Herbert von Karajan
Herbert von Karajan was an Austrian conductor. He was principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic for 35 years. Regarded as one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century, he was a dominant figure in European classical music from the mid-1950s until his death. Part of the reason for this was the large number of recordings he made and their prominence during his lifetime. By one estimate he was the top-selling classical music recording artist of all time, having sold an estimated 200 million records; the Karajans were of Aromanian ancestry. His great-great-grandfather, Georg Karajan, was born in Kozani, in the Ottoman province of Rumelia, leaving for Vienna in 1767, Chemnitz, Electorate of Saxony, he and his brother participated in the establishment of Saxony's cloth industry, both were ennobled for their services by Frederick Augustus III on 1 June 1792, thus adding the prefix "von" to the family name. This usage disappeared with the abolishment of Austrian nobility after World War I; the surname Karajánnis became Karajan.
Although traditional biographers ascribed a Slovak and Serbian or a Slavic origin to his mother, Karajan's family from the maternal side, through his grandfather, born in the village of Mojstrana, Duchy of Carniola, was Slovene. By this line, Karajan was related to Austrian composer of Slovene descent Hugo Wolf. Karajan seems to have known some Slovene. Karajan was born in Austria-Hungary, as Heribert Ritter von Karajan, he was a child prodigy at the piano. From 1916 to 1926, he studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg with Franz Ledwenke, theory with Franz Zauer, composition with Bernhard Paumgartner, he was encouraged to concentrate on conducting by Paumgartner, who detected his exceptional promise in that regard. In 1926 Karajan graduated from the conservatory and continued his studies at the Vienna Academy, studying piano with Josef Hofmann and conducting with Alexander Wunderer and Franz Schalk. In 1929, he conducted Salome at the Festspielhaus in Salzburg and from 1929 to 1934 Karajan served as Kapellmeister at the Stadttheater in Ulm.
His senior colleague in Ulm was Otto Schulmann. After Schulmann was forced to leave Germany in 1933, Karajan became first Kapellmeister. In 1933 Karajan made his conducting debut at the Salzburg Festival with the Walpurgisnacht Scene in Max Reinhardt's production of Faust, it was in 1933 that von Karajan became a member of the Nazi party, a fact for which he would be criticised. In Salzburg in 1934, Karajan led the Vienna Philharmonic for the first time, from 1934 to 1941, he was engaged to conduct operatic and symphony-orchestra concerts at the Theater Aachen. Karajan's career was given a significant boost in 1935 when he was appointed Germany's youngest Generalmusikdirektor and performed as a guest conductor in Bucharest, Stockholm and Paris. In 1938 Karajan made his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic and the Berlin State Opera, conducting Fidelio, he enjoyed a major success at the State Opera with Tristan und Isolde. His performance was hailed by a Berlin critic as Das Wunder Karajan; the critic asserted that Karajan's "success with Wagner's demanding work Tristan und Isolde sets himself alongside Furtwängler and Victor de Sabata, the greatest opera conductors in Germany at the present time".
Receiving a contract with Deutsche Grammophon that same year, Karajan made the first of numerous recordings, conducting the Staatskapelle Berlin in the overture to The Magic Flute. On 26 July 1938, he married operetta singer Elmy Holgerloef, they divorced in 1942. On 22 October 1942, at the height of the Second World War, Karajan married his second wife, Anna Maria "Anita" Sauest, born Gütermann, she was the daughter of a well-known manufacturer of yarn for sewing machines. Having had a Jewish grandfather, she was considered a Vierteljüdin. By 1944, Karajan was, according to his own account, losing favour with the Nazi leadership, but he still conducted concerts in wartime Berlin on 18 February 1945. A short time in the closing stages of the war, he and Anita fled Germany for Milan, relocating with the assistance of Victor de Sabata. Karajan and Anita divorced in 1958. Karajan joined the Nazi Party in Salzburg on 8 April 1933, but in June of that year the party was outlawed in Austria. In 1939, after the Anschluss, Austrian party memberships were verified by the general office of the Nazi Party, Karajan's was declared invalid because he had signed up in Aachen, Germany.
British musicologist and critic Richard Osborne: What are the facts? First, though Karajan was nominated for membership in the as yet unbanned party in Salzburg in April 1933, he did not collect his card, sign it, or pay his dues, though the registration itself got onto the files and crops up in many memoranda and enquiries thereafter. Secondly, he did not join the party on 1 May 1933 despite prima facie evidence to the contrary. In the first place, the membership no.. The highest number issued before the freeze on membership, which lasted from May 1933 to March 1937, was 3262698. During the freeze, various functionaries and others were issued cards bearing an NG, or Nachgereichte, designation; these cards were, by convention, backdated to the start of the freeze: 1 May 1933. Karajan's Aachen membership was an NG card, its number accords with batches issued in 1935, the year Karajan had always identified as the one in which he was asked to jo
Welsh National Opera
Welsh National Opera is an opera company based in Cardiff, Wales. It began as a amateur body and transformed into an all-professional ensemble by 1973. In its early days the company gave a single week's annual season in Cardiff extending its schedule to become an all-year-round operation, with its own salaried chorus and orchestra, it has been described by The New York Times as "one of the finest operatic ensembles in Europe". For most of its existence the company lacked a permanent base in Cardiff, but in 2004 it moved into the new Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay; the company tours nationally and internationally, giving more than 120 performances annually, with a repertoire of eight operas each year, to a combined audience of more than 150,000 people. Its most frequent venues other than Cardiff are Llandudno in Wales and Bristol, Liverpool, Milton Keynes, Oxford and Southampton in England. Singers who have been associated with the company include Geraint Evans, Thomas Allen, Anne Evans, Bryn Terfel.
Guest artists from other countries have included Tito Gobbi and Elisabeth Söderström. Among the conductors have been Sir Charles Mackerras, Reginald Goodall, James Levine and Pierre Boulez; the company has been led since 2011 by David Pountney as artistic director. Choral singing became popular in 19th-century Wales, principally owing to the rise of the eisteddfod as a symbol of its culture; the first Welsh National Opera Company was formed in 1890. A local newspaper commented that it was remarkable that "a race of people to whom vocal music is a ruling passion should not generations ago have established a permanent national opera"; the company gave performances of operas by the Welsh composer Joseph Parry in Cardiff and on tour in Wales. The company, predominantly amateur with some professional guest singers from the London stage, gave numerous performances of Parry's Blodwen and Arienwen, composed in 1878 and 1890 respectively. An American tour was planned, but the company folded, Parry's final opera, The Maid of Cefn Ydfa, was given at Cardiff by the Moody-Manners Opera Company in 1902.
A Cardiff Grand Opera Society ran from 1924 to 1934. It presented week-long annual seasons of popular operas including Faust, Carmen and Il trovatore, like its predecessor was an amateur body, with professional guest principals. Apart from the productions of these two enterprises, opera in Wales in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was presented by visiting companies from England. In the 1930s Idloes Owen, a singing teacher and conductor, ran an amateur choir, the Lyrian Singers, based in Cardiff. In November 1941, together with John Morgan – a former Carl Rosa baritone – and Morgan's fiancée Helena Hughes Brown, Owen agreed to found the Lyrian Grand Opera Company, with Brown as secretary and Owen as conductor and general manager, they publicised their plan and held a general meeting of potential supporters in December 1943. By January 1944 plans were far enough advanced for the company's first rehearsals to be held. Owen recruited W. H. Smith, who agreed to serve as business manager. At first doubtful of the company's prospects, Smith became its dominant influence, leading fund-raiser, chairman for twenty years from 1948.
The new company made its debut at the Prince of Wales Theatre, Cardiff on 15 April 1946 with a double bill of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci. The orchestra was professional drawn from members of the BBC Welsh Orchestra. During the week-long season the new company staged Faust, with Davies in the title role. Although nearing the end of his career he was a considerable box-office draw, the company played to full houses; the expense of a professional orchestra and the hire of costumes and scenery outweighed the box-office receipts, the season made a small loss. Finance remained a recurring problem over the succeeding decades. Although Owen was the conductor for the performances of Cavalliera Rusticana, remained as musical director of the company until 1952, his health was fragile and he conducted none of the company's other productions, his colleague, the chorus master, Ivor John, was in charge of the first season's Pagliacci and Faust. In 1948 the organisation was registered as a limited company, the Cardiff season was extended from one week to two.
The following year the company gave its first performances in Swansea. The chorus featured 120 performers by this time; the company's first few seasons attracted little attention from the British musical establishment, but by the early 1950s London papers began to take notice. Picture Post hailed the WNO's chorus as the finest in Britain; the Times praised the chorus: "It has body, rhythmic precision, most welcome of all and spontaneous freshness." By this time the company had expanded its repertoire to take in Carmen, La traviata, Madame Butterfly, The Tales of Hoffmann, The Bartered Bride and Die Fledermaus. The Times commented that Smith and their colleagues were "making history for Wales; the shackles of puritanism, which had kept this country from an art-form suited to its national talents and predilections had been broken for ever". In 1952 the company moved its Cardiff venue to the Sophia Gardens Pavilion, with the Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra as the comp
Christoph Willibald Gluck
Christoph Willibald Gluck was a composer of Italian and French opera in the early classical period. Born in the Upper Palatinate and raised in Bohemia, both part of the Holy Roman Empire, he gained prominence at the Habsburg court at Vienna. There he brought about the practical reform of opera's dramaturgical practices for which many intellectuals had been campaigning. With a series of radical new works in the 1760s, among them Orfeo ed Euridice and Alceste, he broke the stranglehold that Metastasian opera seria had enjoyed for much of the century. Gluck introduced more drama by using simpler recitative and cutting the long da capo aria, his operas have half the length of a typical baroque opera. The strong influence of French opera encouraged Gluck to move to Paris in November 1773. Fusing the traditions of Italian opera and the French into a unique synthesis, Gluck wrote eight operas for the Parisian stage. Iphigénie en Tauride was a great success and is acknowledged to be his finest work. Though he was popular and credited with bringing about a revolution in French opera, Gluck's mastery of the Parisian operatic scene was never absolute, after the poor reception of his Echo et Narcisse, he left Paris in disgust and returned to Vienna to live out the remainder of his life.
Gluck's earliest known ancestor is his great-grandfather, Simon Gluckh von Rockenzahn, whose name is recorded in the marriage contract of his son, the forester Johann Adam Gluck.'Rockenzahn' is believed to be Rokycany, located in the central part of western Bohemia. The family name Gluck comes from the Czech word for boy. In its various spellings, it is found in the records of Rokycany. Around 1675 Hans Adam moved to Neustadt an der Waldnaab in the service of Prince Ferdinand August von Lobkowitz, who possessed extensive landholdings in Bohemia as well as the county of Störnstein-Neustadt in the Upper Palatinate. Gluck's father, was born in Neustadt an der Waldnaab on 28 October 1683, one of four sons of Hans Adam Gluck who became foresters or gamekeepers. Alexander served in a contingent of about 50 soldiers under Philipp Hyazinth von Lobkowitz, the son of Ferdinand August von Lobkowitz, during the War of Spanish Succession, according to Gluck family tradition, rose to the level of gunbearer to the great general of the imperial forces, Eugene of Savoy.
In 1711 Alexander settled outside Berching as a forester and hunter in the service of the monastery Seligenporten, Plankstetten Abbey, the mayors of Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz. He took the vacant position of hunter in Erasbach in 1711 or 1712. About Gluck's mother, Maria Walburga nothing is known, including her surname, but she grew up in the same area as she was named after Saint Walburga, the sister of Saint Willibald, the first bishop of nearby Eichstätt; the couple married around 1711. In 1713 Alexander built a house in Erasbach and by 12 September had taken possession of it, his son Christoph was baptized Christophorus Willibaldus on 4 July 1714 in the village of Weidenwang, a parish that at that time included Erasbach. In the same year the Treaty of Rastatt and the Treaty of Baden ended the War of Spanish Succession and brought Erasbach under Bavarian control. Gluck's father had to reapply to retain his position and received no salary until after 1715, when he began receiving 20 Gulden, he obtained additional employment in the vicinity of Weidenwang in 1715 as a forester in the service of Seligenporten Monastery, after 1715 with Plankstetten Abbey.
In 1716 Alexander Gluck warned he might be terminated. He sold his house in August 1717 and voluntarily left Erasbach near the end of September to take up employment as head forester in Reichstadt, serving the Duchess of Tuscany, the wealthy Anna Maria Franziska of Saxe-Lauenburg, since 1708 separated from her husband Gian Gastone de' Medici, the last duke of Tuscany. On 1 April 1722 Alexander Gluck took a position as forest-master under Count Philipp Joseph von Kinsky in Böhmisch Kamnitz, where Kinsky had increased his domains; the family moved to the forester's house in nearby Oberkreibitz. In 1727 Alexander moved with his family to Eisenberg to take his final post, head forester to Prince Philipp Hyazinth von Lobkowitz, it is not sure if Christoph was sent to the Jesuit college in 20 km southwest. The Alsatian painter Johann Christian von Mannlich relates in his memoirs, published in 1810, that Gluck told him about his early life in 1774, he quotes Gluck as saying: "My father was forest master at N... in Bohemia and he planned that I should succeed him.
In my homeland everyone is musical. As I was passionate about the art, I made rapid progress. I played several instruments and the schoolmaster, singling me out from the other pupils, gave me lessons at his house when he was off duty. I no longer dreamt of anything but music. In 1727 or 1728, when Gluck was 13 or 14, he went to Prague. A childhood flight from home to Vienna is included in several contemporary accounts of Gluck's life, including Mannlich's, but some scholars have cast doubt on Gluck's picturesque tales of earning food and shelter by his singing as he travelled. Most now feel it is more that the object of Gluck's travels was not Vienna but Prague. Gl
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian opera composer. He was born near Busseto to a provincial family of moderate means, developed a musical education with the help of a local patron. Verdi came to dominate the Italian opera scene after the era of Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti, Gioachino Rossini, whose works influenced him. By his 30s, he had become one of the pre-eminent opera composers in history. In his early operas, Verdi demonstrated a sympathy with the Risorgimento movement which sought the unification of Italy, he participated as an elected politician. The chorus "Va, pensiero" from his early opera Nabucco, similar choruses in operas, were much in the spirit of the unification movement, the composer himself became esteemed as a representative of these ideals. An intensely private person, however, did not seek to ingratiate himself with popular movements and as he became professionally successful was able to reduce his operatic workload and sought to establish himself as a landowner in his native region.
He surprised the musical world by returning, after his success with the opera Aida, with three late masterpieces: his Requiem, the operas Otello and Falstaff. His operas remain popular the three peaks of his'middle period': Rigoletto, Il trovatore and La traviata, the 2013 bicentenary of his birth was celebrated in broadcasts and performances. Verdi, the first child of Carlo Giuseppe Verdi and Luigia Uttini, was born at their home in Le Roncole, a village near Busseto in the Département Taro and within the borders of the First French Empire following the annexation of the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza in 1808; the baptismal register, prepared on 11 October 1813, lists his parents Carlo and Luigia as "innkeeper" and "spinner" respectively. Additionally, it lists Verdi as being "born yesterday", but since days were considered to begin at sunset, this could have meant either 9 or 10 October. Following his mother, Verdi always celebrated his birthday on 9 October, the day he himself believed he was born.
Verdi had a younger sister, who died aged 17 in 1833. From the age of four, Verdi was given private lessons in Latin and Italian by the village schoolmaster, at six he attended the local school. After learning to play the organ, he showed so much interest in music that his parents provided him with a spinet. Verdi's gift for music was apparent by 1820–21 when he began his association with the local church, serving in the choir, acting as an altar boy for a while, taking organ lessons. After Baistrocchi's death, Verdi, at the age of eight, became; the music historian Roger Parker points out that both of Verdi's parents "belonged to families of small landowners and traders not the illiterate peasants from which Verdi liked to present himself as having emerged... Carlo Verdi was energetic in furthering his son's education...something which Verdi tended to hide in life... he picture emerges of youthful precocity eagerly nurtured by an ambitious father and of a sustained and elaborate formal education."In 1823, when he was 10, Verdi's parents arranged for the boy to attend school in Busseto, enrolling him in a Ginnasio—an upper school for boys—run by Don Pietro Seletti, while they continued to run their inn at Le Roncole.
Verdi returned to Busseto to play the organ on Sundays, covering the distance of several kilometres on foot. At age 11, Verdi received schooling in Italian, the humanities, rhetoric. By the time he was 12, he began lessons with Ferdinando Provesi, maestro di cappella at San Bartolomeo, director of the municipal music school and co-director of the local Società Filarmonica. Verdi stated: "From the ages of 13 to 18 I wrote a motley assortment of pieces: marches for band by the hundred as many little sinfonie that were used in church, in the theatre and at concerts, five or six concertos and sets of variations for pianoforte, which I played myself at concerts, many serenades and various pieces of church music, of which I remember only a Stabat Mater." This information comes from the Autobiographical Sketch which Verdi dictated to the publisher Giulio Ricordi late in life, in 1879, remains the leading source for his early life and career. Written, with the benefit of hindsight, it is not always reliable when dealing with issues more contentious than those of his childhood.
The other director of the Philharmonic Society was Antonio Barezzi, a wholesale grocer and distiller, described by a contemporary as a "manic dilettante" of music. The young Verdi did not become involved with the Philharmonic. By June 1827, he had graduated with honours from the Ginnasio and was able to focus on music under Provesi. By chance, when he was 13, Verdi was asked to step in as a replacement to play in what became his first public event in his home town. By 1829–30, Verdi had established himself as a leader of the Philharmonic: "none of us could rival him" reported the secretary of the organisation, Giuseppe Demaldè. An eight-movement cantata, I deliri di Saul, based on a drama by Vittorio Alfieri, was written by Verdi when he was 15 and performed in Bergamo, it was acclaimed by both Demaldè and Barezzi, who commented: "He shows a vivid imagination, a philosophical outlook, sound judgment in the arrangement of instrumental parts." In late 1829, Verdi had completed his s
The Royal Opera
The Royal Opera is a company based in central London, resident at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Along with the English National Opera, it is one of the two principal opera companies in London. Founded in 1946 as the Covent Garden Opera Company, it was known by that title until 1968, it brought a long annual season and consistent management to a house that had hosted short seasons under a series of impresarios. Since its inception, it has shared the Royal Opera House with the dance company now known as The Royal Ballet; when the company was formed, its policy was to perform all works in English, but since the late 1950s most operas have been performed in their original language. From the outset, performers have comprised a mixture of British and Commonwealth singers and international guest stars, but fostering the careers of singers from within the company was a consistent policy of the early years. Among the many guest performers have been Maria Callas, Plácido Domingo, Kirsten Flagstad, Hans Hotter, Birgit Nilsson, Luciano Pavarotti and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf.
Among those who have risen to international prominence from the ranks of the company are Geraint Evans, Joan Sutherland, Kiri Te Kanawa and Jon Vickers. The company's growth under the management of David Webster from modest beginnings to parity with the world's greatest opera houses was recognised by the grant of the title "The Royal Opera" in 1968. Under Webster's successor, John Tooley, appointed in 1970, The Royal Opera prospered, but after his retirement in 1988, there followed a period of instability and the closure of the Royal Opera House for rebuilding and restoration between 1997 and 1999; the 21st century has seen a stable managerial regime once more in place. The company has had six music directors since its inception: Karl Rankl, Rafael Kubelík, Georg Solti, Colin Davis, Bernard Haitink and Antonio Pappano. From the mid-19th century, opera had been presented on the site of Covent Garden's Royal Opera House, at first by Michael Costa's Royal Italian Opera company. After a fire, the new building opened in 1858 with The Royal English Opera company, which moved there from the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
From the 1860s until the Second World War, various syndicates or individual impresarios presented short seasons of opera at the Royal Opera House, sung in the original language, with star singers and conductors. Pre-war opera was described by the historian Montague Haltrecht as "international and exclusive". During the war, the Royal Opera House was leased by its owners, Covent Garden Properties Ltd, to Mecca Ballrooms who used it profitably as a dance hall. Towards the end of the war, the owners approached the music publishers Boosey and Hawkes to see if they were interested in taking a lease of the building and staging opera once more. Boosey and Hawkes took a lease, granted a sub-lease at generous terms to a not-for-profit charitable trust established to run the operation; the chairman of the trust was Lord Keynes. There was some pressure for a return to the pre-war regime of starry international seasons. Sir Thomas Beecham, who had presented many Covent Garden seasons between 1910 and 1939 confidently expected to do so again after the war.
However and Hawkes, David Webster, whom they appointed as chief executive of the Covent Garden company, were committed to presenting opera all year round, in English with a resident company. It was assumed that this aim would be met by inviting the existing Sadler's Wells Opera Company to become resident at the Royal Opera House. Webster extended just such an invitation to the Sadler's Wells Ballet Company, but he regarded the sister opera company as "parochial", he was determined to set up a new opera company of his own. The British government had begun to give funds to subsidise the arts, Webster negotiated an ad hoc grant of £60,000 and an annual subsidy of £25,000, enabling him to proceed. Webster's first priority was to appoint a musical director to build the company from scratch, he negotiated with Bruno Walter and Eugene Goossens, but neither of those conductors was willing to consider an opera company with no leading international stars. Webster appointed Karl Rankl, to the post. Before the war, Rankl had acquired considerable experience in charge of opera companies in Germany and Czechoslovakia.
He accepted Webster's invitation to assemble and train the principals and chorus of a new opera company, alongside a permanent orchestra that would play in both operas and ballets. The new company made its debut in a joint presentation, together with the Sadler's Wells Ballet Company, of Purcell's The Fairy-Queen on 12 December 1946; the first production by the opera company alone was Carmen, on 14 January 1947. Reviews were favourable; the Times said: It revealed in Mr. Karl Rankl a musical director who knew how to conduct opera, it conceded the claims of theatrical production without sacrificing the music. It proved that contrary to expectation English can now be sung so that the words are intelligible, it confirmed what we knew about the quality of the chorus. All the members of the cast for the production were from the Commonwealth. In the season, one of England's few pre-war international opera stars, Eva Turner, appeared as Turandot. For the company's second season, eminent singers from continental Europe were recruited, including Ljuba Welitsch, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Paolo Silveri, Rudolf Schock and Set Svanholm.
Other international stars who were willing to re-learn their roles in English for the company in its early years included Kirsten Flagstad and Hans Hotter for The Valkyrie. As early as 1948, the opera in English policy was weakening.
Sir Michael Kemp Tippett was an English composer who rose to prominence during and after the Second World War. In his lifetime he was sometimes ranked with his contemporary Benjamin Britten as one of the leading British composers of the 20th century. Among his best-known works are the oratorio A Child of Our Time, the orchestral Fantasia Concertante on a Theme of Corelli, the opera The Midsummer Marriage. Tippett's talent developed slowly, he withdrew or destroyed his earliest compositions, was 30 before any of his works were published. Until the mid-to-late 1950s his music was broadly lyrical in character, before changing to a more astringent and experimental style. New influences, including those of jazz and blues after his first visit to America in 1965, became evident in his compositions. While Tippett's stature with the public continued to grow, not all critics approved of these changes in style, some believing that the quality of his work suffered as a consequence. From around 1976 Tippett's late works began to reflect the works of his youth through a return to lyricism.
Although he was much honoured in his lifetime, critical judgement on Tippett's legacy has been uneven, the greatest praise being reserved for his earlier works. His centenary in 2005 was a muted affair. Having embraced communism in the 1930s, Tippett avoided identifying with any political party. A pacifist after 1940, he was imprisoned in 1943 for refusing to carry out war-related duties required by his military exemption, his initial difficulties in accepting his homosexuality led him in 1939 to Jungian psychoanalysis. He was a strong advocate of music education, was active for much of his life as a radio broadcaster and writer on music; the Tippett family originated in Cornwall. Michael Tippett's grandfather, George Tippett, left the county in 1854 to make his fortune in London through property speculation and other business schemes. A flamboyant character, he had a strong tenor voice, a popular feature at Christian revivalist meetings. In life his business enterprises faltered, leading to debts, prosecution for fraud, a term of imprisonment.
His son Henry, born in 1858, was Michael's father. A lawyer by training, he was successful in business and was independently wealthy by the time of his marriage in April 1903. Unusually for his background and upbringing, Henry Tippett was a progressive liberal and a religious sceptic. Henry Tippett's bride was Isabel Kemp, from a large upper-middle class family based in Kent. Among her mother's cousins was Charlotte Despard, a well-known campaigner for women's rights and Irish home rule. Despard was a powerful influence on the young Isabel, herself imprisoned after participating in an illegal suffragette protest in Trafalgar Square. Although neither she nor Henry was musical, she had inherited an artistic talent from her mother, who had exhibited at the Royal Academy. After their marriage the couple settled outside London in Eastcote where two sons were born, the second, Michael, on 2 January 1905. Shortly after Michael's birth, the family moved to Wetherden in Suffolk. Michael's education began in 1909, with a nursery governess and various private tutors who followed a curriculum that included piano lessons—his first formal contact with music.
There was a piano in the house, on which he "took to improvising crazily... which I called'composing', though I had only the vaguest notion of what that meant". In September 1914 Michael became a boarder at Brookfield Preparatory School in Dorset, he spent four years there, at one point earning notoriety by writing an essay that challenged the existence of God. In 1918 he won a scholarship to Fettes College, a boarding school in Edinburgh, where he studied the piano, sang in the choir, began to learn to play the pipe organ; the school was not a happy place. When Michael revealed to his parents in March 1920 that he had formed a homosexual relationship with another boy, they removed him, he transferred to Stamford School in Lincolnshire, where a decade Malcolm Sargent had been a pupil. Around this time Henry Tippett decided to live in France, the house in Wetherden was sold; the 15-year-old Michael and his brother Peter remained at school in England, travelling to France for their holidays. Michael found Stamford much more congenial than Fettes, developed both academically and musically.
He found an inspiring piano teacher in Frances Tinkler, who introduced him to the music of Bach, Beethoven and Chopin. Sargent had maintained his connection with the school, was present when Tippett and another boy played a C minor Concerto for Two Harpsichords by Bach on pianos with a local string orchestra. Tippett sang in the chorus when Sargent directed a local performance of Robert Planquette's operetta Les Cloches de Corneville. Despite his parents' wish that he follow an orthodox path by proceeding to Cambridge University, Tippett had decided on a career as a composer, a prospect that alarmed them and was discouraged by his headmaster and by Sargent. By mid-1922 Tippett had developed a rebellious streak, his overt atheism troubled the school, he was required to leave. He remained in Stamford in private lodgings, while continuing lessons with Tinkler and with the organist of the local St Mary's Church, he began studying Charles Villiers Stanford's book Musical Composition which, he wrote, "became the basis of all my compositional efforts for decades to come".
In 1923 Henry Tippett was
Marion Oliver McCaw Hall known as the Civic Auditorium and Seattle Opera House, is a performing arts hall in Seattle, United States. Located on the grounds of Seattle Center and owned by the city of Seattle, McCaw Hall's two principal tenants are the Seattle Opera and Pacific Northwest Ballet; the building is named for Marion Oliver McCaw, whose four sons donated $20 million to fund a major renovation in 2003. The building opened in 1928 as the Civic Auditorium, its construction was funded by a donation from Seattle saloon owner James Osborne and a voter-approved municipal bond issue. The auditorium became the home of the Seattle Symphony and hosted several touring shows. In 1956, voters passed another bond measure to fund expansion of the Civic Auditorium for use as a venue in the upcoming World's Fair. Construction began in 1959, the auditorium reopened as the Seattle Opera House on April 21, 1962 – the opening day of the World's Fair – with a Seattle Symphony performance featuring Igor Stravinsky as a guest conductor and Van Cliburn as a guest soloist.
The Opera House hosted several performances during the World's Fair, including live telecasts of The Ed Sullivan Show, a science fiction panel discussion featuring Ray Bradbury and Rod Serling, as well as multiple concerts and dance performances featuring acts from around the world. The Seattle Opera company was founded in 1963 and held its first season in the Opera House in 1964. Pacific Northwest Ballet was founded in 1972 and held its first season in the Opera House in 1973. Seattle Symphony held its final concert in the Opera House on June 30, 1998, moved to the newly completed Benaroya Hall soon after. In 1999, voters passed a bond measure to fund another major renovation to the Opera House; the "most dramatic" renovation and expansion of the Opera House began in 2002. Cell phone pioneer Craig McCaw along with his three brothers donated $20 million to help fund construction and as a result the newly renovated building was named Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, after their mother. LMN Architects oversaw the renovation and McCaw Hall opened in late June 2003.
McCaw Hall's official website site Seattle Opera's official site Pacific Northwest Ballet's official site Landscape Online info about "Dreaming in Color"