A Britten Bonanza!
Congratulations to Angelika Kirchschlager, Ian Bostridge, Susan Gritton and Peter Coleman-Wright, whose recording of The Rape of Lucretia has been released on Virgin Classics to great acclaim.
This live recording, taken from concert performances at the 2011 Aldeburgh Festival, is conducted by Oliver Knussen. Lucretia is now a something of a signature role for Angelika Kirchschlager having performed it in concert at the Vienna Konzerthaus in 2008 (The Viennese premiere of The Rape of Lucretia which also starred Ian Bostridge and was part of his Britten residency at the Konzerthaus) and also, with great success, in a staged production at the Theater an der Wien in February 2011. The Rape of Lucretia is a familiar opera too for tenor Ian Bostridge who was part of Deborah Warner’s production at the Munich Festival. A role debut for Susan Gritton, however this great Britten soprano is very much at home in this repertoire having last year sung Ellen Orford in Tokyo and for her debut at La Scala. They were joined by Peter Coleman-Wright who has excelled in the title roles of Billy Budd and Owen Wingrave.
This was a major success back in 2011 with sold out performances in Aldeburgh, Amsterdam and Luxembourg. The Luxembourg performance marked the end of Ian Bostridge’s year long residency at the Luxembourg Philharmonie.
“There are no weaknesses there, either. The Male and Female Chorus, Ian Bostridge and Susan Gritton, set the standard in their introduction, each word ringingly clear, every shade of meaning registered. Their commentary is wonderfully objective and humane, just as the protagonists in the drama are presented in all their contradictions – from Angelika Kirschlager’s Lucretia, by turns sensuously honeyed and harrowingly moving, Christopher Purves’ assured Collatinus, and Peter Coleman-Wright’s startlingly feral Tarquinius,” Andrew Clements, The Guardian
“Angelika Kirchschlager is a moving and noble Lucretia.”
Warwick Thomas, Sinfoniemusik
“Ian Bostridge and Susan Gritton play the storytelling Chorus with impassioned incisiveness…..There are strong performances too from Christopher Purves as Lucretia’s husband Collatinus and Peter Coleman-Wright’s lust-obsessed Prince Tarquinius” Graham Rogers, BBC review