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Monday, December 14, 2009


(Pic: Sally Silver)

Soprano Sally Silver sings the role of Ariadne in the world premiere recording of Donald Tovey’s opera.

Former South African soprano Sally Silver, singing the role of Ariadne in the world premiere recording of the little known opera Bride of Dionysus by Sir Donald Tovey (1875–1940) has been released on the Dutton Vocalion label.

This recording was co-produced by Peter Shore and Michael Ponder and conducted by George Vass with the Ulster Orchestra and the Belfast Philharmonic Choir at the Ulster Hall in Belfast Ireland in May, 2009.

Sally Silver (soprano) is joined by Yvonne Fontane (mezzo-soprano); Robert Johnston (tenor) and Michael Bundy (baritone). The Ulster Orchestra is led by David Adams and Belfast Philharmonic Choir led by Choir Master Christopher Bell.

Written by Tovey between 1907 an 1918, the opera has had little exposure and to our knowledge never been recorded until now. In 1929, Tovey was finally able to conduct the premiere of The Bride of Dionysus (in a staging by Charles Ricketts). Donald Francis Tovey has long been known as one of the finest writers on music in English – having worked on numerous articles for Encyclopaedia Britannica - but he saw himself primarily as a composer. Master of the King’s Musick, Edward Elgar, recommended him for a knighthood, and he was duly dubbed Sir Donald in 1935.

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