NCO Studio

KING ARTHUR

Scenes from a Life
HENRY PURCELL

Conductor: Luke Mitchell
Director: Michael Burden

New College Ante-Chapel
28 & 29 February 2024
8.30pm

Tickets from: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on?q=New%20chamber%20opera

King Arthur is Henry Purcell’s most complicated ‘dramatick opera’ and contains some of his most recognisable music. The text is by John Dryden, and the plot is based on the battle between the Britons and the Saxons; characters include King Arthur, Merlin, Cupid, and Venus, with the action centering on the recovery by Arthur of his fiancé Princess Emmeline from the clutches of his enemy, the Saxon King Oswald. The show is what Judith Milhous calls a ‘multi-media spectacular.’ In our version, the concentration is on the musical interludes, and the score includes the best-known music: the ‘Frost Scene’ sung by the Cold Genius, the hymn ‘Fairest Isle’ performed by Venus, and ‘Harvest Home’, the rollicking drinking song sung by peasants.

Nyman & Bach

The Draughtman’s ContractProspero’s Books 

Harpsichord Concerto BWV 1052

Conductor: Alessandro Mackinnon-Botti
Harpsichord: Luke Mitchell

New College Ante-Chapel
7 March 2024
8.30pm

To note: this concert has been incorrectly advertised in some places as taking place on 5 March 2024.

Tickets from: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on?q=New%20chamber%20opera

The composer Michael Nyman, whose music features in this concert, is a composer, librettist and musicologist, known for his collaborations with the filmmaker Peter Greenaway. Greenaway’s The Draughtman’s Contract, released in 1982, is a murder mystery set in 1694 in a country house in Wiltshire (the house is the film is Groombridge Place). The draughtsman, who is murdered in the final scene, has been employed to draw a number of views of the estate, each one of which forms an episode of the story and of music, which borrows freely from the music of Henry Purcell. Prospero’s Books, a later Peter Greenaway film from 1991 British is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, in which Sir John Gielgud plays Prospero. The conceit is that Prospero is Shakespeare, who in the film constructs the play inside his head, and at the end of the film sits down to write The Tempest.

Bach’s Harpsichord Concerto BWV 1052 in d minor was extent by 1734 in a version that originally consisted only of the orchestral parts; the solo part was added in later, and the whole copied by Bach himself in 1738 into the manuscript of all eight of his concertos, BWV 1052–1058. The work was written in stages, with all three movements being used as movements in cantatas. 

Hilary 2024 Recitals

Fridays, 1.15pm
New College Ante-chapel

Welcome to the New Chamber Opera Studio Recital Series which is held on Fridays at 1.15 pm during term time in New College Ante-Chapel. The recital series has been running since 1994 and offers singers across the University and beyond the opportunity to perform a short programme in a relaxed atmosphere.

Week 2 – 26 January
Theo Cawood
Week 3 – 2 February
Matilda Bates
Week 4 – 9 February
Maurice Cole
Week 5 – 16 February
John Morshead
Week 6 – 23 February
Felicity Howard
Week 7 – 1 March
Josh Dennis
Week 8 – 8 March
Vocal Ensemble 
Maxim Fielder, Ellie Stamp, Ischia Gooda, Daniel Atkinson

Week 2
Theo Cawood
26 January

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Week 3
Matilda Bates with Luke Mitchell
2 February

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Week 4
Maurice Cole with Henry Coop
9 February

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Week 5
John Morshead with Francois Cloete
16 February

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Week 6
Felicity Howard – Cancelled
23 February

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Week 7
Dennis & the Menaces
1 March

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Week 8
The Anima Consort
8 March

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SUMMER ORATORIO 2024

The Judgment of Paris 

Libretto: William Congreve
Music: John Weldon, one time Organist of New College, Oxford

Conductor: Luke Mitchell

New College Chapel
5 June 2024
8.30pm

Tickets from: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on?q=New%20chamber%20opera

British (English) School; John Wheldon; Faculty of Music and Bate Collection of Musical Instruments; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/john-wheldon-221317

Mercury, messenger of the gods
Paris, a shepherd
Juno, goddess of marriage. 
Pallas, goddess of war
Venus, goddess of love

In 1700, a group of nobles put up a ‘Musick Prize’ by offering through the pages of the London Gazette of 18 March: First prize was 100 guineas, second 50, third 30, and fourth 20, and the task was to set a new libretto, a masque, The Judgment of Paris, written for the occasion by William Congreve. John Weldon was one of four known entrants, the others being John Eccles, Daniel Purcell and Gottfried Finger. The works were performed singly and then together on one evening when the competition was run; the Prize was won by Weldon, Organist of New College, Oxford, much to the chagrin of most involved, with vague accusations of incompetence and corruption circling around the decision.In the masque, Mercury appears to the Shepherd Paris with the Golden Apple of Discord and asks him to award it to the Goddess for whom he has the most regard. The goddesses – Juno, Pallas, and Venus – all sing to him, presenting a future in each of their respective spheres, worldly power, war, and beauty. Pallas, seduced by Venus, awards it to her.

Henry Purcell: Saul and the Witch of Endor; Marc-Antoine Charpentier: Actéon

Conductor: Luke Mitchell
Producer: Michael Burden

New College Ante-Chapel
15 & 16 November 2023 
8:30PM

£15/£7 concession – Tickets are available from Ticketsource

Saul and the Witch of Endor is a short intense warning against witchcraft. Saul, king of the Israelites, consults the fortune-telling witch of Endor on whether he will lose a forthcoming battle. Saul loses the battle, but shortly before he was to be killed, he throws himself on his sword. 

The Witch of Endor – Jemima Price
Saul – William Anderson 
Samuel – Crawford Wiley

Actéon is a short chamber opera telling the famous mythical story of Actéon, who is transformed into stag by Diana as revenge for him seeing her bathing; he is then killed by his own hounds. 

Actéon – Matt Pope 
Diane – Jessica Edgar 

Chasseurs
Rosanna Milner, Felicity Howard, Maurice Cole, Raphaël Maurin, Maxim Fielder 

Nymphs
Ischia Gooda (Artethuse), Harriet Twigger-Ross (Daphné), Vertiy Sawbridge (Hyale), Joshua Dennis

NCO Studio Friday Recital Series, 1.15 pm, New College Ante-chapel – MT2023

Welcome to the New Chamber Opera Studio Recital Series which is held on Fridays at 1.15 pm during term time in New College Ante-Chapel. The recital series has been running since 1994 and offers singers across the University and beyond the opportunity to perform a short programme in a relaxed atmosphere.

Week 5 – 10 November
Raphael Maurin
Week 6 – 17 November 
John Johnston
Week 7 – 24 November 
Ellie Stamp
Week 8 – 1 December
Patrick Maxwell 

Week 5
Raphael Maurin with Marcus McDevitt
10 November

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Week 6
John Johnston with Alfred Fardell
17 November

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Week 7
Ellie Stamp
24 November

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Summer Oratorio

Carissimi: Jepthe; Charpentier: Le reinement de saint pierre.

Conductor: Luke Mitchell

New College Chapel
8.00pm
7 June 2023
£12/£5 concession – Tickets are available from Ticketsource

The concert presents two short oratorios of the 17th century by Carissimi (Jephte) and his student Charpentier. These are framed by two extraordinary works by De Lalande, written for the funerals of Louis XIV’s children. These ‘grands motets’, settings of the De Profundis and Dies Irae as requiems, draw on rich orchestration and choral forces to deliver some of the richest choral music of the baroque, achieving beauty and devastation in majesty, as the oratorio works do in their sparse biblical tragedy.

NCO Studio Friday Recital Series, 1.15 pm, New College Ante-chapel – TT2023

Welcome to the New Chamber Opera Studio Recital Series which is held on Fridays at 1.15 pm during term time in New College Ante-Chapel. The recital series has been running since 1994 and offers singers across the University and beyond the opportunity to perform a short programme in a relaxed atmosphere.

Week 1 – 28 April
Theo Peters
Week 2 – 5 May
No Recital
Week 3 – 12 May
Amy HigginsCancelled
Week 4 – 19 May
Raphael Maurin
Week 5 – 26 May
Will PriorCancelled
Week 6 – 2 June
Tom Burkill
Week 7 – 9 June
Karol Jozwik
Week 8 – 16 June
Matt Pope

Week 1
Theo Peters
28 April

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Week 2
No Recital
5 May

Week 3
Amy Higgins – Cancelled
12 May


Week 4
Raphael Maurin with Alessandro MacKinnon-Botti
19 May

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Week 5
Will Prior – Cancelled
26 May

Week 6
Tom Burkill with Jamie Andrews
2 June

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Week 7
Karol Jozwik with Elena Stamp
9 June

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Week 8
Matt Pope with Dónal McCann
16 June

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A Domestic Comedy

Leonard Bernstein, Trouble in Tahiti

Conductor: Jamie Andrews
Director: Michael Burden

Ante-chapel, New College
8.30pm
2 & 3 March 2023
£15/£7 concessions from https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/

Cast

Sam – Jake Sternberg
Dinah – Melissa Talbot
Trio – Ellie Stamp, Edward Beswick, Ben Gilchrist

Leonard Bernstein’s short opera, Trouble in Tahiti, comes between two bigger works, his 1944 On the Town and Candide of 1956. Described as ‘a candid portrait of the troubled marriage of a young suburban couple’, it tells the story of Sam and Dinah, who are trapped in a suburban, middle-class, consumerist world, desiring love and intimacy, but achieving only marital discord.

The title is from an escapist movie, ‘Trouble in Tahiti’, which Dinah goes to see during the afternoon; in the evening, when they fail to address their marital difficulties, the only solution is to go to cinema – where they see ‘Trouble in Tahiti’. The couple are backed by a static trio, fulfilling the role of a Greek chorus and the score, which draws on songs, jazz rhythms and other popular idioms, is dedicated to Marc Blitzstein.

Two Baroque Masterworks

Pergolesi, Stabat Mater; Vivaldi, Nisi Dominus
Conductor: Luke Mitchell
4 March 2023

Ante-chapel, New College
8.30pm
4 March 2023
£12/£5 concessions from https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/

Soloists
Maryam Wocial – soprano
Austin Haynes – countertenor

Pergolei’s Stabat Mater of 1736 is one of the best-known 18th-century sacred works. Written by Pergolesi for the Confraternita dei Cavalieri di San Luigi di Palazzo and was one of his last works; he is said to have died just after completing the composition. The work gained considerable attention almost immediately and it circulated widely in printed editions. The Nisi Dominus is a setting of the Latin text of Psalm 127, the title coming from the first two words of psalm text. It was written in the early 1700s for the Ospedale della Pietà, suggesting that although it has been much recorded by with both women and men as soloists, a female voice was probably Vivaldi’s original intention. The score has been described as having the ‘greatest poise and delicacy’.