sat 04/04/2020

The Seckerson Tapes: Finishing Mozart's Unfinished Opera | reviews, news & interviews

The Seckerson Tapes: Finishing Mozart's Unfinished Opera

The Seckerson Tapes: Finishing Mozart's Unfinished Opera

Ian Page of Classical Opera Company on completing Zaide

The Classical Opera Company does exactly what it says on the tin and over the last few years has refreshed parts of the repertoire and corners of the nation that their bigger and more illustrious counterparts never reach. Conductor and artistic director Ian Page talks about questions of style, untapped repertoire and major restorations, like the company's recent staging of Thomas Arne's Artexerxes and its current labour of love rebuilding Mozart's unfinished opera Zaide. The opera now has a third act thanks to Ian's judicious plundering of Wolfgang Amadeus's bottom drawer and a new text from poet Michael Symmons Roberts and playwright Ben Power in collaboration with director Melly "Coram Boy" Still.
The production (which plays Sadler's Wells before touring to Sheffield, Bath and Buxton) also brings us a rising young star, Pumeza Matshikiza, whose upbringing in a Cape Town township strikingly parallels the opera's themes of enslavement and oppression. Eavesdropping on rehearsals, one can foresee an emotive evening. And Ian talks of his passion for the operas of Gluck and in particular the mature works leading up to his much-performed masterpiece Orfeo ed Euridice. He has his sights firmly set on them and they are the focus of the Classical Opera Company's latest retrospective Blessed Spirit, now a Wigmore Hall Live CD.

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