Coffee Break Concerts, Peaceful Moments, Live from Covent Garden and Wigmore Hall Lunchtime Concerts are brand-new projects from OperaUpClose, Glyndebourne the Royal Opera and the BBC respectively, allowing the organisations to stream mini-concerts via their YouTube channels and websites.
Part of At Home with OperaUpClose, Coffee Break Concerts is a series of fortnightly 20-minute shows by OperaUpClose singers and instrumentalists. Filmed in performers’ homes while in lockdown, the company describes the series as “cosy, casual concerts, from our homes to yours”.
The performances take place at 3.30pm on Wednesday afternoons and are available to watch via the company’s website for one month after the initial broadcast. You can join performers and the OperaUpClose team for a post-show virtual chat immediately after the premiere of each concert. You will need to book your place by emailing Senior Producer Amy Novadnieks (email@example.com). You will then be sent the Zoom link and instructions on how to join.
The next concert takes place tomorrow, 17 June. You can donate to support further performances here or commission your own Coffee Break Concert (from £150) by contacting Artistic Director Robin Norton-Hale on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peaceful Moments is part of Glyndebourne At Home. Every Wednesday at 7pm, a different Glyndebourne artist from around the world will sing or play a folk song they love. “Opera can be outsized, full on, epic, but these intimate musical miniatures calm the soul. In these troubled times, we hope it will provide a tranquil moment in your week,” the opera house commented.
The series launched with Danielle de Niese singing Irish folksong ‘Danny Boy’. The Australian-born soprano whose parents migrated to the country from Sri Lanka said: “You may be wondering why an Irish song is so close to my heart, but in Sri Lanka – which was colonised by the British, Dutch and Portuguese – a lot of these songs made it over there. These are the songs that my parents and their families grew up singing.”
Previous performances can be seen on Glyndebourne’s website.
As the name implies, the Royal Opera’s Live from Covent Garden is a series of concerts broadcast live from the Royal Opera House stage as part of the organisation’s #OurHouseToYourHouse programme of online events. It will star a host of renowned dancers and opera singers – all following social-distancing guidelines.
The next production takes place at 7.30pm on 20 June. Tenor David Butt Philip, mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly and soloists of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House will perform Gustav Mahler’s song-cycle Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth, 1911).
Principal dancer of the Royal Ballet, Vadim Muntagirov, will perform Frederick Ashton’s rarely seen work Dance of the Blessed Spirits. Set to an ethereal flute solo from Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, the ballet is a showcase of balance and poise.
The final performance takes place on 27 June. Details are yet to be announced.
Tickets cost £4.99 per household, and performances will be available to purchase for 14 days should you not be able to view them live. Visit the Royal Opera House website to find out more and to buy tickets.
Culture in Quarantine is a BBC initiative which aims to bring culture in the homes of the nation during lockdown. It includes a series of concerts broadcast live from London’s Wigmore Hall. Leading performers including pianist Mitsuko Uchida, tenor Mark Padmore and countertenor Iestyn Davies, among others, are set to take part.
Musicians perform to an empty hall in strict compliance with the government’s social-distancing guidelines and the series is made up exclusively of solo recitals and duos. Concerts take place daily for the rest of June at 1pm and last for around an hour. They are being broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and streamed on BBC Sounds and the Wigmore Hall website.
John Gilhooly, director at Wigmore Hall, commented: “The health and safety of our staff and the musicians will always be Wigmore Hall’s foremost concern. This is a London-centric series. Most of the artists are based in London and have pledged to come in on foot or by bike. No artists will be taking public transport.
“I am very grateful to BBC Radio 3 and every musician taking part in these concerts, under the safest possible conditions. Through this series we bring great live music from our acclaimed acoustic to every corner of the nation and overseas.”
Elinor Jane Moran (soprano, left) and Elspeth Wilkes (piano, right) perform as part of OperaUpClose’s series of Coffee Break Concerts.