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The Sunday Opera: Sir Michael Tippett's "A Midsummer Marriage" and "A Child of Our Time"

Two works by Sir Michael Tippett are on offer for this week’s Sunday Opera (3/25  3:00 p.m.)  His groundbreaking opera “A Midsummer Marriage” which deals with a symbolic pathway to marriage and life in the face of change will open the program.  The recording is the world premiere production from 1955 featuring Joan Sutherland, Richard Lewis, Edith Coates, and Adele Leigh and the Covent Garden Chorus and Orchestra under the direction of John Pritchard. The afternoon will continue with more music of Tippett and his response to the horrors of Kristallnacht, the oratorio “A Child of Our Time.”  Following the 1938 assassination of a German diplomat by a young Jewish refugee, the Nazi government set out on a pogrom which killed over 100 people and destroyed some 1,000 synagogues and 7,000 Jewish businesses.  The 1986 recording of the oratorio features Sheila Armstrong, Felicity Palmer, Philip Langridge, and John Shirley-Quirk as soloists with Andre Previn conducting and uses a variety of musical and textural sources.  The three sections culminate with the possibility of healing that might come with mankind understanding and accepting his “Shadow in relation to his Light.”

Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.