Charles III in music and a memorable visit to the San Francisco Opera
There is a musical and local background to the drama news of the royal succession following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8 and the accession of the former Prince of Wales.
Both visited the San Francisco Bay Area, the Queen and Prince Philip in 1983 and Prince Charles – now King Charles III – during an extended visit to California in 1977which included the War Memorial Opera House.
It was one of historic opera nights: Kurt Herbert Adler, general manager of the SF Opera, premiere of Jean-Pierre Ponnelle’s production of Puccini Turandot, starring Montserrat Caballé and Luciano Pavarotti, led by then 24-year-old Riccardo Chailly on his San Francisco (and US) debut and, to date, his only appearance here. Also in the memorable cast was a host of young talent, including Leona Mitchell, Pamela South, Carol Vaness and Gwendolyn Jones.
Meanwhile, the opera world paid tribute to the late Queen, with many major British companies Press release in his memory.
The King, born Charles Philip Arthur George, has always been a music lover and learned to play the trumpet and piano as a child, making his public debut aged 15 as a trumpeter in St Giles Cathedral . He played with his school’s 80-piece orchestra in Gordonstoun, Scotland, and later played cello in the orchestra at Trinity College, Cambridge.
In a recent interview with Classic FM, Charles named some of his favorite classic pieces, including Richard Wagner’s Siegfried Idyllchoirs by JS Bach Passion according to Saint MatthewHubert Parry’s “Wedding March of the Birds” The Birds of Aristophanesand Chopin’s piano concertos.
He told Classic FM: “I find the whole experience of being with the orchestra or listening to it in a beautiful big hall, I mean it’s extraordinary because the sound completely surrounds you and it doesn’t there is nothing to replace, I think. It’s this wonderful feeling of being part of a huge whole.
As President of the Royal College of Music for over two decades, Charles stood on the podium and led the RCM’s Elastic Band Orchestra. Last year, when he became patron of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestrahe led the RPO in a gig at the Barbican.
A major and long-running musical project with Charles’ participation was Leonard Bernstein’s Royal Edition Label for Sony, with 119 CDs “with paintings by HRH The Prince of Wales” on their covers.
Charles had warm relationships with musicians, such as Jonathan Dunford, the American violist who taught and performed the Baroque repertoire in France.
Dunford said SFCV“As you may know, Charles III is a cellist. I have letters from his office giving me permission to dedicate my Stöeffken CD to him.” Composers who contacted Charles about their projects usually received warm greetings and encouragement from the prince at the time.
Dunford also draws attention to the great importance of Charles I and Charles II in music. The court of King Charles I (1625-1645) was resplendent with the highly refined music of a confident new English school of composers which began with Orlando Gibbons and ended with the Lawes brothers and the execution of Charles in 1649 .
Charles II, the “Merry Monarch” (reigned 1660-1685), was responsible for the revival of many arts during the Stuart Restoration, especially theater and music, the latter honored by Henry Purcell, Matthew Locke, Pelham Humfrey, John Coup, and others.