RNS: Dawn and Dusk
Dinis Sousa conductor
Dame Sarah Connolly mezzo soprano
Royal Northern Sinfonia
Haydn Symphony No.6 ‘Le Matin’
Berlioz Les Nuits d’été*
Lili Boulanger arr. Iain Farrington D’un matin de printemps
Prokofiev Classical Symphony
*Sung in French
A concert of new beginnings. The sunrise depicted in the introduction to Haydn’s ‘Le Matin’ seems a fitting way to break the silence of the last few months. The dawn of a new day – a new beginning – which is also celebrated in Lili Boulanger’s beautifully impressionistic take on a spring morning. The orchestra is joined by one of the finest operatic and concert singers of our time, Dame Sarah Connolly, for Berlioz’ much-loved song cycle, Les Nuits d’été, an exploration of love and loss which, despite its title, begins with a poem about the spring, the season of new beginnings. And to round off the evening, Prokofiev’s exuberant first symphony, a lighthearted and joyful tribute to Mozart and Haydn. A cracking programme to open our new series, which marks a new beginning for Royal Northern Sinfonia as they start their musical adventure with newly appointed Principal Conductor, Dinis Sousa.
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Dame Sarah Connolly, mezzo soprano
Sarah Connolly was made a DBE in the 2017 Birthday Honours, having previously been awarded a CBE in the 2010 New Year Honours. In 2020 she was made an Honorary Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society in recognition of her outstanding services to music.
She has sung at the Aldeburgh, Edinburgh, Lucerne, Salzburg and Tanglewood festivals and the BBC Proms where, in 2009, she was a soloist at the Last Night. Opera engagements have taken her around the world from the Metropolitan Opera to the Royal Opera House, the Paris Opera, La Scala Milan, the Munich State Opera and the Bayreuth, Glyndebourne and Aix-en-Provence festivals.
Recent highlights include Fricka in The Ring Cycle at both the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Teatro Real in Madrid and recitals for the Schubertíada a Vilabertran, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid and for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.
Recent performances on the concert platform have included Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin/Jurowski & London Philharmonic Orchestra/Jurowski), his Symphony No. 8 (Wiener Symphoniker/Jordan), Des Knaben Wunderhorn (Orchestre national de Paris/Saraste) and Tippet’s A Child of our Time (Orchestre de Paris/Adès). In the 2018/19 season, Sarah curated a residency at Wigmore Hall.
Dinis Sousa, conductor
Dinis Sousa is Founder and Artistic Director of Orquestra XXI, an award-winning orchestra which brings together some of the best young Portuguese musicians from around Europe. Orquestra XXI has already established itself as one of the leading performing groups in Portugal, appearing regularly in its main concert halls. Recent highlights include opening the Gulbenkian Foundation season and appearing at Centro Cultural de Belém’s festival “Dias da Música”.
Dinis is the first-ever Assistant Conductor of the Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras. Recent highlights include co-conducting the Monteverdi Choir in Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette at the BBC Proms, with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and touring with the English Baroque Soloists to Colombia, conducting several concerts of Bach’s orchestral music.
As a guest-conductor, recent and forthcoming highlights include projects with Orchestre Symphonique de Mulhouse, Orquesta Sinfonica de Tenerife, Malta Philharmonic, Portuguese Symphony Orchestra, Madeira Chamber Orchestra and conducting rehearsals with the London Symphony Orchestra.
Dinis studied conducting with Sian Edwards and Timothy Redmond at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he was Conducting Fellow. While at Guildhall, he conducted several different projects, including Bach’s St. John Passion and a staged production of Harrison Birtwistle’s Down by the Greenwood Side.
In recognition of his work with Orquestra XXI, Dinis was awarded the title of Knight of the Order of Prince Henry in Portugal.
Royal Northern Sinfonia, orchestra of Sage Gateshead, is the UK’s only full-time chamber orchestra. Founded in 1958, RNS has built a worldwide reputation for the North East through the quality of its music-making and the immediacy of the connections the musicians make with audiences.
The orchestra regularly flies the flag for the region at major festivals, including the BBC Proms. They appear frequently at venues and festivals in Europe, including La folle journée in Nantes. In recent seasons they have toured to Vienna, Budapest, Istanbul and Tokyo.