A rock star in the 1980s with the group Harvey and the Wallbangers, a member of top British choirs in the 1990s and a baritone in high demand with the great opera houses since the year 2000!
Proud of this atypical career path, Christopher Purves has made a speciality of playing the “bad guy” on the stage, with his dark timbre, foreboding stage presence and imposing stature. An unrivalled Mephistopheles in Gounod’s The Damnation of Faust, he was a stunning Nick Shadow in the Lille production of the Rake’s Progress by Stravinsky last season. What can you say – he’s such a perfect devil!
On the programme for this recital are two black diamonds cut to measure for the bronze voice of Purves: in response to the pain and despair of Mussorgsky’s Songs and dances of Death we find the melancholy and abandon of Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder. A few lighter English songs provide a touch of comfort on this voyage from darkness to the light, in which Purves will be seconded by one of today’s leading accompanists, the refined and ever-attentive Simon Lepper.
Christopher Purves barytone
Simon Lepper piano
Georg Friedrich Handel (1685-1759) Vieni o cara (Agrippina)
Georg Friedrich Handel (1685-1759) I rage, I melt, I burn! - O ruddier than the cherry (Acis and Galatea)
Georg Friedrich Handel (1685-1759) Fra l’ombre e gl’orrori (Aci, Galatea e Polifemo)
Modest Moussorgski (1839-1881) Songs and Dances of Death
Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) Rückert-Lieder
Gerald Finzi (1901-1956) Let us Garlands bring
1h30 with intermission
Individual ticket sales start Saturday 8 september at 9 am