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25.11.13

'Albert Herring' at University of Maryland



Charles T. Downey, Charming take on Benjamin Britten’s ‘Albert Herring’ from Maryland Opera Studio (Washington Post, November 25, 2013)

available at Amazon
Britten, Albert Herring, P. Pears, English Chamber Orchestra, B. Britten
What better way to spend the 100th anniversary of Benjamin Britten’s birth, which fell on Friday, than listening to one of his operas? They are the height of the British composer’s achievement, although “Albert Herring” is somewhere down the list of his best works. It received a charming production by the Maryland Opera Studio at the Clarice Smith Center, directed by Kasi Campbell, with a cast, like most fielded by collegiate companies, that was varied but earnest.

“Writing in a language with no operatic tradition to speak of,” tenor Ian Bostridge noted of Britten this week, “he wrote the only substantial body of operatic work since 1945 which is regularly revived and appreciated around the world.” The success has to do with Britten’s ability to set English words to music, his choice of excellent literary sources and a melodic and harmonic sensibility that is, for the 20th century, more alluring than off-putting. [Continue reading]
B. Britten, Albert Herring
Maryland Opera Studio (continues through November 26)
Clarice Smith Center

Previous productions:
Santa Fe Opera (2010)
Castleton Festival (2009)
Catholic University (2005)

YouTube: Glyndebourne (where the opera was premiered, in 1947)

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