To all Amigos
From Helga Hampton
December 22, 2016
Merry Christmas !
In spite of all the horror and madness around us, I hope your holiday season will this year be a good one celebrated in the midst of your loved ones. Let music lift your spirits and reawaken hope and optimism for the coming year. We shall certainly keep doing our best to contribute to musical and social conviviality in our lovely corner of Europe – long may it remain the forgotten, quiet one.
I am still very much in the afterglow of the December concerts we were able to enjoy at Os Agostos with “our” Beatriz Ferreira. I can hardly imagine a better Christmas present for the Amigos than the two evenings this young artist gave us. She came to show us her proficiency and to thank us for the support the Amigos had given her over the five years of her formation at the Royal College of Music in London, and she did so with great aplomb.
Beatriz had put together a very intelligent programme of compositions by Portuguese composers – little known, but beautiful pieces by Bomtempo, Vianna da Motta and Lopes Graça – together with two robustly played Beethoven sonatas, a virtuoso Liszt excursion and gentle images by Debussy. When she ended each evening with a Sonata by Prokofiev, it became very clear that it is in this direction that this budding concert pianist is steering – the expressionist repertoire seems to be her forte and her predilection. She certainly blew me away with the passion and assurance that she put into Sonata No. 4. Her verbal explanations in perfect English showed us a mature young woman with great charm.
Let us wish her all the best for a great future in which she promises to never lose touch with the Amigos. And let me take this opportunity to thank you all for all the contributions you made towards the Amigos Sponsorship for her over the years. THANK YOU !
We are now in our winter hibernation: January and February being the months in which the cold walls of our auditorium resist all attempts at heating, as conversely the heat of July and August wins the battle with A/C. We shall kick-start the second part of the 2016/17 concert season in the middle of March 2017 – see the schedule below, and note what wonderful highlights are awaiting us.
Meanwhile let me point out a lovely way in which you can enjoy some world-class music nearby:
NOS Cinemas do “Opera em direto” and “Bailado em direto” in the cinemas of Tavira and in the Forum Algarve in Faro. These are live recordings and relays world-wide of opera and/or ballet performances from the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London and from the Bolshoi Ballet.
Here are the dates for your diary:
31 January 2017 at 19:15 Il Trovatore by Verd
22 January 2017 at 15:00 Sleeping Beauty – Ballet
30 March 2017 at 19:15 Madama Butterfly by Puccini
28 June 2017 at 19:15 Otello by Verdi
There are further dates planned and you can pick up their programmes at the box offices of those cinemas. They also have a website: www.cinemas.nos.pt
I hope this is a helpful hint. Please go and patronise these performances – if they play to empty houses, I think they may discontinue this great attempt at joining European cultural forces.
I thank Amigos Elizabeth and Roger Kitson for this recommendation.
With the very best wishes for the festive season wherever you will celebrate, and for the New Year I can only wish us all that it will be better, more peaceful and less controversial.
CONCERTS PLANNED FOR SPRING 2017
March 14 and 16, 2017 Holger Groschopp, piano and Adele Bitter, cello
April 11 and 13, 2017 Lucy Parham, piano and Henry Goodman, actor
May 16 and 18, 2017 Bernd Glemser, piano
June 20 and 22, 2017 Alissa Firsova, piano, Tim Hugh, cello and
Andrew Marriner, clarinet