Mozart: Marriage of Figaro (arias)

Figaro was first performed in 1786, based on a play by da Ponte who was the leading librettist at that time. The play had everything to commend it, not least the thrill of being banned because of its subversive nature. Figaro teems with plots and intrigues. The play is reminiscent of a French farce, with … Read more

Handel arr Beecham: The Faithful Shepherd

The 3-Act Opera Il Pastor Fido (The Faithful Shepherd) was the second opera composed by Handel after his arrival in England. It was first performed at the Queens Theatre, Haymarket , London in 1712. In 1734 Handel brought out two revisions, one being in the form of an extended Ballet entitled “Terpsichore“. The original “orchestral … Read more

Mahler: Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfaring Lad)

Gustav Mahler was born in 1860, the son of an innkeeper in the Bohemian town of Iglase (now Jolhava). He was a citizen of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and one of fourteen children. From childhood he was fascinated by folklore, and the sights and sounds of the countryside. At the age of 15 he became a … Read more