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Modern Period


Taliban takes control of Afghanistan • Prince Charles and Princess Diana divorce • Dunblane (Scot) school shooting: 16 children and their teacher massacred by former Scout leader • Scientists successfully clone an animal: Dolly the sheep • Completion of Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum, Rio de Janeiro, designed by Oscar Niemeyer (Braz)

Bill Clinton begins second term as US President • ‘New Labour’ leader Tony Blair becomes Prime Minister of UK, ending 18 years of Conservative government • Hong Kong returns to China • Princess Diana dies in Paris car crash • NASA’s ‘Pathfinder’ probe lands on Mars • J. K. Rowling (Eng): Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Good Friday Agreement establishes a devolved Northern Irish assembly • Omagh bombing by ‘Real IRA’ in Northern Ireland kills 29 • Famine in Southern Sudan claims around 100,000 lives • The ‘City of Arts and Sciences’ opens in Valencia, Spain • Sculpture Angel of the North by Anthony Gormley (Eng) is unveiled in Gateshead •
 Spock died at a house he was renting in La Jolla, California
World population reaches six billion • Super-cyclone in India kills over 10,000 and leaves 1.5 million homeless  • Boris Yeltsin resigns as Russian president • Britain introduces minimum wage • Two students gun down 13 at Columbine High School, Co (US), before committing suicide • John M. Coetzee (SA/Australia) publishes Disgrace  •
Louise Bourgeois Maman sculpture outside Bilbao Guggenheim museum

Vladimir Putin is elected Russian president • Vicente Fox Quesada of the National Action Party becomes Mexican president; ends 71 years of PRI government • George W. Bush wins the US presidential election • India’s population passes one billion • America Online announces decision to buy Time Warner: the completed $162 acquisition (2001)
is the largest in corporate history • Global stock markets go into freefali as the ‘dot-com bubble’ bursts • Air France Concorde Flight 4590 crashes, killing all 109 on board and four on the ground • Tate Modern art gallery opens in London • Zadie Smith (Eng): White Teeth • Margaret Atwood (Can): The Blind Assassin


Benjamin McLane Spock (May 2, 1903 – March 15, 1998) was an American pediatrician whose book Baby and Child Care (1946) is one of the best-selling volumes in history. The book's premise to mothers is that "you know more than you think you do."



20 February
Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu dies from cancer, aged 65, in Tokyo.


28 April
Harrison Birtwistle's Pulse Shadows for soprano, string quartet and ensemble gains critical praise in Witten, Germany.

Harrison Birtwistle - Tenebrae (Pulse Shadows)
Meditations on Paul Celan
for Soprano, String Quartet and Ensemble.

Claron McFadden, soprano
Arditti Quartet - Nash Ensemble
Reinbert de Leeuw, conductor.

18 May
Philip Glass presents Les enfants terribles in Zug,

Switzerland. It is the last of his three dance operas to films by Cocteau, following Orphee, 1993, and La belle et la bete, 1994.

Philip Glass - Les Enfants Terribles - Overture

Philip Glass - Les Enfants Terribles - scene 15
Elisabeth: Branislava Podrumac  (Sopran)
Paul: Marko Kalajanović (Bariton)
Gérard: Ljuba Popović (Tenor)
Agathe/Dargelos: Ana Radovanović (Mecosopran)
Jean Cocteau: Miloš Timotijević
Pijanisti: Nada Kolundžija, Sonja Lončar i Andrija Pavlović 

Les Enfants terribles - Children of the game - Philip Glass

Philip Glass - Paul's End - Les Enfants Terribles

Philip Glass - Orphee, 1993.

Orphée is a chamber opera in two acts and 18 scenes, for ensemble and soloists, composed in 1991 by Philip Glass, on a libretto (in French) by the composer, based on the scenario of the eponymous film (1950) by Jean Cocteau. Commissioned by the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York, this is the first part of a trilogy in honour of the French poet. The world premiere of the work took place on 14 May 1993 under the direction of Martin Goldray and the European premiere on 27 May 2005[3] at the Royal Opera House of London.

Philip Glass - Orphee Suite

Orphee's Bedroom- :07
Journey to the Underworld- 1:38
Orphee and the Princess- 5:02

Recorded on November 11th, 2012, in Lincoln, NE

Philip Glass - Orphée
Scenes from Ensemble Parallèle's 2011

Philip Glass - La belle et la bete, 1994.

La Belle et la Bête (The Beauty and the Beast) is an opera for ensemble and film, composed in 1994 by Philip Glass based on a libretto in French by the composer according to the script of the film by Jean Cocteau released in 1946. This is the second part of a trilogy in homage to the French poet after Orphée (1993) and before Les Enfants Terribles (1996). The world premiere of the work took place on 4 June 1994 in Seville, with Michael Riesman conducting.

The work has been played more than 90 times around the world, in particular at the Brooklyn Academy of Music of New York on 17 December 1994 for the American premiere and at the Cité de la musique in Paris on 17 January 2003 for the French premiere.

Philip Glass - La Belle et La Bete
instrumental remix

5 June
Peter Maxwell Davies
– The Doctor of Myddfai.

The Doctor of Myddfai
is an opera in two acts composed by Peter Maxwell Davies to a libretto by David Pountney. The work premiered at the New Theatre in Cardiff on 5 June 1996, performed by the Welsh National Opera and conducted by Richard Armstrong. The libretto was adapted from an ancient Welsh legend which inspired The Lady of the Lake. The original tale is reinterpreted in terms of a mysterious disease, knowledge of which the authorities are trying to suppress. The opera takes place in a totalitarian society similar to that envisioned in Orwell's 1984, with a supreme ruler, mechanistic bureaucracy and endless war.

Peter Maxwell Davies - The Doctor Of Myddfai
[D. Pountney]
Act I 

Peter Maxwell Davies - The Doctor Of Myddfai [D.Pountney]
Act II 

Time: The near future
Place: The Welsh town of Myddfai (part of a larger European dictatorship)

Background legend

A shepherd fell in love with beautiful girl who appeared in Llyn y Fan Fach, a lake where he was tending his flock. He married her after passing the test of distinguishing her from her two sisters. However, there was a condition on their marriage. If he were to strike her three times during their marriage, she would return to the lake, taking all the wealth she had brought him. Eventually he struck her for a third time. She did indeed return to the lake, but left her healing powers to him and his descendants. They became The Doctors of Myddfai.

The opera

The Doctor is worried about a strange new disease that has broken out and retells the legend to his Child. The disease occurs whenever anyone receives a blow in the rain. The resulting bruise spreads over the entire body. Those who have the disease are desperate for a cure from The Doctor. He and a crowd of the sick (a chorus singing Christian hymns in Welsh) gather by the lake.

The Doctor tries to tell The Ruler about the disease, but The Ruler dismisses him and seeks to bury the story. Nevertheless, he is disturbed and seeks consolation with a woman who turns out to be The Doctor. In the ensuing confrontation in the rain, he strikes The Ruler, thus infecting him with the strange disease.

The State Council debates the crisis caused by the Ruler's absence. The Ruler eventually appears and demands that he be taken to the lake to be cured. There, the Doctor refuses to cure him. A crowd of the sick arrive at the lake and in their desperation for a cure trample The Doctor to death. The Child arrives, and orders the Ruler to walk into the lake. She becomes the new Doctor of Myddfai, preaching deliverance through recitation of the names of herbs and flowers.

12 September
Eve is tempted by Lucifer in Karlheinz ​Stockhausen’s opera Freitag (Friday—from his ongoing Licht cycle), first staged at the Leipzig Opernhaus.

Karlheinz Stockhausen - Freitag Aus Licht 1/4 (A)
Elektronische Musik mit Tonszenen vom Freitag Aus LICHT  recorded in 1992 and 1994 at the Studio for electronic music of WDR Cologne, Germany. 

Karlheinz Stockhausen - Freitag Aus Licht 2/4 (B)

Karlheinz Stockhausen - Freitag Aus Licht 3/4 (C)

Karlheinz Stockhausen - Freitag Aus Licht 4/4 (D)

2 October
Luciano Berio questions human identity and morality in the music theatre work Outis (Nobody), inspired by Homers Odyssey, first staged at La Scala, Milan.

Luciano Berio - OUTIS,
Azione musicale in due parti 1/2
Libretto di D. del Corno e L. Berio
Outis: A. Opie
 Emily: M. Fallot
 Ada: L. Castellani
 Steve: L. Canonici
 Marina: M. Bacelli
 Olga, Double Emily: O. Sala
 Samantha: E. Brilova
 Orchestre de Paris
 D. Robertson, dir.
 Y. Kokkos, regia
Parigi, Théâtre du Châtelet

Luciano Berio - OUTIS,
Azione musicale in due parti 2/2



Peter Maxwell Davies – Concerto for Piano and Orchestra.

Peter Maxwell Davies - Piano Concerto


11 January
Hans Werner Henze's opera Venus und Adonis (1995) opens to critical acclaim at the Munich Staatsoper. 

Venus und Adonis is a one-act opera by Hans Werner Henze with a German libretto by Hans-Ulrich Treichel, after the poem by William Shakespeare. The work uses singers and dancers.

It was first performed by the Bavarian State Opera in Munich on 11 January 1997 (Chōki 1997, 18). The American première was at the Santa Fe Opera in August 2000, and the same production was used for the Canadian première, which took place in Toronto in 2001 (Brockmeier 2003). The Japanese premiere was given in concert form in Tokyo on 11 January 2000.

Clemente  -  tenor  
Heldendarsteller  -  baritone    
Primadonna  -  soprano  
Madrigalist  -  baritone

Hans Werner Henze: Venus und Adonis.
Opera in one act for singers and dancers. Libretto by Hans-Ulrich Treichel.

Nadine Secunde (Primadonna), Chris Merritt (Clemente) & Ekkehard Wlaschiha (Heldendarsteller: heroic actor) - Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper & Bayerisches Staatsorchester (Bavarian State Opera Chorus & Bavarian State Orchestra), Markus Stenz

recording of the first performance (Munich, Bayerische Staatsoper, January 11, 1997)

15 October
The Lion King is a musical based on the 1994 Walt Disney Animation Studios' animated feature film of the same name with music by Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice, and book by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi, along with additional music and lyrics by Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor, and Hans Zimmer. Directed by Taymor, the musical features actors in animal costumes as well as giant, hollow puppets. The show is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions. The musical debuted on July 8, 1997 in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the Orpheum Theatre and was an instant success before premiering on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theater on October 15, 1997 in many previews with the official opening on November 13, 1997.

The Lion King (1997 Broadway) -
with Curtain Call
Rafiki - Tsidii Le Loka
Mufasa - Samuel E. Wright
Sarabi - Gina Breedlove
Zazu - Geoff Hoyle
Scar - John Vickery
Simba(young) - Scott Irby-Ranniar
Nala(young) - Kajuana Shuford
Shenzi - Tracey Nicole Chapman
Banzai - Stanley Wayne Mathis
Ed - Kevin Cahoon
Timon - Max Casella
Pumbaa - Tom Alan Robbins
Simba(adult) - Jason Raize
Nala(adult) - Heather Headley 

7 October
Scarlet Pimpernel – Broadway production opened at the Neil Simon Theatre. The Scarlet Pimpernel is a musical with music by Frank Wildhorn and lyrics and book by Nan Knighton, based on the novel of the same name by Baroness Orczy. The show is set in England and France during the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution. The musical debuted on Broadway at the Minskoff Theatre on October 7, 1997 in previews, officially on November 9, 1997. 

The Scarlet Pimpernel
2008 Merstein, Murray, Maricel


23 April
Titanic – Broadway production opened at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre and ran for 804 performances. Titanic opened on April 23, 1997 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.

Titanic: The Musical, by RMU's Colonial Theatre. 



8 January
Sir Michael Tippett dies in London, aged 93.


5 May
Saturday Night Fever is a musical with a book by Nan Knighton (in collaboration with Arlene Phillips, Paul Nicholas, and Robert Stigwood) and music and lyrics by the Bee Gees.

Based on Nik Cohn's 1975 New York Magazine article "Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night" and Norman Wexler's 1977 screenplay it inspired, it focuses on Tony Manero, a Brooklyn youth whose weekend is spent at the local discotheque. There he luxuriates in the admiration of the crowd and a growing relationship with Stephanie Mangano, and can temporarily forget the realities of his life, including a dead-end job in a paint store and his gang of deadbeat friends. In an effort to make it a family-friendly show, many of the film's darker elements, including references to racial conflict, drug use, and violence, were eliminated from the plot.
Directed and choreographed by Phillips, the £4 million stage adaptation premiered in the West End on 5 May 1998 at the London Palladium. After twenty-seven previews, the Broadway production, with Phillips directing, opened on 21 October 1999 at the Minskoff Theatre.

Saturday Night Fever -  the Musical
Eastlight Theatre, East Peoria, IL September 2016

September 26 
Philip GlassWhite Raven.
Opera in five acts in collaboration with Robert Wilson. Libretto (Portugese) by Luisa Costa Gomes.

Chorus in Philip Glass' White Raven
eatro Real de Madrid, 1998
Coro do Teatro Nacional de São Carlos

Phillip Glass - White Raven
Interpreted by the Queen Ana Paula Russo and the King Yuri Batukov
Teatro Real de Madrid, 1998

The opera touches upon discoveries throughout time, beginning with the expeditions of the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, "The work is not concerned with historical accuracy. It pursues, rather, an open reflection on the concept of discovery of commencement (of what does not exist but comes into being) and the concept of beginning (as Aristotle writes, 'a beginning is that which does not come necessarily after something else, but after which it is natural for another thing to exist or to come to be'). The title "White Raven" alludes to the myth in which Apollo turns a white crow black for denouncing Cronis' infidelity - in the opera the crow is the messenger of the misfortune, the symbol of lost innocence." 



19 February
John Adams’s symphonic Naive and Sentimental Music triumphs in Los Angeles under the direction of Esa-Pekka Salonen.

John Adams - Naive and Sentimental Music
David Tenenbaum (Guitar)
Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Esa-Pekka Salonen (Conductor)

Mamma Mia - Soundtrack 
0:00 - Honey Honey
3:07 - Money Money Money
6:14 - Mamma Mia
9:49 - Dancing Queen
13:55 - Our Last Summer
16:55 - Lay All Your Love On Me
21:23 - Super Trouper
25:18 - Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight)
29:11 - The Name of the Game
34:06 - Voulez Vous
38:41 - SOS
42:02 - Does Your Mother Know
45:07 - Slipping Through My Fingers
48:58 - The Winner Takes It All
53:58 - When All Is Said and Done
57:16 - Take a Chance on Me
1:01:17 - I Have A Dream
1:05:35 - Thank You For the Music


Mamma Mia - Here We Go Again - Soundtrack -  2

00:00 I wonder
04:24 Why did it have to be me
07:39 I have a dream
11:57 Kisses of fire
14:25 Andante, Andante
18:20 The name of the game
23:07 Knowing me, Knowing you
26:50 Mamma Mia
27:26 Dancing Queen
30:03 I've been waiting for you

6 April 
Mamma Mia! (promoted as Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus' Mamma Mia!) is a jukebox musical written by British playwright Catherine Johnson, based on the songs of ABBA composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, former members of the band. The title of the musical is taken from the group's 1975 chart-topper "Mamma Mia". Ulvaeus and Andersson, who composed the original music for ABBA, were involved in the development of the show from the beginning. Singer Anni-Frid Lyngstad has been involved financially in the production and she has also been present at many of the premieres around the world.Premiere  April 6, 1999, Prince Edward Theatre, London

6 July
Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo dies in Madrid, aged 97.


16 September
What Next?, the first opera by the 90-year-old Elliott Carter, enjoys critical acclaim at the Staatsoper in Berlin. With libretto by Paul Griffiths, the short one-act work focuses on six characters as they emerge from the wreckage of a car crash.

"What next" by Elliot Carter
Neue Oper Wien

Rose: Jennifer Davison, Sopran

Elliot Carter - "What Next?" 
Scenes from my latest project. An opera-film, music by famed composer Elliot Carter, conducted by James Levine

18 November
Kiss Me, Kate is a musical written by Samuel and Bella Spewack with music and lyrics by Cole Porter. The story involves the production of a musical version of William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew and the conflict on and off-stage between Fred Graham, the show's director, producer, and star, and his leading lady, his ex-wife Lilli Vanessi. A secondary romance concerns Lois Lane, the actress playing Bianca, and her gambler boyfriend, Bill, who runs afoul of some gangsters. The original production starred Alfred Drake, Patricia Morison, Lisa Kirk and Harold Lang. A Broadway revival opened at the Martin Beck Theatre on November 18, 1999. 

Kiss me Kate - BBC
7:42 Another Op'nin', Another Show
15:29 Why Can't You Behave?
21:19 Wunderbar
28:03 So in Love
33:43 We Open in Venice
39:04 Tom, Dick or Harry
42:32 Bianca
44:48 I've Come to Wive it Wealthily in Padua
49:04 I Hate Men
54:59 Were Thine That Special Face
1:09:10 We Sing of Love (Cantiamo D'Amore)
1:15:42 Kiss Me, Kate
1:18:56 Too Darn Hot
1:28:00 Where is the Life That Late I Led?
1:35:52 Always True to You in My Fashion
1:49:05 Bianca
1:56:20 So In Love Reprise
2:00:44 Brush Up Your Shakespeare



The unstoppable nonagenarian Elliot Carter composes his Cello Concerto for Yo-Yo Ma and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Elliott Carter - Cello Concerto
Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music
Stefan Asbury - conductor
Fred Sherry - cello

Hans Werner HenzeSymphony No.10 

Hans Werner Henze: Symphony No.10 

I. Ein Sturm
II. Ein Hymnus [10:47]
III. Ein Tanz [19:02]
IV. Ein Traum [26:41]

Orchestre National de Montpellier diretta da Friedemann Layer.

Karlheinz Stockhausen – Lichter—Wasser (Sunday Greeting), for soprano, tenor, and orchestra, Nr. 75


Karlheinz Stockhausen - Sonntags-Abschied

Karlheinz Stockhausen - Sonntag aus Licht - Lichter-Wasser 

Lichter-Wasser (Lights-Waters) is both the 1st scene and the "Gruss" of the opera Sunday from LIGHT

An initial duet by the soprano - Eve - and tenor - Michael - is followed by the entrance of the orchestra, who take their places throughout the audience, which is arranged in triangular segments facing the centre. 

4 January
John Tavener considers creation, sin, redemption and hope in Fall and Resurrection, inspired by Byzantine chant and scored for soloists, chorus, ancient instruments and orchestra. Written in anticipation of the new millennium, the hour-long cantata receives a broadcast premiere at St Paul’s Cathedral, London. Tavener is knighted later this year.

John Tavener - Fall and Resurrection


18 April
Berlin’s Staatsoper mount the first performance of
Harrison ​Birtwistle’s ‘dramatic tableaux’ The Last Supper.

Birtwistle' -  The Last Supper -
Behind the Scenes
Baritone Roderick Williams and director Victoria Newlyn discuss the rehearsal process for a semi-staged production of Sir Harrison Birtwistle's The Last Supper. Recorded at City Halls, Glasgow, with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

7 June
Krzysztof Penderecki's two-movement Sextet is introduced in Vienna with Rostropovich (cello) and Yuri Bashmet (viola) among the performers.

Krzysztof Penderecki - Sextet
for clarinet, horn, violin, viola, cello and piano
Maria Machowska - violin
Artur Rozmysłowicz - viola
Jan Kalinowski - cello
Roman Widaszek- clarinet
Tadeusz Tomaszewski - horn
Marek Szlezer -piano

Recorded at the  Concert Hall of the European Music Center in Lusławice / June 2013

16 June  
Peter Maxwell DaviesMr Emmet Takes a Walk.

Mr Emmet Takes a Walk is a chamber opera by the English composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davies with a libretto by David Pountney. The work is self-described as a "dramatic sonata".

It tells the story of the last seconds of the life of Mr Emmet before his suicide on a railway line. Thoughts, ideas, musical fragments and experiences flash through Mr Emmet's mind before his death which expand across the fifty-minute duration of the work.

Davies has cited the works of four composers as motifs in the opera: J.S. Bach's "Prelude and Fugue No. 12 in F minor" (BWV 881) from Book 2 of the Well-Tempered Clavier, Andrea Gabrieli's Edipo Tiranno, "Come furia disperata" from Mozart's Don Giovanni (Donna Anna in act 1, scene 1), and the opening of Schumann's Second Symphony.

The work premiered in a co-production of Muziektheater Transparant and the Psappha ensemble at the St. Magnus Festival, Orkney on 16 June 2000.

Mr Emmet takes a walk
är en opera av Peter Maxwell Davies från 2000.

15 December
John Adams suggests a spiritual storm in his nativity oratorio El Nino, introduced at the Theatre du Chatelet, Paris, under Kent Nagano, with Dawn Upshaw. Lorraine Hunt Lieberson and Willard White in principal roles. A silent film by Peter Sellars (co-librettist with Adams) accompanies the performance.

John Adams - El Nino
The finale to the first part of John Adams' magnificent nativity oratorio

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