Present Voices: The Importance of Being Earnest - Gerald Barry

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group conducted by Thomas Ades

26 April 2012 / 19:30


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Gerald Barry The Importance of Being Earnest (European premiere - Barbican Co-commission)

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group

Thomas Adès conductor
Barbara Hannigan Cecily Cardew
Peter Tantsits John Worthing
Joshua Bloom Algernon Moncrieff
Katalin Karolyi Gwendolen Fairfax
Hilary Summers Miss Prism 
Alan Ewing Lady Bracknell
Benjamin Bevan  Lane/Merriman
Joshua Hart Dr Chasuble

Concert performance

Stephen Fry, Fiona Shaw, Gerald Barry and Thomas Adès discuss the work:

'All that matters in the theatre is that the audience be gripped - that's the most crucial thing.' So says Irish composer Gerald Barry, which is surely one of the most encouraging enticements to see his new opera, based on the Oscar Wilde play The Importance of Being Earnest. More encouragement must be the sort of words that greeted the work's world premiere in 2011: zany, hysterical and highly sophisticated. Another final encouragement must be the advocacy of fellow composer Thomas Adès, who prior to his near decade running the Aldeburgh Festival was music director of acclaimed new music specialists the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, which he conducts tonight.

'The Birmingham Contemporary Music Group musicians' flair was clearly in evidence.' The Guardian

Commissioned by Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, Gustavo Dudamel, Music Director & Barbican, London.

Part of Classical Music all events 2011-12
Part of Great Performers 2011 - 2012
Part of Present Voices
Part of Premieres

Produced by the Barbican in association with BCMG

The Importance of Being Earnest Competition
Win a £50 Foyles Bookshop Gift Card and a collection of Oscar Wilde titles from Penguin Classics

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