The music of Dame Ethel Smyth continues to draw more performances and recognition. Liane Curtis attended the moving performance of Smyth’s opera “The Wreckers” at the renowned Glyndebourne Festival, and offered this review. Glyndebourne’s video of the production will be available in August. And, a “semi-staged” version will be performed as part of The Proms on July 24.
On July 25 The Proms features Smyth’s Concerto for Violin and Horn, and on August 20, Smyth’s Mass in D major. If you can’t be there in person, audio of ALL the Proms concerts are available afterwards, for 30 days.
Note also that Houston Grand Opera will be performing The Wreckers in Oct.-Nov. 2022, with a newly revised English libretto.
AND if you are in the Boston area, enjoy a performance of Smyth’s Overture to “The Wreckers” at a lovely outdoor concert, Wed. July 20. Boston Landmarks Orchestra is performing!
In other news, we are excited that the elite all-male bastion of the boys’ choir is finally being opened up to girls – the male-only “Oxbridge” college choirs have always been so important for musical training, an education that was closed to girls. Here is the New York Times on the dramatic change.
We are fascinated to learn about Raven Chacon, the first Native-American composer to win a Pulitzer Prize in Music. His work, “For Zitkála-Šá” features graphic notation scores “dedicated to  contemporary American Indian, First Nations, and Mestiza women working in music performance, composition, and sound art. Chacon envisioned the scores as portraits of the women and how they navigate the twenty-first century.” The 13 women gathered to perform the works on July 16, at the Whitney Gallery, where the scores are on display along with other works by Chacon. The title “For Zitkála-Šá” refers to the Yankton Dakota composer and musician. Chacon writes: “In the early twentieth century she was known as a composer, writer, editor, teacher, and political activist. Several of her works chronicled her early struggles with identity.”
The 13 women who Chacon writes for can be seen as spiritual and artistic descendants of the historic Zitkála-Šá. One of them is Jacqueline Wilson, a bassoonist and music professor featured here. “It is by far the most special thing I’ve ever been a part of. I’m really proud of it.”
That’s an uplifting story to end with! What have you been listening to? And What are you looking forward to hearing? Info-at – wophil.org