Online Events

We are delighted to offer our West Green House Opera audience members two very special online events.

Two talks on the music and culture of Vienna with Peter Medhurst.

On Monday 10th May 2021, Peter will be presenting a talk called Vienna – the musical capital of Europe – exclusively for West Green House Opera. On Friday 18th June 2021 in a follow-on talk, he will explore the genius of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, written in Vienna in 1786. See full details of these fascinating programmes below.

Tickets for the talks are available to West Green House Opera audiences for £20 per household. Thanks to the generosity of Peter Medhurst, all proceeds from the talk on the 10th May will go directly towards the cost of putting on our 2021 season.

About the talks

Monday 10th May 2.30pm – Vienna – the musical capital of Europe

Despite the enormous political challenges that Vienna faced between 1780 and 1830 – including several major battles with Napoleon – the city thrived, culturally. In fact, it could be argued that Vienna never had a finer moment in terms of its artistic achievements. However, its crowning glory at the time was its music, written by a group of composers known as The First Viennese School, which consisted of F Haydn, WA Mozart, L van Beethoven and F Schubert. Together, their operas, symphonies, concertos and chamber works made Vienna the musical capital of the world. With music and opera to the fore, Peter Medhurst explores the history and culture of late Classical and early Romantic Vienna. He follows this with a live lecture-recital on Viennese music from his music room in London.

Part 1: The first session is a general introduction to the history and culture of Vienna during the period of 1780 to 1830. It explores the importance of patronage in the arts by the Hapsburgs and other noble families centred in Vienna and goes on to assess the impact that the Napoleonic Wars had on the city in the years following the Congress of Vienna.

Part 2: In this session, Peter Medhurst moves to the piano for a discussion on music written in Vienna during the Classical period (c1765-1830). Peter talks about and performs a range of works by Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert, but especially by Mozart. Music includes Piano Sonata No 10 in C by Haydn, excerpts from The Magic Flute and Piano Sonata in F K322 by Mozart, Piano Sonata in C minor Op 13 ‘Pathétique’ No 2 by Beethoven, and Ländler by Schubert.

Please click on the link below to book tickets. You will be sent a viewing link shortly prior to each talk.

10 May 2021, 2.30pm – Vienna – the musical capital of Europe

This event lasts 2 hours and 15 minutes (including a 15-minute break at half time).

Friday 18th June 2.30pm – Mozart’s operatic masterpiece: The Marriage of Figaro

The Marriage of Figaro – Mozart’s operatic masterpiece The Marriage of Figaro was written in Vienna in 1786 and is based on Pierre Beaumarchais’s play of the same name. Both the play and the opera were written at a time of great political unrest in France and pre-echo much of the thinking that lies at the heart of the French Revolution of 1789. Essentially, the play whittles down to a story concerning a faithful servant, Figaro, who when treated shamefully by his master, Count Almaviva, teaches him a lesson. What makes the opera a work of genius is the heightening of the drama through the brilliance of Mozart’s musical writing. Mozart turns Beaumarchais’s buffa characters into flesh and blood protagonists who display the complete compass of the human condition, ranging from cunning and deceitfulness to forgiveness and expiation. How Mozart achieves this in the score is the subject of the study afternoon. Peter Medhurst tells the story of how Mozart came to write The Marriage of Figaro. He then works his way through the opera, discussing and presenting key moments in the drama, that show Mozart’s especial genius hard at work.

Please click on the link below to book tickets. You will be sent a viewing link shortly prior to each talk.

18 June 2021, 2.30pm – Marriage of Figaro afternoon

This event lasts 2 hours and 15 minutes (including a 15-minute break at half time).

Peter Medhurst

Peter Medhurst’s work as singer, organist and lecturer-recitalist has taken him all over the world, and in the last few years he has toured New Zealand, Australia (twice) and South Africa (five times) and given numerous recitals across Europe. He also records and broadcasts on the radio and leads specialist cultural tours abroad for music connoisseurs. Peter Medhurst was born of German and English parents and did his musical training at the Royal College of Music where he studied singing with Redvers Llewellyn and Edgar Evans, organ with Richard Popplewell, composition with Justin Connolly and music history with Else Mayer-Lismann, Christopher Grier and Joseph Horowitz. A scholarship from the Austrian government gave him the opportunity to study with Erik Werba at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.

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