Looking ahead to our 2023 production of Monteverdi's L'Orfeo, music director Robert Howarth and lutenist Lynda Sayce discuss interpreting manuscripts from Monteverdi's era.
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Robert Howarth read music at the University of York and is establishing a reputation as a gifted director and conductor of early and classical repertoire.
Howarth’s opera engagements include Opernhaus Zürich (Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria); Hamburg State Opera (Alcina); Opera North (Giulio Cesare, The Magic Flute); The Grange Festival (Agrippina); Stadttheater St Gallen (The Fairy Queen, Alcina); Norwegian Opera (Haydn L’Isola Disabitata); Academy of Ancient Music (L’incoronazione di Poppea, Ulisse); Buxton Festival (Dido & Aeneas), Birmingham Opera Company (Ulisse, Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda); Welsh National Opera (Ulisse) The Early Opera Company (Acis & Galatea) and English Touring Opera (Ulisse, Tolomeo, Alcina).
Howarth was Music Director for Farinelli and the King at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse and Duke of York’s Theatre, London and Belasco Theater, New York.
His orchestral collaborations include the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Hallé, Bournemouth Symphony, Danish Radio Symphony, Bilbao Symphony, Irish Baroque, Royal Seville Symphony RTE National Symphony, English Chamber and Salzburg Mozarteum orchestras.
One of Britain’s leading lutenists with over 100 recordings to her name, Lynda Sayce read Music at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, then studied lute with Jakob Lindberg at the Royal College of Music. She performs regularly as soloist and continuo player with leading period instrument ensembles worldwide, and is principal lutenist with The King’s Consort and Ex Cathedra. She directs the lute ensemble Chordophony, whose repertory and instrumentarium are based entirely on her research. Lynda has performed with many leading modern instrument orchestras and opera companies, and was chosen by Sir Simon Rattle to play lute continuo for the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra’s recent epic staging of Bach’s St Matthew Passion, performed in Europe and the US. Her discography ranges from some of the earliest surviving lute music to the jazz theorbo part in Harvey Brough’s ‘Requiem in Blue’. Lynda holds a Ph.D for her work on the history of the theorbo, which is being prepared for publication, and has written for the New Grove Dictionary of Music, Early Music, and the art journal Apollo. An enthusiastic photographer, she also specialises in the digitisation of historic music manuscripts, and many thousands of her images are available online, making this unique material available to scholars worldwide.