Guildhall School of Music Announces Autumn 2022 Events Featuring an Opera Triple Bill and a Vaughn Williams Birthday Concert

By Chris Ruel

Guildhall School of Music has announced its autumn 2022 lineup, during which the School will showcase music and drama starting in September and running through December 2022. For this article, only classical vocal/operatic performances are listed.

Royal Opera House and Guildhall School Composer-in-Residence Oliver Leith and librettist Matt Copson adapted the 2005 Gus Van Sant film about the last days of the iconic Nirvana frontman, Kurt Cobain, to create “Last Days.” The opera tells the story of Blake, a musician who fled rehab to return home. Yet, objects, visitors, and memories haunt him, distracting him from his true purpose—self-destruction. Copson co-directed the work with Anna Morrissey.

Performance Dates: Oct. 7-11, 2022

Looking West, Vaughn Williams’ 150th Birthday” is a concert-theater work created by Head of Composition at Guildhall School, Julian Philips, and librettist Rebecca Hurst. Nova Music Trust commissioned the work, along with Presteigne Festival, to celebrate the composer’s 150th birthday. Joining the Guildhall musicians on stage will be vocal artists soprano Rebecca Bottone and mezzo-soprano Rebecca Afonwy-Jones. The piece will receive its London premiere on Williams’ birthday.

Performance Date: Oct. 12, 2022

In November, Guildhall School will present an opera triple bill comprising Massenet’s one-act sequel to “Manon,” “Le Portrait de Manon;” Dame Ethel Smyth’s “Fête Galante,” based on themes of mistaken identity and disguise; and Nino Rota’s one-act “I due timidi,” a comedic work described as a romance gone wrong. The works will be conducted by Dominic Wheeler and directed by Rodula Gaitanou.

Performance Dates: Nov. 7-14, 2022

Vocal performances conclude in December with “Autumn Opera Scenes,” showcasing singers and repetiteurs from the first year of Guildhall School’s Opera course. The concert will include classical and contemporary operatic excerpts.

Performance Dates: Dec. 1-6, 2022