Category Archives: Durrell in the News

“For All the Water Living in the Clock”: Sappho CD Release Marked with Special Broadcast.

Toccata Classics has just released a new CD recording of Peggy Glanville-Hicks’ opera Sappho (TOCC 0154-55).   

According to the CD release notes,

Sappho, the last grand opera of Australian composer Peggy Glanville-Hicks (1912–90), was written in her stone cottage on Mykonos in 1963.  Never heard before this recording, Sappho reflects Glanville-Hicks’ fascination with the orient and folk music, encapturing the colours of ancient Greece, with a heroic brass fanfare and epic writing for chorus, haunting woodwind solos and shimmering percussion evoking the stillness of crystal island waters.  Deborah Polaski, who creates the role of the disenchanted Sappho, describes it as ‘the kind of music that singers want to sing’.  The libretto, based on Lawrence Durrell’s verse-play, incorporates fragments of Sappho’s own verse.

Jennifer Condon (Owls Nest OperaHamburg State Opera) conducts an all-star cast and the Orquestra Gulbenkian for the performance.

The cast of Sappho includes:

Deborah Polaski, soprano: Sappho
Martin Homrich, tenor: Phaon
Scott MacAllister, tenor: Pittakos
Roman Trekel, baritone: Diomedes
Wolfgang Koch, bass-baritone: Minos
Sir John Tomlinson, bass: Kreon
Jacquelyn Wagner, soprano: Chloe/Priestess
Bettina Jensen, soprano: Joy
Maria Markina, mezzo soprano: Doris
Laurence Meikle, baritone Alexandrian
Coro Gulbenkian, choir
Orquestra Gulbenkian, orchestra
Jennifer Condon, conductor

Liner notes for the Toccata CD of Sappho — including full cast photos and Durrell’s libretto — can also be found online.

For who can measure peace of mind,
or halve the world of pleasure
for all the water living in the clock.

— from Sappho: Opera in Three Acts (Lawrence Durrell: librettist; Peggy Glanville-Hicks: composer).

In related news, ABC Classic FM has announced that its Sunday Opera program will mark the CD release with a special broadcast of Sappho in its entirety:

‘Sappho’ by Peggy Glanville-Hicks

Jennifer Condon conducts the first complete recording with Deborah Polaski in the tile role.

Broadcast 7:00pm, Sun 04 Nov 2012

Presented by Simon Healy

Peggy Glanville-Hicks [set] Sappho – Opera in three acts to a libretto taken from Lawrence Durrell’s play in verse with additions from Bliss Carman’s ‘Sappho – One Hundred Lyrics’ (1963)

As part of ABC Classic FM’s Australian Music Month and coinciding with this year’s 100th anniversaries of the births of both composer and librettist, tonight’s opera is a world premiere broadcast. Originally commissioned by San Francisco Opera as a vehicle for Maria Callas, Sappho had never received a complete performance until the Australian-born conductor Jennifer Condon’s decade-long dream was fulfilled earlier this year in Lisbon.

Listeners can access the 4 November 2012 program  online via the ABC Sunday Opera website.

Durrell 2012 heartily congratulates Jennifer Condon, Owls Nest Opera, and Toccata Classics on the release of the new Sappho CD!


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Filed under Durrell 2012 Event, Durrell in the News, Lawrence Durrell, New Publications, Peggy Glanville-Hicks, Sappho, Uncategorized

“That Adventive Moment”: Durrell Centenary Opens with Special Exhibition & Reception.

“Elephants Are So Very Shy” (1974)
Oscar Epfs (Lawrence Durrell)
© Estate of Lawrence Durrell
photograph © AMS

The “adventive moment” is here!

Come join us as we celebrate the opening of Durrell 2012: The Lawrence Durrell Centenary.

If I have spoken of time it is because the writer I was becoming was learning at last to inhabit those deserted spaces which time misses — beginning to live between the ticks of the clock, so to speak. The continuous present, which is the real history of that collective anecdote, the human mind; when the past is dead and the future represented only by desire and fear, what of that adventive moment which can’t be measured, can’t be dismissed?

— Lawrence Durrell, Clea: A Novel (1960).

The Opening Exhibition and Reception for Durrell 2012: The Lawrence Durrell Centenary will be held at 6.30 PM on the evening of Wednesday, 13 June, at The Gallery at Foyles Books, 113-119 Charing Cross Road.

The Opening Exhibition will feature previously unseen photographs, letters, and manuscripts, along with a number of paintings by Oscar Epfs (Lawrence Durrell) and Nancy Durrell.

All of these items currently reside in private collections, so this exhibition presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view them.

The latest published titles related to the Lawrence Durrell Centenary will be available for purchase — including Faber’s Durrell Centenary reissues of The Alexandria Quartet and The Black Book.  Wine will be served.

The Opening Exhibition and Reception for Durrell 2012: The Lawrence Durrell Centenary is open to the public.  All are welcome.

See you at Foyles!

Durrell 2012: The Lawrence Durrell Centenary
Special Exhibition & Opening Reception
6.30 PM
Wednesday :: 13 June 2012
The Gallery
Foyles Books
113-119 Charing Cross Road
London, WC2H 0EB

Map & Directions for finding Foyles Books, 113-119 Charing Cross Road.

The Gallery @ Foyles Books, 113-119 Charing Cross Road.

History of Foyles Books.

See the program for Durrell 2012: The Lawrence Durrell Centenary.

Register for Durrell 2012: The Lawrence Durrell Centenary.

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Filed under Biography, Durrell 2012 Event, Durrell in the News, Lawrence Durrell, Nancy Durrell