Haffner

My family lived in Lancaster when I was growing up: my father was Head of Music at Lancaster University, running a department which has alas since been closed. There was a lot of good music-making in the area, including by the Haffner Orchestra, which my father even conducted for a time. It therefore felt rather […]

Paul Ayres’ Artemisia now available to watch

In July I gave the first performance of the complete Artemisia, a song-cycle for voice and string trio by Paul Ayres. It sets poems by Sue Powell and tells the story of the life and art of Artemisia Gentileschi, one of the earliest women painters to establish a lasting reputation. The videos of the performance […]

To Hull and back

Piano accompaniment is one of those skills which, the more brilliantly it is executed, the less one is aware of quite what is being done. The sense of exposure I generally feel when about to start a recital from memory is lessened by the knowledge that behind me there is an amazing person, apparently with […]

The Ubiquitous Woman revealed

Last week we gave a presentation of early development work on The Ubiquitous Woman, a comic chamber opera commissioned by New Notes & Noises. After a week of workshops on the music and structure, we performed two sections of the piece. The opening few scenes introduce Sabine, her husband Tony, Sabine’s clone Judith and Theo […]

Joubert’s Jane Eyre

This week I was part of the world premiere of John Joubert’s Jane Eyre, his seventh opera. Charlotte Brontë’s story is tightly condensed into two acts, focussing on the relationship between Jane and Rochester, but giving prominence to the scene with St John Rivers, which Joubert considers the emotional turning-point of Jane’s journey. I had […]

New Notes & Noises Launches

I’m very pleased that I am finally able to announce the launch of a new charity I have set up to help support high-quality performances of new work and multi-disciplinary collaboration. New Notes & Noises will look to help support every step of the process of commissioning, developing, rehearsing and producing work in an exciting […]

A tough act to follow

I’m on the e-mailing list for various London venues, and sometimes I book on a whim for something that just catches my eye. Last night’s double-bill of Big Mouth and Small War at the Barbican’s Pit was just such an occasion. I have been involved in writing and producing one-woman shows for myself and I […]

A Viennese Quartet Party

Last week I teamed up with Martin Nelson and The Revolutionary Drawing Room to bring to life a series of wonderful anecdotes about Viennese music-making at the time of Haydn and Mozart. The narrative relates stories from the autobiography of Michael Kelly, an Irish tenor and theatrical manager. Along with his English colleague Nancy Storace, […]

Près des ramparts de Séville

A brief trip to Seville recently reminded me of how many operatic connections the city has. My companion and I set out to track down what traces remain of the real people and locations that inspired operatic treatment, as well as observing the marketing advantages to be wrung from these associations. Apart from famous locations […]