Despite so many of the big musical events being cancelled this year due to COVID-19, a few innovative companies are still putting on performances this autumn – perfect for those looking for their fill of live music. From Glyndebourne reopening its opera house for indoor productions to Alexandra Palace’s live drive-by opera performed by the ENO, these are the best musical events to stream and attend this season.
South African cellist and vocalist Abel Selacoe creates music inspired by traditional African string instruments, such as the Zeze violin from Tanzania, the Uhadi musical bow from South Africa, and the Sekhankula violin from Lesotho. His powerful compositions allow him to explore the capacity of the cello across multiple genres – a feat which sees him often perform with the BBC Philharmonic.
This special recital at multi-arts venue Kings Place will see him perform Hae ke kae? (meaning ‘Where is home?’), a composition examining the concept of taking refuge and how home inspires identity. The result is a celebration of Abel’s native South Africa and an ode to some of those countries that gave his forefathers refuge in the times of apartheid such as Tanzania, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Botswana and more.
Kings Place, 90 York Way, Kings Cross, N1; kingsplace.co.uk
Billed as an online festival of the world’s finest vocal music, Live from London brings together award-winning ensembles to sing their repertoires ranging from the Renaissance to contemporary A Cappella. These live-streamed performances will be filmed within the walls of Wren’s St Anne and St Agnes Church in the City of London – a venue renowned for its brilliant acoustics.
Taking place across the next few weeks before the festival comes to a close in October, performances include The Sixteen on 19 September and Stile Antico on 26 September. Ticket holders will be able to watch these 60-minute sessions live, as well as on demand, giving added flexibility.
Buy tickets at voces8.foundation/livefromlondon
Watch opera live and in person from the comfort of your own car thanks to ENO Drive and Live – a socially-distant venture from the company designed to help audiences enjoy opera safely. Each 90 minute performance will see the ENO’s award-winning Orchestra and chorus perform on a raise stage surrounded by big screens, so that you can both see and hear the evening’s incredible score with ease.
Being performed is La Boheme – Puccini’s tragic love story set in the Bohemian world of Paris’s Latin Quarter. Destitute poet Rudolfo has fallen in love with his neighbour, Mimi, yet his passionate temperament causes him terrible fits of jealousy, driving them apart. Will he be able to master his feelings in time when Mimi falls ill? A truly heart-rending tale.
Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, Muswell Hill, N22; alexandrapalace.com
Live music is set to return to the Barbican Centre next month in a series of socially distant, reduced audience events that have been reimagined for the autumn 2020 season. Covering a broad spectrum of genres, including classical, jazz, folk and electronica, the events will also see the Barbican’s resident symphony orchestras returning to the stage.
This new music season is set to begin with bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel performing pieces by Bach, Finzi and Ivor Novello. Further highlights include performances from composer Erland Cooper and rising jazz star Nubya Garcia, as well as Cosmos, a mind-bending musical voyage through space with world-renowned physicist Professor Brian Cox.
While many of Glyndebourne’s regular performances were cancelled this summer – or moved to take place in their spectacular, sprawling gardens – the Sussex opera house is back in action. This autumn sees it reopen on 10 October with a series of live, indoor performances using social-distant seating and government-approved safety measures.
The rosta will begin with In the Market for Love, an English adaptation of Offenbach’s opera Mesdames de la Halle. The performance will transport viewers to the markets of Paris in a one-act French farce, where romance blossoms between a handsome young cook and a pretty young orphan. This will be followed by a semi-staged version of The Magic Flute and Christmas Concerts later in the year.
Buy tickets at glyndebourne.com
Don’t miss Rolex’s Perpetual Music Concerts, which will be screening on demand on medici.tv until the end of October. Designed to support musicians and singers during the global pandemic, these concerts were born out of an initiative from Rolex to give artists who suffered both the loss of audience and income from the pandemic a chance to perform at some of Europe’s most prestigious venues.
Taking place in Pesaro, Berlin and Paris, the three concerts were all originally live streamed to over 180 countries, giving these artists an incredible platform. If you’re struggling to decide which one to watch, try the final instalment. Presented by Mexican tenor, Rolando Villazón, and French classically trained violinist, Renaud Capuçon, it’s a brilliant opportunity to see performances from two world-renowned stars.
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