We’re happy to announce our 2019-20 season of concerts at The Bridgewater Hall.
Here are Sir Mark’s thoughts on the new season:
Beethoven’s 250th anniversary was bound to feature in our 2019-20 season; watch out for the symphonies – shared in a complete cycle with the BBC Philharmonic – but also for treasures from his vocal catalogue. Not just the Ninth Symphony, but the dramatic last act of Fidelio, the extraordinarily graphic Christ on the Mount of Olives, as well as shorter and no-less enchanting works for the voice. We set in context what became Beethoven’s virtual trademark, his Fifth Symphony, in the latest of our Beyond the Score® productions.
But first, we complete our 2019 celebration of Berlioz, with Roméo et Juliette, the dramatic choral symphony where the composer seized on Shakespeare’s drama as an opportunity to write some of the most tender, exciting and poignant music in his imagination.
It is a busy season for the Hallé Choir and its younger siblings. Bach’s great choral masterpieces come my way all too rarely, and we cannot wait to bring you his incandescent Mass in B minor, arguably his greatest achievement.
Apart from Beethoven, there are symphonies from Mozart, Schubert, Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Shostakovich, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and Mahler. I have long dreamed of bringing Prokofiev’s charming Seventh Symphony to Manchester; please don’t miss it!
It’s a particularly exciting season for performers and soloists. Since Alice Coote first appeared with the Hallé as Meg Page in Verdi’s Falstaff in 2003, she has been one of this country’s leading mezzo-sopranos, singing with us on many occasions. We are delighted to celebrate her long association with three concert appearances, but watch out for more events as the season unfolds.
James Ehnes brings us Britten’s Violin Concerto, surely one of the greatest of all 20th century concertos. Roderick Williams will sing the Shropshire Lad settings of George Butterworth in his own new orchestration. We have some of the finest pianists working today: it’s wonderful to welcome back Garrick Ohlsson as well as Paul Lewis, with the new concerto written for him by Ryan Wigglesworth, who also joins him in Mozart’s delectable Double Concerto. I am looking forward especially to renewing my collaboration with two younger pianists, Alexander Gavrylyuk and Benjamin Grosvenor. The extraordinarily gifted young saxophonist Jess Gillam appears with the Hallé for the first time, in a season bursting with emerging talent, whether as soloists or on the podium.
I have long wanted us to do one of Puccini’s operas. I hope our performances of Madama Butterfly will allow you to savour the wonderful beauty of this great work. As Butterfly herself, the young Japanese soprano Eri Nakamura will be singing with the Hallé for the first time, as we bring this season to a thrilling climax!