Classical Opera

Content by Rebecca Johns at Premier

Ian Page begins fifth year of his ground-breaking 27-year MOZART 250 series with ‘1769: a year in music’ at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, alongside newly announced Associate Artist Chiara Skerath and BBC New Generation Artist James Newby

Ian Page and his ensemble The Mozartists begin the fifth year of their ambitious 27-year MOZART 250 programme, this year looking at 13 year-old Mozart in the year 1769. The ground-breaking project sees the ensemble explore Mozart’s life, works and influences 250 years on, often uncovering new or lesser-known works as they go along.

On 29 January 2019 Page and The Mozartists join forces with Swiss-Belgian soprano Chiara Skerath, recently announced as one of the ensembles’ new Associate Artists, and BBC New Generation Artist James Newby to perform their annual MOZART 250 retrospective concert. The concert explores the music of 1769 with works by Mozart – including a recently rediscovered aria – in addition to his contemporaries Arne, Paisiello, Haydn, C.P.E Bach, Gluck and Mozart’s father Leopold.

Ian Page says: “Mozart’s compositional output in 1769 was unusually sparse, but this offers us the chance to dig a little deeper in our exploration of the music being written 250 years ago. Our programme on 29 January offers an intriguing cross-section, ranging from music by Mozart’s father and J. S. Bach’s eldest son to charming but rarely performed works by Thomas Arne and Paisiello. The programme also includes two works by Mozart himself, including an unusual and recently rediscovered aria, and concludes with Haydn’s magnificent ‘Maria Theresa’ symphony. We are delighted to be returning to the Southbank Centre with such fascinating and little-known repertoire.”      
MOZART 250’s exploration of 1769 continues later in 2019 when Classical Opera and The Mozartists perform the long-overdue UK première of Johann Adolph Hasse’s Piramo e Tisbe, featuring all three new Associate Artists Chiara Skerath, Ida Ränzlöv and Gwilym Bowen [28 March, Cadogan Hall] and a Gluck double-bill of Bauci e Filemone and the celebrated Orfeo ed Euridice (in the composer’s 1769 revision, also a UK première) with Ana Maria Labin, Susanna Hurrell, Rebecca Bottone, Rachel Kelly and Gwilym Bowen [29 & 31 May, Southbank Centre].

About Classical Opera & The Mozartists
Classical Opera, founded in 1997 under the direction of Ian Page, is one of the world’s leading exponents of the works of Mozart and his contemporaries. It is renowned for its vibrant, fresh and stylish performances, for its ability to discover and nurture outstanding young artists, and for its imaginative and illuminating programming.

Following the launch of Ian Page’s ground-breaking MOZART 250 and a broadening of repertoire, incorporating symphonies and concertos, oratorios and concert arias as well as operas, the company launched The Mozartists in 2017 to reflect and facilitate this expanding strand of work on the concert platform.

Chiara Skerath
Praised for her “brilliant technique” and her “velvety timbre” (Opera Magazine), Swiss-Belgian lyric soprano Chiara Skerath recently made acclaimed débuts as Mélisande at the Opéra de Bordeaux and as Poppea at Opéra de Nantes, and has appeared in multiple productions at the Opéra National de Paris. Chiara has been a winner at several international competitions, including the Audience Prize at the 2014 Queen Elisabeth Competition; the Grand Prix de Duo Chant-Piano at the 2013 International Nadia et Lili Boulanger Competition and the Emmerich Smola Förderpreis in 2012. She also received the Migros Culture Scholarship in both 2011 and 2012.

James Newby
British baritone James Newby is the winner of the 2016 Kathleen Ferrier Award, and is a BBC New Generation Artist from 2018-2020. That same year he was the recipient of the Wigmore Hall/Independent Opera Voice Fellowship, and in 2015 was awarded the Richard Tauber Prize (for best interpretation of a Schubert Lied) and overall Third Prize at the Wigmore Hall/Kohn International Song Competition. In 2017 he was awarded the Trinity Gold Medal by the board of Trinity Laban Conservatoire.

1769: a year in music

29 January, Queen Elizabeth Hall

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