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Judith Weir (b. 1954): The Vanishing Bridegroom, opera / Ailish Tynan, soprano; Anna Stéphany, soprano; Andrew Tortise, tenor; Owen Gilhooly, baritone. BBC SO, Brabbins

Album Summary

>Weir, Judith : The Vanishing Bridegroom, opera
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Judith Weir's opera, commissioned by Glasgow District Council for the 1990 City of Culture celebrations, takes three Scottish folktales, all concerned with disappearance: The Inheritance features a runaway bride, a singing forest and a lost sum of gold; The Disappearance tells of a man abducted by supernatural forces; and The Stranger is the story of an independent-minded girl wooed by the devil in disguise. Weir's writing combines lush descriptive soundscapes with ethereal choruses and Gaelic folk melodies; the romanticism of the three tales is offset by the sardonic humor and down-to-earth attitude of their protagonists, and of the composer herself.

The Times, 19th July 2014
This excellent recording by BBC forces of her 1990 opera shows why she is so highly rated. Weir ingeniously meshes three Scottish folk tales...conveyed in pithily sardonic music. Excellent performances, especially by Jonathan Lemalu in the title-role.

Financial Times, 8th August 2014
A composer of integrity, [Weir] communicates intelligently with different audiences and ages. This timely release of The Vanishing Bridegroom (1990), her most successful opera, underscores her gift for concision, ambiguity and sound-pictures of sophisticated lyricism.

Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2014
Weir has always excelled at writing music in miniature, and her skill at pinpointing an idea, an atmosphere, a musical realm in a few deft strokes is fully on display in The Vanishing Bridegroom...A bleak atmosphere pervades the opera, yet the score is full of life.

Opera Now
Weir's textures never become muddy thanks to the excellent engineering and superb performances. Brabbins leads a well-paced reading that follows every twist and turn of Weir's colourful score. Soprano Anna StTphany and bass-baritone Jonathan Lemalu give particularly strong performances in the final tale.

American Record Guide, January/February 2015
The performance is very good. All the singers are more than adequate for their roles. I especially liked Anna Stephany, as the Daughter in Part III. The orchestral and choral work is excellent. The booklet contains the complete text and useful background information.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Barbican Concert Hall, London, England (01/19/2008).


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Works Details

>Weir, Judith : The Vanishing Bridegroom, opera
  • Performers: Lynette Alcantara (Soprano); Owen Gilhooly (Baritone); Christopher Bowen (Organ); Siân Menna (Voice); Andrew Murgatroyd (Tenor); Jonathan Lemalu (Bass Baritone); Andrew Tortise (Tenor); Simon Birchall (Voice); Olivia Robinson (Soprano); Jonathan Saunders (Bass Baritone); Edward Price (Baritone); Ailish Tynan (Soprano); Anna Stephany (Mezzo Soprano); Edward Goater (Voice); Paul Curievici (Voice); Nicholas Simeha (Voice)
  • Conductor: Martyn Brabbins
  • Ensemble: BBC Symphony Orchestra
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Opera/Operetta