Closing the traditional gap between opera and song, this short series of recitals curated by Julien Van Mellaerts presents three programmes with an innovative focus on storytelling.  The series features leading artists including pianists Perez, Ella O’Neill and Simon Lepper, singers Fleur Barron, Nicky Spence, Anush Hovhannisyan and Nardus Williams, and three of the 2021 OHP Young Artists, Charlotte Badham, Charlotte Bowden and Isabelle Peters. The series was curated by Julien Van Mellaerts in collaboration with Dylan Perez, for Opera Holland Park. 

 

Opera in Song: The Diary of One Who Disappeared – Sunday 25 July, 7.30pm

Tenor Nicky Spence and pianist Dylan Perez perform Janáček’s passionate 1920 song cycle, in a programme that also includes the composer’s Moravian Folk Songs and Dvorák’s Gypsy Songs.

The Diary of One Who Disappeared was the first of a sequence of works to be inspired by the composer’s autumnal infatuation with Kamila Stösslova, including The Cunning Little Vixen. Accompanied by pianist Dylan Perez, Spence is joined by the mezzo soprano Fleur Barron as the gypsy, and by OHP Young Artists Charlotte Badham, Charlotte Bowden and Isabelle Peters as the nymphs. 

 

Opera in Song: Violetta and Tatyana – Monday 26 July, 7.30pm

Soprano Anush Hovhannisyan explores the music of Verdi and Tchaikovsky’s most loved heroines and the dark beauty of Armenian folk songs.

La traviata and Eugene Onegin are two of the greatest operatic studies of heartbreak. Programmed as part of Julien Van Mellaerts’s Opera in Song series, this recital is designed to complement this season’s revival of La traviata and to identify the points of contact and difference between two great soprano roles. Pianists Dylan Perez and Ella O’Neill present new four-hand transcriptions of some of the finest orchestral movements from the operas, while Van Mellaerts joins Hovhannisyan on stage for the fateful encounter between Onegin and Tatyana.

 

Opera in Song: The Marriage of Figaro – Tuesday 27 July at 4pm

Julien Van Mellaerts and Nardus Williams step out of Mozart’s soundworld to retell the story of Count and Countess Almaviva’s marriage in an imaginative programme of songs and duets.

In the final concert of Julien Van Mellaerts’s Opera in Song series, he is joined by pianist Simon Lepper and soprano Nardus Williams. In songs and duets by Brahms, Mahler, Duparc, Gounod, Vaughan Williams, Obradors and Toldrá, Van Mellaerts, Williams and Lepper trace the Almavivas’ relationship from secret courtship to the public betrayal in The Marriage of Figaro. Spanish warmth and themes of love, jealousy and reconciliation thread through a programme that offers new insight and an unusual perspective on two operatic characters.