Tuesday, April 20, 2010

PREVIEW: Queen of Baroque - Dame Emma Kirkby (HK DEBUT)

photo courtesy of CCCOHK

I was kind of surprised to find out that Dame Emma Kirkby is coming to Hong Kong. All the more, that it will be her first time performing in Hong Kong! Hong Kong, with its British connection, I would have thought that she had already performed in Hong Kong several times. The name Emma Kirkby is so monumental to early music that I can't believe that I will be seeing her perform on May 6 8pm at the Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall. She will be performing with the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong under the baton of guest conductor Simon Over.

Okay, I am now over with my outburst of enthusiasm and is in a more pensive mood. When was the last time I listened to her recordings? It must be years ago and for only one track. I was comparing the different recordings of Vivaldi's "Agitata da due venti" from the opera Griselda. In the lot were Emma Kirkby, Monserrat Caballe, Cecilia Bartoli and Simone Kermes. The styles were very different. While I like Bartoli's the most, Kirkby and Caballe's interpretation seemed to be of a different era where early music was sang in a more straight-forward manner with emphasis on sustained vocal modulation and less stress on drama. Some scholars of early music would insist that Kirkby's style is the only right way of singing early music. In her recordings, Kirkby's soprano voice was bright and sweet in tone and her singing was of great warmth, clarity and lightness.

At the age of 61, what will her voice be like? Will her singing style be different now from what it used to be?

Queen of Baroque: Dame Emma Kirkby with the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong
06.05.2010(Thursday) 8pm Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall
Dame Emma Kirkby soprano
Simon Over guest conductor
performing music of Purcell, Bach, Mozart and Haydn

(from CCOHK's website - http://www.ccohk.com/)
Dame Emma Kirkby is one of the world's most renowned Early Music specialists. She was voted Artist of the Year by Classic FM Radio listeners in 1999, and in a survey run by BBC Music Magazine in 2007, she appeared in the top 10 of "The 20 greatest sopranos". She features regularly aroud the world with many of the leading early music chamber orchestras, notably the Academy of Ancient Music, Freiburger Barockorchester, London Baroque and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Dame Emma Kirkby is a prolific recording artist. Despite her extensive recording activities, she still prefers giving live concerts. Do not miss her long anticipated debut in Hong Kong!
Tickets available from URBTIX from 06.05.10 (Tel: 2734 9009)

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