All posts by Site Admin

Trinity 2018 Recitals

New College Ante-chapel
1.15pm, £2/£1 concessions

4 Lewis Hammond, Countertenor
11 Sophie Smout, Soprano
25 Helena Gavrilov, Soprano

1 John Lee, Bass
8 Sofia Kirwan-Baez, Soprano
15 Isabella Pitman, Soprano

The Peasant Cantata and The Coffee Cantata

J S Bach
The Summer Oratorio

Anhad Arora – Director

Emily Gibson – Soprano
Will Anderson – Tenor
John Lee – Bass

New College Ante-chapel
8.00pm, 6 June 2018
£10/£5 concessions

Book at:

The Coffee and Peasant cantatas by J.S. Bach reveal a wordly – even parodic — side to a composer often associated with cerebral themes. The Coffee Cantata, written for a performance in Zimmerman’s newly founded Kaffeehaus, is a satirical exploration of a pernicious addiction to coffee. The black concoction, after its introduction into the Western world at the end of the 17th century, was worshipped by some – perhaps because of the drink’s putative status as an aphrodisiac – and reviled by others. Bach’s cantata on the subject is ferociously witty; it includes, amongst other numbers, a veritable love song to the delectable liquid: ‘Ei! Wie schmeckt der Kaffee süsse’ . The Peasant Cantata, no less profane in theme, can be described as a comic dialogue in music. The text, written in a dialect peculiar to Upper Saxony, describes, with close attention to all matters financial, the banal existence of two peasants, an unnamed farmer and his wife, Mieke. With 24 movements, it is one of Bach’s most elaborately structured cantatas; with only 2 singers and 3 permanent instrumentalists, it is also one of his most economically scored.

The 2018 Humanitas Professor of Opera: William Christie

William Christie. Photo: © Oscar-Ortega

Event 1
21 June 2018
Edward Boyle Auditorium, St Hilda’s College

William Christie, Rameau and
Staging Baroque Opera

2.30pm Lecture- James Halliday
3.30pm Tea
4.00pm Round Table discussion
James Halliday, with William Christie, Claire Holden, Jonathan Williams, Jonathan Patterson
5.30pm Drinks Reception

Event 2
22 June 2018
Mary Ogilvie Lecture Theatre, St Anne’s College


William Christie in Conversation with
Edward Higginbottom

This event will take place in the programme of the Oxford Conducting Institute’s International Conducting Studies Conference 2018.

William Christie

William Christie, harpsichordist, conductor, musicologist, and teacher, is the inspiration behind one of the most exciting musical adventures of the last 30 years. A pioneer in the rediscovery of Baroque music, he has introduced the repertoire of 17th- and 18th-century France to a very wide audience across the globe. Born in Buffalo, and educated at Harvard and Yale, William Christie has lived in France since 1971. The turning point in his career came in 1979, when he founded Les Arts Florissants. Major public recognition came in 1987 with the production of Lully’s Atys at the Opéra Comique in Paris. From Charpentier to Rameau, through Couperin, Mondonville, William Christie is the uncontested master of tragédie-lyrique as well as opéra-ballet. But his affection for French music does not preclude him from exploring other European repertoires as Monteverdi, Rossi, Scarlatti, Landi, Purcell, Handel, Mozart, Haydn ou Bach.

Notable among his most recent operatic work are Campra’s Les Fêtes vénitiennes in 2015 at Paris’s Opéra Comique and then at the Brooklyn Academy of Music; Rameau, Maître à Danser created at Caen Theater in 2014; Theodora in 2016 at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and, in 2018, Handel’s Jephtha at the Opéra de Paris and Ariodante at the Wiener Staatsoper. As a guest conductor, William Christie often appears at opera festivals such as Glyndebourne (Giulio Cesare in 2018) or at opera houses such as the Metropolitan Opera of New York, the Zurich Opernhaus, or the Opéra National de Lyon. His extensive discography includes more than 100 recordings. His most recent recordings in “Les Arts Florissants” collection at Harmonia mundi: La Harpe Reine, Un jardin à l’italienne, Bien que l’amour and B Minor Mass (release in Spring 2018). Wishing to develop further his work as a teacher, in 2002 William Christie created, with Les Arts Florissants, a biennial Academy for young singers, Le Jardin des Voix, Now established at Thiré in Vendée, where he lives. Since 2007 he has been artist in residence at the Juilliard School in New York, where he gives master classes twice a year accompanied by the musicians of Les Arts Florissants. In 2012, he launched the festival Dans les Jardins de William Christie in his own gardens, where he welcomes every summer young musicians from the Juilliard School along with the musicians of Les Arts Florissants.

In November 2008, William Christie was elected to France’s Académie des Beaux-Arts, and gave his official inaugural speech under the dome of the Institut de France in January 2010. In 2018 he was named world ambassador for French culture by Le Bureau Export, in the presence of French culture minister Françoise Nyssen.

Haydn: Il mondo della luna

The Summer Opera
4 (Preview)/7/10/11/13/14 July 2018

Conductor – Steven Devine; Director – Michael Burden

In a new English translation by Simon Rees


NCO’s Rare Haydn Opera is an Enchanting Oxford Evening – Seen and Heard International
A World of Enchantment: New Chamber Opera’s Production of Haydn’s Il mondo della luna – British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies

The Evening’s Events
6.00pm: Drink in the Cloisters
6.30pm: Opera Part I, The Warden’s Garden
Picnic Interval in the Cloisters (approximately 90 minutes)
9.00pm: Opera Part II, The Warden’s Garden
10.15pm: Curtain


Wednesday 4 (Preview) & Tuesday 10
New Chamber Opera
Download a form here


Saturday 7 & Friday 13
Tickets: New College Development Office (01865) 279 337

Tuesday 10
Tickets: OXPIP (01865) 778 034

Wednesday 11
Tickets: Friends of the Oxford Botanic Garden (07722) 605 787

Saturday 14
Tickets: Friends of WNO (01865) 408 045

Il mondo della luna

Ecclitico, a would-be astronomer: Daniel Shelvey
Ernesto, a cavalier: Daniel Keating-Roberts
Buonafede, a naive old man: Thomas Kennedy
Clarice, daughter of Buonafede: Kate Semmens
Flaminia, another daughter of Buonafede: Rachel Shannon
Lisetta, maid of Buonafede: Indyana Schneider
Cecco, servant of Ernesto: Alexander Gebhard

The central character of Haydn’s opera Il Mondo della Luna is a rather dotty and egotistical but naive old man, Bonafede. He is entranced by the lunar lifestyle invented by Ecclitico, the false astronomer. The aim of the opera is to befuddle Bonafede into allowing his two daughters to marry: Flaminia to Ernesto, and Clarice to Ecclitico. The opera was performed in celebration of the wedding of Count Nikolaus Eszterházy (son of Haydn’s employer, Prince Eszterházy) and the Countess Maria Anna Weissenwolf on August 3, 1777, but very rarely (if at all) thereafter. It underwent a number of changes, and it is clear that there is not one but many versions of the piece.

The opera was a pathbreaker in a number of ways. Up until 1776 there was no regular operatic tradition at the Eszterházy court, where Haydn was composer and Kapellmeister. He had composed several well-received operas, including L’infedeltà delusa (performed by New Chamber Opera in 2014) but it was not until the completion of the new Eszterházy theatre that he began to compose operas on a regular basis. Haydn not only wrote new operas but promoted works by other composers’ new repertoire. It has undergone some revival in the last few years, in particular, in two different productions by English Touring Opera.

Andreas Scholl

The University’s first
Humanitas Visiting Professor of Voice and Classical Music

Photo credit: © Decca/James MacMillan


19 February 2018
T. S. Eliot Lecture Theatre
Andreas Scholl in conversation
‘Beyond Bach’
5.00pm, followed by a reception

20 February 2018
Masterclass, Holywell Music Room
11.00am-1.00pm; 2.00-5.00pm

21 February 2018
Masterclass, Holywell Music Room
11.00am-1.00pm; 2.00-5.00pm

22 February 2018
Masterclass, New College Chapel
Masterclass Concert, New College Chapel

Admission is free, but please book via

Born into a family of singers, Andreas Scholl, aged 13, was chosen from 20,000 choristers gathered in Rome from around the world to sing solo at Mass on 4 January 1981. Just four years later, Scholl was offered a place at the Schola Cantorum, an institution that normally accepts only post-graduate students, and now succeeded his own teacher there, Richard Levitt. His operatic roles include Bertarido in Handel’s Rodelinda at Glyndebourne in 1998 and at the Met in 2006, and the title role in Giulio Cesare at Oper Frankfurt. He has worked with many of the contemporary Baroque specialists including William Christie and Philippe Herreweghe.

Scholl has released a series of extraordinary solo recordings including: Wanderer – a disc of German Lied in partnership with pianist Tamar Halperin; O Solitude – an all-Purcell album with Accademia Bizantina which won the 2012 BBC Music Magazine award, Arias for Senesino, Heroes – a disc of arias by Handel, Mozart, Hasse and Gluck, Robert Dowland’s A Musicall Banquet, Arcadia – a collection of rare and unpublished cantatas by composers from Rome’s Arcadian Circle, Wayfaring Stranger – a selection of specially arranged English and American folksongs with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Bach cantatas with Kammerorchester Basel and Vivaldi Motets with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, all of which are released on Decca. His most recent recording, Small Gifts of Heaven, is a collaboration with Dorothee Oberlinger and released on the Sony label this season.

Hilary 2018 Recitals

New College Ante-chapel
1.15pm, £2/£1 concessions

9 Laura Coppinger, Soprano

16 Alexander Gebhard, Tenor

23 Filippo Turkeimer, Baritone

2 Stephanie Franklin, Soprano

9 Lewis Hammond, Countertenor

The Rake’s Progress

New Chamber Opera Studio
Igor Stravinsky
The Rake’s Progress

14 & 15 February 2018
Sheldonian Theatre


or on the door

Conductor – Chloe Rooke
Repetiteur – Anhad Arora
Chorus director – Joseph Beesley
Director – Michael Burden


Anne Trulove – Emily Gibson
Tom Rakewell – Maximilian Lawrie
Nick Shadow – Patrick Keefe
Father Trulove – Tom Lowen
Baba the Turk – Carrie Thomson
Keeper of the Madhouse – Josh Newman

Stravinsky’s neo-classical opera The Rake’s Progress tells the story of Tom Rakewell, who, at the behest of Nick Shadow (the Devil), abandons his intended, Anne Trulove, for the dubious delights of the city. Shadow leads him into a variety of scrapes, including a scheme to turn stones into bread, a visit to a brothel, and marriage to a bearded lady. He ends up in Bedlam, the Devil having stolen his reason. The Moral? ‘For idle hearts and hands and minds the Devil finds work to do.’ The tale, loosely based on William Hogarth’s series of pictures, is by W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman.

Michaelmas 2017 Recitals

New College Ante-chapel
1.15pm, £2/£1 concessions

October 27th
Opening recital
Victoria Armillotta (soprano)
Iryna Ilnytska (mezzo soprano)

November 3rd
James Fairchild (tenor)

November 10th
Wendy Jones (mezzo-soprano)

November 17th
Carrie Thompson (soprano)

November 24th
Frances Bell-Davies (soprano)

December 1
Alexander Gebhard (tenor)

Acis and Galatea

G F Handel
Acis and Galatea
Acis, Galtea, Polyphemus

Conductor: Chloe Rooke

23 & 25 November 2017
New College Ante-Chapel

£15/£7 concessions
on the door and from

One writer on Handel’s Acis and Galatea has commented: ‘It is not clear whether the original performance was staged, semi-staged, or performed as a concert work.’ And therein lies differences in terminology and staging which dogged the work throughout the 18th century. The first term applied to it was ‘masque’, a form in which dance was usually a decisive element. Then it was described as an ‘opera’, implying a filly costume staging of the piece. Next up was the label ‘serenata’, a performance that was advertised as being in costume, but with no movement on the stage. Lastly, it was called an ‘oratorio’, suggesting performances with no costumes and no staging, although it was too short for an evening’s performance and had other works on the theatrical bill to make up a ‘Part III’. New Chamber Opera has performed Acis and Galatea in the past as an oratorio; in November, we will be performing it in a new staging, exploring as aspects of the drama.

The work was written by Handel when he was living at Cannons Park, the home of the Duke of Chandos, during 1717-1718. It traces its origins to the series of pastoral masques set by Johann Pepusch in the second decade of the 18th century, and to the work of the poet John Hughes. The text is attributed to John Gay, and based on Book XIII of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Acis and Galatea are in love; the monster Polyphemus loves Galatea and kills Acis out of jealousy; Galatea assuages her grief by turning Acis into a river spirit as immortal as herself.

Visiting Professor of Opera 2017-18 – Stephen Langridge

The University’s Visiting Professor of Opera, 2017-18

Admission is free, but please book via

26 October 2017
Stephen Langridge in conversation: “Why play opera at all?”
5:00-6:45pm; T. S. Eliot Lecture Theatre

27 & 30 October 2017
Making Opera

27 October 2017
Singers’ workshop
10.00-1.00pm; Long Room, New College
New creations
2.00-5.00pm: Long Room, New College

30 October 2017
Working with the New
10.00-1.00pm: Long Room, New College
Performing the New
2.00-5.00pm: Long Room, New College

Stephen Langridge is Artistic Director (Opera/Drama) of GöteborgsOperan, the Gothenburg Opera. Having studied Drama at Exeter University, Stephen then spent several years working as assistant director, mostly with the cutting edge company, Opera Factory, but also at Covent Garden, Opera North and Scottish Opera. His own practice developed through a mixture of small-scale tours of cut-down classics with Pimlico Opera, practical laboratories for composers and librettists, and devised music theatre projects, often in unconventional spaces with unconventional people. Underlying all his work is the belief that music theatre is a natural and dynamic form of human expression, to which everybody should have access, both as a creative participant and as an audience.

Stephen is well known for his education, development, and training work (projects in France, Spain, Germany, Finland, Holland, Sweden, Senegal, South Africa, and throughout the UK), and for his theatre work in unusual settings, including West Side Story (Bernstein) and Julius Caesar (Shakespeare) with large casts of prisoners in various British high security prisons, and Ngoma, a multi-racial music and theatre project in South African townships.

Although his directing work is now often on a larger scale – including productions at many of the world’s leading opera houses – Stephen continues to work off piste incorporating smaller scale experimental and developmental projects as an essential part of his working life.