7 December 2011
Glanville-Hicks's Sappho to be premiered in 2012
Peggy Glanville-Hicks's opera Sappho (1965) may soon be heard in all its glory, thanks to the efforts of the 28-year-old Australian-born conductor Jennifer Condon. Condon, who lives and works in Germany, has been in Australia recently, raising awareness and funds for the performance and the recording of Sappho in Lisbon, Portugal, in July 2012.
Commissioned by the San Francisco Opera in 1963, Sappho is based on Sappho: a play in verse by Lawrence Durrell. The opera's premiere was meant to feature one of the world's most famous singers, Maria Callas, who was expected to make her comeback as a mezzo-soprano in Sappho. The work was rejected by the opera house and has not yet been performed in public in its entirety, even if parts of it have been performed and recorded.
So far Condon has managed to get the appropriate permissions for the premiere, as well as convincing an ensemble of singers, the Gulbenkian Orchestra and Chorus to perform the work next July. The premiere is timed to coincide with the centenary of the composer's birth in 2012.
Sappho - project website
'Nine-year quest fulled by love for the lost opera' - The Sydney Morning Herald (3 December 2011)
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The Australian Music Centre connects people around the world to Australian composers and sound artists. By facilitating the performance, awareness and appreciation of music by these creative artists, it aims to increase their profile and the sustainability of their art form. Established in 1974, the AMC is now the leading provider of information, resources, materials and products relating to Australian new music.
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