Bronder, Peter

Born in Hertfordshire England of German-Austrian parentage, Peter Bronder studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London and at the National Opera Studio, before taking his first engagements at the Glyndebourne Festival and as principal tenor for Welsh National Opera. During his early career he sang many leading roles in the Italian lyric repertoire including La Boheme, Tosca, La Traviata, Rigoletto, Lucia di Lammermoor, Maria Stuarda, Don Pasquale, I Puritani, La Sonnambula and Barber of Seville; as well as those in The Magic Flute, Cosi fan Tutte, Eugene Onegin,Die Fledermaus and Der Rosenkavalier (Italian Tenor). Recently he has moved into the more dramatic, predominantly German repertoire, whilst retaining the lyrical qualities necessary for the Mozartean roles of Idomeneo and Titus, which he has performed at the Glyndebourne Festival. Notable recent successes have been Herodes (Salome) at La Scala Milan, Loge (Das Rheingold) for Scottish Opera at the Edinburgh Festival and Stuttgart Opera, Erik (Der Fliegende Hollaender) in France, as well as his American debut with the Cleveland Orchestra as Mime (Siegfried). In 2005 he made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera, New York in Falstaff.
Apart from Glyndebourne, his work in Britain includes appearances with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden (Arturo/Lucia di Lammermoor, Cassio/Otello, Pedrillo/Die Entfuehrung, Andres/Wozzeck), English National Opera (Vanya/Katya Kabanova, Almaviva/Barber of Seville, Italian tenor/DerRosenkavalier, Alfred/Die Fledermaus, Jailor/Il Prigioniero), Opera North (Prunier/La Rondine, Hauptmann/Wozzeck, Alexander/Il Re Pastore) and Scottish Opera (Rodolfo/La Boheme, Leicester/Maria Stuarda, Loge/Das Rheingold). Additionally, he has returned to guest at Welsh National Opera in Iphigenie en Tauride, as well as Peter Stein’s productions of Falstaff and Peter Grimes.
Notable engagements abroad include the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich (Narraboth/Salome, Mazal/Mr.Broucek), Ernesto/Don Pasquale at Netherlands Opera, Pedrillo/Die Entfuehrung at La Monnaie Brussels and San Francisco Opera, Loge/Das Rheingold in Stuttgart, Herodes/Salome at La Scala Milan, Flanders Opera and Frankfurt, Laca/Jenufa and Bajazet/Tamerlano at the Komische Oper Berlin, the title role in Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg in Frankfurt, and Dr.Caius/Falstaff at the Metropolitan Opera New York and the Chatelet Paris.
Peter Bronder has an extensive concert repertoire and has worked with Sir Richard Armstrong, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Colin Davis, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Rafael Fruebeck de Burgos, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Bernard Haitink, Richard Hickox, James Levine, Sir Charles Mackerras, and Sir Roger Norrington and Antonio Pappano.

Rigby, Jean


A regular guest at the Glyndebourne Festival, Jean Rigby has also sung with English National Opera, the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Netherlands Opera, Flanders Opera, Seattle Opera and San Diego Opera. In concert she sings with the major orchestras and festivals. Her extensive discography ranges from Bach, Vivaldi and Handel to Britten, Janacek and Birtwistle, and includes her acclaimed recording of the title role in the Rape of Lucretia, conducted by Richard Hickox.

Owens, Anne-Marie

Born in South Shields, Anne-Marie Owens studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with Laura Sarti and at the National Opera Studio.  She made her professional debut as Mistress Quickly Falstaff for Glyndebourne Touring Opera and joined English National Opera in 1985, where her more recent roles have included Anezka The Two Widows, High Priestess La Vestale, Marfa Khovanshchina, Jezibaba Rusalka, and Judith Weir’s Blond Eckbert (filmed for Channel 4).
As one of Britain’s leading mezzo-sopranos, Anne-Marie Owens has performed for many of the world’s great opera companies, including the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Glyndebourne, Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera, Opera North, Opéra National de Paris,  Théâtre Royale de La Monnaie, Opéra de Lausanne, New York City Opera, Santiago Opera, Arizona Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, Opera di San Carlo, the Komische Oper, Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper, Opera Australia and at the Hong Kong and Saito Kinen Festivals.  Anne-Marie’s vast operatic repertoire has included Brangäne Tristan und Isolde, Amneris Aida, Azucena Il Trovatore, Venus Tannhäuser, Herodias Salome and Santuzza Cavalleria Rusticana.  While maintaining many of these roles in her repertoire, her recent engagements have included Morozova in Tchaikovsky’s Opricnick in Cagliari, Madelon Andrea Chenier for Scottish Opera, Ragonde Le Comte Ory for Garsington Opera, Witch Hänsel und Gretel and Jezibaba Rusalka  for Opera Australia and Herodias in Salome for both Santa Fe Opera and Opera North and Marcellina Le Nozze di Figaro and Mistress Quickly Falstaff for Grange Park Opera.
Anne-Marie is also in much demand on the concert platform where she regularly performs the works of Mahler, Vaughan Williams, Elgar and the choral works of Verdi, Handel, Mozart and Beethoven with such orchestras as the London Symphony Orchestra, OAE, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, CBSO, RSNO, Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège, City of London Sinfonia and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
Image Credit: 
Julie Kim

Opie, Alan


Alan Opie is a Cornish baritone, primarily known as an opera singer.

He attended Truro School and studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the London Opera Centre before joining the Sadler's Wells Opera (now the English National Opera, ENO). He became a Principal Baritone there while still a student.

Opie has also sung with the other major UK opera companies Scottish Opera, Opera North, Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Internationally, he has performed in the opera houses of Paris, Amsterdam, Vienna, Brussels, Berlin, Chicago and Santa Fe and regularly appears at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. He has also sung at the Bayreuth Festival. In 1996, Opie switched his status at the ENO from company member to regular guest, enabling him to make his début at La Scala, Milan. There he created the role of Outis in the opera of the same name by Luciano Berio.

He has recorded for CBS, EMI, Hyperion, Chandos and Decca, winning Grammy Awards in 1996 and 1998 for his involvement in, respectively, recordings of Britten's Peter Grimes and Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. In 1997, his performance in the title role of Verdi's Falstaff earned Opie a nomination for the 1998 Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera.

Ebrahim, Omar


Omar Ebrahim became a chorister at the newly built Coventry Cathedral in 1964 and his subsequent exposure to the vibrant cultural life led him to study singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He served his performing apprenticeship at the Royal Shakespeare Company and in the Glyndebourne chorus, performing the role of Schaunard in La Bohème for Glyndebourne Touring Opera in 1980.

He has been involved with many contemporary opera and concert performances including Nigel Osborne's The Electrification of the Soviet Union and Terrible Mouth, Tippett’s New Year and Birtwistle’s The Second Mrs. Kong for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Berio’s Un re in ascolto and Birtwistle’s Gawain for the Royal Opera House, Jonathan Dove's Siren Song for Almeida Opera, and Punch and Judy (Choregos) for Basel Opera. For Opera Factory he has appeared in roles ranging from Punch through to Don Giovanni. He sang in the highly acclaimed performance of Birtwistle’s Mask of Orpheus at London's South Bank Centre's Birtwistle Festival in April 1996. He has also appeared in John Casken’s God’s Liar for Almeida Opera and La Monnaie Brussels and the premiere of Peter Eotvos’s Angels at the Chatelet Theatre Paris. Other roles have included the lead role in Marschner's The Vampyr for BBC Television.

Omar Ebrahim makes regular appearances with the Ensemble Modern, Ensemble InterContemporain and London Sinfonietta. Other recent concerts include performances with Northern Sinfonia, Musik Fabrik Cologne, Bochum Symphoniker, Netherlands Vara Radio Orchestra, Ensemble Umze at the Huddersfield Festival and Composers Ensemble. In 2005 he premiered James Wood’s oratorio Hildegard 2000 throughout the UK with future performances planned in the Netherlands. He is closely associated with the work Aventures, nouvelles aventures by Gyorgy Ligeti and has performed the piece to critical acclaim with ensembles worldwide as well as recording it for Sony.

As an actor he has performed Schoenberg's Ode to Napoleon, most recently with the Salzburg Camerata during the Salzburg Festival, and Strauss's melodrama on Tennyson's Enoch Arden for IRCAM in Paris and A Survivor from Warsaw (Schoenberg) and The Raft of the Medusa (Henze) with BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Recent successes include premiere’s of The Navigator by Liza Lim with Elision Ensemble in Brisbane and Melbourne, Skellig by Todd Machover at The Sage Gateshead, and Enno Poppe’s Arbeit Nahrung Wohnung at the Munich Biennale which had further performances in Vienna, Stuttgart, Venice, Madrid and Berlin.


BBC Symphony Orchestra

BBC Symphony Orchestra

The BBC Symphony Orchestra has played a central role at the heart of British musical life since its inception in 1930, and as the flagship orchestra of the BBC provides the backbone of the BBC Proms with at least a dozen concerts each year, including the First and Last Nights. Strongly committed to twentieth-century and contemporary music, it has given the premiere of more than 1,000 works by composers such as Bartók, Britten, Hindemith, Holst, Stravinsky and Shostakovich, and more recently has premiered BBC commissions by Simon Bainbridge, Jonathan Dove, Michael Nyman and Sir John Tavener among others. Its annual season of concerts as Associate Orchestra of the Barbican includes a weekend each January focusing upon a single composer from the twentieth or twenty-first century, most recently James MacMillan, Elliott Carter and Sofia Gubaidulina.

Jiří Bĕlohlávek took up the post of Chief Conductor in July 2006 and David Robertson was appointed Principal Guest Conductor in 2005. The BBC SO works frequently with Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis and Artist-in-Association John Adams. All concerts are broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and a number are televised, giving the BBC Symphony Orchestra the highest broadcast profile of any orchestra in the UK. The BBC SO is committed to innovative education work, with ongoing projects including the BBC SO Family Orchestra and Music Intro, introducing families to concert-going.

The BBC SO has appeared on 34 of NMC’s CDs, including the best-selling recording of Elgar’s Third Symphony.

BBC Singers

BBC Singers
The BBC Singers is Britain’s only full-time professional chamber choir and a group with an international reputation. Established in 1924, the versatility of this virtuoso 24-voice ensemble is second-to-none, and this flexibility makes the Singers both an important resource in the broadcast music-making of the BBC and a significant presence in British musical life. The BBC Singers’ breadth of repertoire is unsurpassed by any other choral group, singing everything from Renaissance music to the latest contemporary scores, and their unrivalled expertise with the latter has brought about creative relationships with some of the most important composers and conductors of the 20th and 21st centuries. At home on the concert platform as much as in the recording studio, the BBC Singers also regularly work with the BBC’s own orchestras, a wide range of period instrument and contemporary music ensembles, and with a host of internationally-renowned conductors. The group’s rapidly expanding education programme now embraces regular outreach work with school children, youth choirs, the amateur choral community, and young professional composers, singers and conductors. The BBC Singers have a unique place on the British concert scene: a world-class choral ensemble committed to sharing their enthusiasm and creative expertise with audiences and performers, amateurs and professionals, young and old, across the nation and throughout the whole spectrum of the choral community.
Image Credit: 
John Wood

Davis, Sir Andrew

Sir Andrew
Born in 1944 in Hertfordshire, England, Andrew Davis studied at King’s College, Cambridge, where he was an organ scholar before taking up the baton. His diverse repertoire ranges from baroque to contemporary, and his vast conducting credits span the symphonic and operatic and choral worlds. Sir Andrew is a great proponent of twentieth-century works including those by Janáček, Messiaen, Boulez, Elgar, Tippett, and Britten, in addition to the core symphonic and operatic composers.
With the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Maestro Davis has led concerts at the London Proms and on tour to Hong Kong, Japan, the US, and Europe. He has conducted all of the major orchestras of the world from the Chicago Symphony to the Berlin Philarmonic to the Royal Concertgebouw, and at opera houses and festivals throughout the world including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala and the Bayreuth Festival.
Since 2000, Sir Andrew Davis has served as Music Director & Principal Conductor of Lyric Opera of Chicago. He is the Conductor Laureate of the Toronto Symphony (having previously served as the Principal Conductor), the Conductor Laureate of the BBC Symphony Orchestra (having served as the 2nd longest running Chief Conductor since its founder, Sir Adrian Boult) and the former Music Director of the Glyndebourne Festival Opera.
Image Credit: 
Dan Rest

Brabbins, Martyn

Artistic Director of the Cheltenham International Festival of Music 2005-2007, he was Associate Principal Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra 1994-2005. He is Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, a position which started in September 2009. After studying composition in London and then conducting with Ilya Musin in Leningrad, his career was launched when he won first prize at the 1988 Leeds Conductors' Competition. Since then Brabbins has regularly conducted all the major UK orchestras and is much sought-after in Europe, notably in Germany, Holland, Belgium and Scandinavia.   
Brabbins’ symphonic engagements have included appearances at London's  South Bank in subscription with the London Philharmonic and Philharmonia orchestras, his Tokyo debut, with the Tokyo Metropolitan (where he returns in 2011); and visits to the Netherlands Radio Chamber in the prestigious Matinee series, the Residentie Orkest, Salzburg Mozarteumorchester and Lahti Symphony.  He is a regular guest with the City of Birmingham Symphony, Halle and BBC Philharmonic orchestras, and appears several times each season with the BBC Symphony and BBC Scottish Symphony orchestras in subscription and at the BBC Proms.
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Birtwistle's awe-inspiring masterpiece is a key work in the development of post-war opera, groundbreaking in its fusion of music, song, drama, myth and electronics.



'Music of utterly compelling beauty and sheer elemental force'  The Independent

'This has to be one of the most important recording events of the decade' The Sunday Times

'A landmark recording of a contemporary operatic masterpiece'   Classic CD


Produced in association with BBC Radio 3


Recorded live at the Royal Festival Hall , London on 11-12 April 1996
Remixed and edited at the BBC Studios, Maida Vale, London by Neil Pemberton, Ian Dearden, and Colin Matthews

Balance engineer: Neil Pemberton
Sound supervisor: Ian Dearden
Producer: Ann McKay

Cover image: Sofka Zinovieff

(P) 1997 NMC Recordings Ltd
© 1997 NMC Recordings Ltd

Universal Edition
Catalogue number:
NMC D050
Release Date:
1 November 1997