Where the Wild Things Are had it’s Russian premiere this weekend. I was really disappointed to miss the chance to go but I’ll get to see it on Saturday In London and can’t wait to attend the performance of this new production at Alexandra Palace.

Apparently I have been quoted publicly after having been asked as a child “What does your Dad do?” with the answer “My dad writes Wild Things”.

As a child I would go into my Dad’s work room pretty much at any time of the day or night and he’d be working on Wild Things or Higglety at his table/desk facing the communal garden in our West Hampstead flat. Many of you came to know West End Lane during that time. In fact, a group of fun young composers (Mark Anthony Turnage to name one) were there copying the score or parts at our living/dining room table with my mum, Sue, also copying from Dad’s beautifully handwritten pencil manuscript in her equally gorgeous handwriting onto transparency paper with rotring ink pens of various widths and razor blades to scratch off mistakes. Meanwhile I played with toys, chatted to everyone as they copied and probably watched tv or videos curled up on the sofa.


I got to take my entire Fitzjohns Primary School class to a performance at the National Theatre when I was seven and the following year (?) weekends were often spent going to Glynbourne or wherever the tour was for the Wild Things and Higglety double bill. It was a super fun time for me. For my parents, it was exciting but also a very stressful time as the pressures of deadlines being missed and everyone knowing it was very much in the fore. I didn’t know that opera premieres were not usually like this and I thought everyone had parents who were up in the middle of the night working after my bed time. Since his death on July 8th, 2018, I’ve become increasingly aware of people mentioning missed deadlines as part of my Dad’s history. It’s not something that I’m likely to mention again as I feel strongly that OK would want to be and should be remembered for what he wrote whenever he wrote it, how he conducted and led rehearsals, mentored

colleagues and students but most importantly how he was a best friend to so many who love and miss him every day...

ANYWAY...

If you’re free and able to go to see Wild Things on Saturday 26th October 2019 at 3pm then I’ll see you there! I hear that it’s a fantastic new theatre and a fantastic opera company! And I can tell you from personal experience that the music And story is pretty awesome too! Here are the links:


http://www.shadwellopera.co.uk/work/where-the-wild-things-are https://www.alexandrapalace.com/whats-on/where-the-wild-things-are/


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Sunday 20 October, 2019

Today I had my second performance as “Die Alte Nonne” in Hindemith’s very controversial short opera Sancta Susanna. The role is small and perfect for me and marked my debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop. I’ve included a couple obligatory “office for the day” pics from Strathmore Concert Hall in this post.

I highly encourage you all to listen to Sancta Susanna, noticing how import the instrumental colors are to the opera and that the melodic content is carried and driven by them and not the singers for most of the show. For me, this was highlighted specifically when I heard the piano reduction in preliminary rehearsals.


I’ve spent a lot of time backstage in my life. In fact, I’m probably at my most happy in rehearsals whether I’m participating or watching/listening. For me, it’s about taking the music apart, understanding why things are written or staged the way they are and then knowing the piece literally inside out for ever more. It’s been great to do this with Hindemith’s music and to remember how much I like that composer’s music generally.


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Sonya Alexandra Knussen

CONTRALTO
UPCOMING EVENTS
2019-2020
17

OCT

BALTIMORE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: HINDEMITH SANCTA SUSANNA 

Marin Alsop, conductor

Aušrinė Stundytė, soprano
Renée Morloc, contralto
Sonya Alexandra Knussen, contralto
Women's Voices of Peabody Opera
Kateryna Sokolova, director

 Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall 

1212 Cathedral Street

Baltimore, MD 21201

 

Thursday, October 17, 8:00pm

20

OCT

BALTIMORE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: HINDEMITH SANCTA SUSANNA 

Marin Alsop, conductor

Aušrinė Stundytė, soprano
Renée Morloc, contralto
Sonya Alexandra Knussen, contralto
Women's Voices of Peabody Opera
Kateryna Sokolova, director

Music Center at Strathmore 

5301 Tuckerman Lane 

North Bethesda, MD 20852

 

Sunday, October 20, 3:00pm

26
OCT

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE 

Attending Shadwell Opera’s production of Oliver Knussen’s fantasy opera composed in collaboration with Maurice Sendak 

Alexandra Palace Theatre

Alexandra Palace Way

London, N22 7AY

 

Saturday, October 26, 3:00pm

2

NOV

AND PEACE AT LAST:

CONCERT FOR ALL SOULS

Choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Crypt Church

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

400 Michigan Avenue NE

Washington, DC 20017

 

Thursday, November 2, 7:00pm

 

Broadcast Live on the EWTN, Facebook and YouTube

6

DEC

BNSIC

CHRISTMAS CONCERT

Choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine Christmas Concert 2017

Upper Church,

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

400 Michigan Avenue NE,

Washington, DC 20017

 

Friday, December 6, 7:30pm

10

DEC

A TRIBUTE TO

OLIVER KNUSSEN

Attending the LA Philharmonic's tribute to Oliver Knussen curated by Susanna Malkki and Leia Josefowicz

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Los Angeles, CA 

 

Tuesday, December 10, 8:00pm

Additionally the LA Philharmonic 

performs Oliver Knussen's

Violin Concerto with violinist Leila Josefowicz and conducted by Susanna Malkki on December 6, 7 and 8. 

24/25

DEC

BNSIC CHRISTMAS SERVICES

 

Choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Michigan Avenue, NE

Washington, DC 

 

Tuesday, December 24, 10:00pm

Wednesday, December 25, 12:00pm

Broadcast Live on the EWTN, Facebook and YouTube

5

JAN

THREE KINGS: 
MUSIC FOR THE MAGI

 

Chantry

St. Bernadette's Church

70 University Blvd, E

Silver Spring, MD 

Sunday, January 5, 3:00pm

1

MAR

THE PURCELL SCHOOL AT SOUTH BANK

Narrating Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra and working with The Purcell School students for the following concerts in Tribute to Oliver Knussen:

Purcell Room and Queen Elizabeth Hall

Southbank Centre

Belvedere Road

London, SE1 8XX

Purcell Room:

Sunday, March 1, 11am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm

 

Queen Elizabeth Hall

Sunday, March 1, 7:30pm

30

MAY

MONTEVERDI'S VESPERS

 

hexaCollective performs Monteverdi's Vespers at the Ware is the Music concert series 

Ware Episcopal Church

7825 John Clayton Memorial Highway
Gloucester, VA 23061

Saturday, May 30, 7:30pm

15

JUNE

BACH IN BALTIMORE RECITAL

Short solo recital set in a concert presented by the Bach in Baltimore concert series.

Mercy Ridge, MD

Monday, June 15, 7:30pm